(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 9, 2013

Williamsburg, Virginia, September 9, 2013 - Sister Amber Garvin

(Dear Readers:  Amber was a bit hesitant to share this and wanted me to look it over and see if it sounded 'too grumpy' or not.  I felt it was actually strong and powerful, and...a good reminder to the rest of us as to our personal responsibility of sharing the gospel and doing more than just being an example.  I hope you will all take it the same way.  - Sincerely, Amber's mom, Heidi Garvin)  :)

From Sister Amber Garvin; serving in Williamsburg, Va
Monday, Sept. 9, 2013

Soooo..... There is this thing called missionary work.  And we had Stake Conference this week and it was all about it.

There is something that I learned from it that I would like to share.  I only share it because it hit me with full force this week, and especially as I listened to the words of our inspired leaders who hold the keys to missionary work in this area.  I share this not to offend, but to invoke a thought.  A thought that if cultivated and pondered will lead to an action.

That's the disclaimer.  Please take the rest with a pinch of salt or a grain of salt or whatever that phrase is that will deliver the message in a way that I mean it.  I mean it out of love, and out of a hope that I will always retain in my remembrance the things that I am learning here.  I don't always remember to write them down, and one day I would like to look back and remember what lessons I learned that shaped me into the person that I am becoming.

Here's the rest:

We talk about it all the time, and I have gained a new perspective about it since I have been living it.

We talk about it frequently enough that I hope that if I just cut to the point you can piece things together.

Missionary work has changed, and is continuing to change.  

Here I will be very frank: Being an example is not enough.  It's not.

While being an example does lead to people noticing you, and it does lead to you being able to live the standards that it doesn't lead others to action.

I am not excusing myself; I have used that line before "I will just be an example." But I have asked this, and I could probably think really hard to structure this question more eloquently, but here it is.  Where did that get me? Honestly, not far.  I was able to maintain my personal standards, but that didn't share the gospel with anybody.

Being an example did not make me a missionary. 

This probably sounds harsh.  But I'm learning that beating around the bush doesn't get me very far either because I'm not being completely honest.
I'm just working on being a bit more tactful.

So anyway.


I have to head out for today, we only have an hour, but I will be here next week, and I love you, and I will write you a letter soon!  Sorry that I have fallen behind!
You are my reason for fighting!
Thank you for being my constants!
I hit 5 months tomorrow.  It's been a year since I started school (at BYU-I last year).  It still doesn't seem real that I have been here (in Virginia) this long, but I still think about how far away next October seems.

When I picture my most beloved family waiting for me at the airport that is when I continue to have the strength to continue one more step.  

You mean more to me than I even thought, and more than you will ever know.

Love (literally) forever,