(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, October 28, 2013

Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 - Rocky Mount, North Carolina

This week marks the first week of some intense holiday-ing.

We are also doing something spectacular.  We are making a missionary truck for the ward trunk-or-treat.  There will be candy.  There will be Copies of the Book of Mormon.  There will be pass-along cards.  There will be The Gospel, and IT WILL BE GOOD.

I'm pretty pleased with this idea, and feel that it is inspired. :)

Also, President Baker was there for this inspired decision, and I think was inspired to inspire the mission.  So there is a whole lot of inspiration going on all over the place.  Isn't a living church wonderful? :) (AKA modern revelation...otherwise it sounds kind of like I have no idea.... but less understandable than modern revelation. )

That ties into some of the great thoughts that I had during personal study this morning. 

Cross Reference Docrine and Covenants 109:37 with Acts 2:2

The Spirit is referred to as a "mighty rushing wind".

I think that is really neat!  And I had deep thoughts about it, but I also had a faithful thought about it:  You can't see the wind, you can't see the Spirit, BUT you can FEEL the wind, and you can FEEL the Spirit.

Yeah, I know that your minds were just addled.
(I learned that word from our assistant ward mission leader last week, and wanted to try using it in a sentence. Success?)

Using unusual words helps me gain confidence in speech.  I'm going to invest in a dictionary at some point. :)


Last week I got a horrible cold.  I thought that my head was literally going to EXPLODE.  I don't know if I've ever had sinus pressure so bad in my entire life.

I have a greater appreciation for bodies though!  It's amazing that bodies have a natural way diffusing nasal bombs.

I tried to think of a more grosser way to say that, but I thought the first way it came out was a gem..... Sorry. 

That's gross, but also, it made me laugh.

Bodies are amazing.  I'm glad that I have one.  And I'm glad that it heals itself.  It's a good one.  I need to take better care of it.

Last night I couldn't sleep--on my bed, on the couch, or on the floor. 

So that why this letter is so on topic, and serious.

It'll be better next week.

Guess what?!

I come home in Less than a year.....

Just let that sink in.

Yes, it hit my like a freight train too.  I can't hardly bahleve it.... Mind again, addled.

I think that's all for this week.  Miracles are happening everyday, and we are living in a time more important than we even recognize.

It wont last forever. 

Recognize the importance of a second chance now.  It's better to take it now, rather than wait until you almost miss the boat, or do miss the boat entirely.

I love you always!


The One and Only,
Old and Wise,
(I'm almost 7!)
Sister (almost Trunky, but not quite there) Garvin

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hello Whole World - From North Carolina, Monday, Oct. 21, 2013

Hello whole world.
Sister Garvin and Sister Friend from High School

Sister Garvin here, with news from the North Carolina front.  Or west-east, I don't really know.

Anyway, there is this thing called the sun, and I pretty sure that the world revolves around it, and it just so happened that today it is shining.  So it's a good day.

I keep thinking and saying that one quote from Finding Nemo--"The sun is shining the tank is clean, and we are getti... AHHHH the tank is clean!"

That's basically a metaphor for life.

Preparation Day is tank cleaning day.  And nap time. 

It means a lot.

This week was a little bit overwhelming, but great too.  We met with lots of people and had some of the highest key indicators in a couple of areas that I've ever had, so I'm thrilled to know that it's possible, that it's happening, and that I'm a part of it.

We worked really hard to stay busy all week, and there was so much going on.  So many new people, so many appointments, and just so many manys.

I have the need to nap so that I can process information.

Something that I have learned from this area is that I have not had it as bad as I sometimes think, in terms of life and experiences.

People have real struggles, and the movies are more accurate than I thought. 

I love them so much for their desires to find something better, and to be better, and my knowledge of this one fact has increased: God doesn't create a no-good anything or anybody.

We all have goodness within us, it is who we are.  And I think that is one of the reasons that we look for happiness.  Happiness is a good thing, and two good make an even better.

Yes, we fall short, and sometimes we look for good, and for happiness in the wrong areas, but we are doing the best we can with what we know and with our current capacities.  And life is a hard thing.

We were listening to a talk tape this week by Mary Ellen Edmunds, and she said something that struck my thoughts at the time "Happiness never was misery." and "Happiness doesn't mean a lack of sorrow."

There is great wisdom in that.

These are scrambled thoughts, but the I hope you get the gist.

Also words of wisdom from me:

1) Look for happiness in the right places!  The Lord has provided the correct and good resources for us to find those right places.

2) Endure to the end!  There will be sad times, but next year you probably wont remember them.
I know that I'll look back on my mission and I wont remember the times that were hard--which is at least 80%.  I'll remember the joys, and the happinesses.

