Monday, November 17, 2014

2 1/2 weeks!

Oh my goodness. Time goes by so fast. I'm excited to go home, and yet I am terrified because I am so used to the Fijian culture and I know it will be an adjustment, coming home to the good ol' US. I hardly wear makeup, people, even though I need it. I throw my hair up into a curly mass on top of my head pretty much every day. The way I dress is not cute like the way we see the Sister Missionaries dressing in the Ensign. I spend five minutes getting ready. Plus, I have a hard time around palangi people. Islanders are just a lot easier to get along with! So yes, I am scared. Forgive me if I spend the month I have before school starts just hanging out in the house with my family...
It's bittersweet. It is truly bittersweet. Fiji has taught me about myself. Fiji has taught me to become a BETTER version of myself. Fiji has cracked me open like a coconut, scraped out my insides, and made me into a delicious meal. (That's what we do with coconuts around here.) It sounds weird, but you get the idea. The year and a half that I have spent here in Fiji has helped me to grow closer to my Father in Heaven than any other time in my life. I understand Him better. I understand His Son, Jesus Christ. I understand His gospel. And I am so grateful for it. So so grateful. 
This week we had mission tour. The second counselor in our Area Presidency came, Elder Haleck. I have met him a few times throughout my mission, and he is a very amazing man. He's a human being! But he is a man of God. He spent the whole time talking about what we were supposed to be at the conclusion of the mission. It was really weird, because I am the only one in the entire zone that is going home with this next transfer. It was as if the entire mission tour was specifically for me. These questions came to mind: Am I the missionary that I hoped that I would be when I first began the mission? Have I accomplished the things that I wanted to accomplish? To both of these questions, my answer is no. I am not the missionary that I thought I would be. I am different. I am better in many ways, worse in others. I wasn't as obedient as I expected myself to be when I first got here. Not as diligent, I suppose. I made mistakes. But I learned from them. And I still worked hard. I have been the most exhausted of my life out here in Fiji. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. To me, that is significant. And what did I accomplish? Well, I invited many people to come unto Christ, and only a handful accepted the invitation. But these people are so precious to me, and their continued conversion is my hope and prayer. One is waiting for his mission call to come, and is the Young Men's President in his ward. Another is a Sunday School teacher. Another is preparing herself to go on her mission as soon as her year-mark comes. And the most recent one, Errol, should be receiving the priesthood and passing the sacrament soon. This makes me so happy. This is joy. But others of them are less-active now. This breaks my heart. It used to make me feel guilty, like it was somehow my fault that they fell away so soon after baptism. But I have come to understand that everyone has their agency, and can make their own decisions. How grateful and amazed I am when I come across a person that truly understands how to use their agency properly. It is a gift and a power that we take for granted far too often. The mission has taught me to see it this way.
All in all, I am not who I expected myself to be. I am different. I am better. I have learned so much. I have used the Atonement in my life to become something more refined, something more useful in the Lord's hands. I have experienced what it feels like to be cleansed, and to be healed. Regardless of what I did or did not accomplish on my mission, that is the most important to me. And I wouldn't trade it for anything.
As mission tour came to an end, they invited me up to give my departing testimony. I was the only one. It was so weird. Had this day really come? I got up there and for the first time in a long time I was terrified to bear my testimony. It was scary. But I did what I normally do, which is open my mouth and proceed to talk (D&C 100:6). And then it was over. I hope that it edified some people. 
Afterwards Elder Haleck came up to me. We talked for a bit. We discovered that he had a less-active family member living in my own hometown. I told him that I would go and find him and help the missionaries bring him back. Booyah. An assignment for when I get home. LET THE WORK CONTINUE. 
As for the work here...our one investigator who was supposed to be baptized this month went on vacation to Melbourne. BUT we invited another one to be baptized and she accepted and yet another one straight up told us that she wants to be baptized, but we just need to give her time. So this is all going to go down after I leave, but oh well. I am happy to have been a part of it. We also have a couple of less-actives that will very soon be considered active again. They just need callings. Woot woot. I am not trunky, I am still working. See. 
Anyway, this isn't even my last week yet, so I'll leave a little more tears and isa-isas for next time...this email is far too long...
I LOVE YOUS keep it real.
Sista Wright.

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