(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, September 16, 2013

September 23, 2013. Willamsburg, Virginia. -- Starfish Story.

Muddy 'Crocs'  :)
Dearest Loved ones, whom I love,  

I don't remember what week it happened or if I sent a picture, but I made my companion walk through the mud.  It was an accident, but it happened.  This is what happened to the new Crocs that I bought at TJMaxx for $8 (stellar deal.)

We've also been working with this sweet hispanic woman named Maria - to help her with her English, and in reading the Book of Mormon. We aren't going to be meeting with her anymore because she is going to the Spanish Branch, and the Hermanas (spanish-speaking sisters) are going to be meeting with her from now on, but she is so sweet. :)

I don't know if I have many words of wisdom this week, but I can say this:
I'm 10 pages away from the end of the Book of Mormon, and it's still true.
It was true when I started it, it was true when I got half way through it, and it is still true as I approach the end.

So, it's kind of like the best thing.

Everyone should read it.  Every day.  Or more.

We had Zone Conference this week.  Our ward (church congregation) fed all the missionaries, for which we were all grateful.  I love Relief Society, and being part of something.  They were wonderful to us.  

It was great to hear from President Baker, and his wife, and to refresh and refine the vision of missionary work that they have for this mission.  I appreciated so many things that they said.

This week I'm not as fiery-sounding as I have been inprevious weeks.  It must be the weather. :)  Or the change in season. (There is an entire yellow-leaved tree by our house!) But I'm just as fiery in testimony.

To quote the words of a very wise woman-- namely mom-- who changed my life today.

"There are so many things like that that just don't seem fair and...I know that you know that and have dealt with a lot of them in your life.  And, yet, like the starfish, you have made a difference - one person at a time....
"Sometimes we don't think we are - but, we are watched and...everything we do - makes a difference.  Even if we don't know it. "

"It made a difference for that one."
Mommy, thank you for helping me be a starfish. We are a family of starfish.

Probably somehow the entire eco-system would crash without starfish.  I don't know all that scienc-y stuff, but that's just my idea.

So yeah.

It's weird, but thank you for being my starfish family.
You're basically the best-- more than anything else ever.  And you're mine, which is even better.

Love for eternity, "AND BEYOND!"

Sister Garvin AKA Amber

The Starfish Story
A young man is walking along the ocean and sees a beach on which thousands and thousands of starfish have washed ashore. Further along he sees an old man, walking slowly and stooping often, picking up one starfish after another and tossing each one gently into the ocean.
“Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?,” he asks.
“Because the sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them further in they will die.”
“But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it! You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your efforts won’t even make a difference .”
The old man listened calmly and then bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the sea. “It made a difference for that one.”