(Amber Garvin from Provo, Utah served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as 'Mormons') in the Richmond, Virginia area (Now called the "Virginia Chesapeake Mission"). 'Sister' Missionaries are able to serve at age 19 for a period of 18 months. They leave their homes, families and educational pursuits to love and serve their fellowman, and to teach about how families can be together forever. All are invited to follow her missionary experiences.)

*I have now returned home to Utah and will continue to share the experiences of being a returned missionary. :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

May 12, 2013 in Williamsburg, VA

Williamsburg, VA
Dear All.....
We had a miracle.  We had planned to go to a house and Skype home (for Mother's Day), then they weren't home (Which is really, really okay... absolutely no hard feelings at all because we learned some important lessons we needed to learn.) Then I tried not to have a panic attack, and tried not to imagine my beloved family sitting all alone on a couch with no missionary to talk to, then we called and texted people that we know to see if they could help us out and nobody answered.  Then we said a really important prayer (That is a key part of this poorly punctuated story) Then we called ________'s house. Then his wife answered and I tried not to sound like I was in frantic mode as I sort of explained (I am not really sure what happened actually because I was bordering hysterics) and asked if we could just use their phone to call and say that we couldn't call, and she was SUPER nice and said "no problem come on over" or something like unto it. (PRAYER ANSWERED!!!) Then I was so overwhelmed with appreciation and love for God, and for those blessed members that I cried a little.  Then, they were actually some of the closest ward members to where we were so we got there a minute later at almost exactly when we were supposed to call home.  Then they went the extra 80 minute mile and let each of us use their IPad to call home.  Then I cried a little bit more, but played it off because I'm good at that (and via Skype you can't really tell that I actually shed a tear)  Then I cried a little because I had to say goodbye again, and also Mother's Day is a day of emotional roller coasters.   Then we were forever indebted to the kind _______family, and had to leave their house (but we will go back at some point to try to repay their immense kindness).

Then Sister _____ and I both tried really hard not to cry because we had a dinner appointment right then.  So we tried to not think about it, and not talk about it and distracted ourselves with the horrible reality that we had not been home since church, we had two appointments left, and we don't like using other peoples lavatories.  Discomfort is uncomfortable so we had to stop thinking about that too.

Beautiful Virginia (in vehicle while driving)
That is what happened yesterday.

Please save this message somewhere so I can look back later in life and laugh at how I tell stories.  I already know this one is a gem, and well worth keeping. (Also, I am smiling while writing it, so I hope you smile too. :)

This week:
Uhhhhh.... Lot's of things.

I know that this is exactly where I am supposed to be right now because I am learning so much from the people in this area.  _____ I am determined to be a successful missionary here because I am determined to allow a mighty change of heart to come over me so that I can continue to more fully come unto Christ, and so that I can more fully be converted to the Lord.  That is success because my soul counts just as much as everyone else here.  

My job is to invite, encourage, uplift, and teach truths.  If they aren't ready for it, it is not because I failed.  There are ways I could improve I am sure.  But if there is one lesson that I have learned to sum up my life here so far it is that I have the power to use MY agency to bring myself closer to Christ.  And that is what I want, and that is what He wants for me.

"Choose ye this day whom ye will serve...." Joshua 24:15.  Make the decision now.  Not tomorrow.  If you choose a side the "battle" finally becomes meaningful, and you have a chance to win.  

I love you all (in the words of that one song that is sung in the Swan Princess movie) "far longer than forever",
-Your Sister Garvin