So, yeah.

I still love you as much as I have always if not more!


Sister Amber

Our 'District"
Sister Garvin, Sister Watt, Yolanda

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rocky Mount, North Carolina, October 14, 2013

I hit something remarkable.  And no, it did not damage the car.

I hit my 6 month mark!

Do you know what that means?

It means that I'm a third done, and now I can't turn back.

Good Gravy.

Well, at least if I know that I made it this far, and it didn't feel like that long of a time, I know that I can make it a little bit longer.  Meaning I can finish this race.  I'm just going to need some fuel to get me there (and a wheelchair at the finish line, because my little 3' legs are going to fall off when I get there... probably.  SO embarrassing.)

Anyway.  I don't really know what is going on, but I think that there is a hurricane that is coming off the coast, and I haven't seen the sun for LITERALLY an entire week.  It's been really overcast.

I don't remember what the sky looks like blue!

I've never experienced this before, but we're far enough in-land that we'll only get rain (I think)

Mama didn't raise no hurricane experienced sista!

I'm prepared for blizzards, and earthquakes, not all that wet stuff and tornadoes.

This is a very new experience.

I've decided to love and appreciate the sunshine more.

I don't have a TON to say this week because I'm running out of typing steam, but I do have to say wonderful things about the people here.


I love them.  There is a very frank and open demeanor with the people/culture here, and nobody is afraid to share with you the things that are going on in their minds/ hearts.

That is very good for growing boldness in a Sister. :)

My new companion is Sister Watt from Boise, Idaho.  She's 20.  I don't know why I keep getting companions that are older than me!  There is probably a lesson there....
She is very open, and loves the people here.  I'm excited to learn here.

I fully recognize that I'm not as humble or reliant as I ought to be on the Lord.  I have the distinct impression that I'm going to be learning a lot about that in the next few weeks.  I'm hoping that I'm prepared enough to learn the lessons on humility and reliance that I need to because those are the hard ones. (Lessons I mean.)

So that's what's next!

Look forward to more exciting lessons and stories all the way from the East coast!

Oh, I accidently drove part way down a one way street the wrong way before I realized that we were a little off.  The sign was so small that I didn't notice it!  And we didn't die, and got things on track relatively quick.  I think that's a goot metaphor for the Holy Ghost.

Sometimes we miss the sign that says that we are off track, but if we pay attention and listen we'll always have the Holy Ghost to remind us of the sign we missed.

I'm grateful for the U-turns of the Atonement. :)

Love from North Carolina!

Sister Garvin

P.S. Mom.   I think that it's time for winter clothes.  Would you put something together with my leather gloves, coat, and brown boots?  Maybe some of my other winter head gear and stuff?  I don't remember what I put in the pile. :) Thanks!!!!  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Rocky Mount, North Carolina - LDS Sister Missionaries

It's official.  I've been banished from my homeland of Virginia.  3 hours banished.  Sent to the most farthest parts of the boonies.  Over 100 miles away from my birthplace of Jamestown, and let me tell you something.
Nothing is the same.
The trees are nowhere near the same.
There are cotton fields. (which I may possibly be allergic to......)

The sky is even a different color.
And it's 90 degrees again.

You think I'm being dramatic, but let me tell you in all honesty.
I'm neither poetic nor dramatic.  
North Carolina, and Virginia are not the same.
Except for Walmart, Target, and Chick-fil-a.  Those are generally universally the same.
This is not to say that North Carolina is bad, in fact, quite the contrary.  We received the warmest, most genuine welcome--more than I could have ever hoped for.  We have a BEAUTIFUL new car which I feel blessed an privileged to drive every day.  It's beautiful, (NC, and the car.)
And I know that I'm supposed to be here.
I'm praying REALLY REALLY hard that I'll find out why sooner rather than later, because it's hard.
Opening an area is like making a cake from scratch (also, it seems that I've forgotten everything that I've ever learned...).  We have all these ingredients spread out all over the house, and a recipe in one of the 47 cookbooks laying around, and there is so much to do that I might get over stressed and explode.  
We have all the ingredients or resources, but we have to find the right recipe so we can actually make cookies.
The great thing is that the Lord has prepared many hands in this part of the vineyard to gather in all the resources, and the Master has the recipe memorized.
So I feel like I have to do everything, but really it's all psychological.  I'm my biggest obstacle right now.
So now that I've made it through that thought process.... Thanks family for being an anchor to me.  I feel like my letters home are just compilations of my journal entries, only better because I've thought them through a little bit, and my brain has had time to process the emotional roller-coaster of the past week.  (This is a really long way of me saying that I'm grateful that you validate my fire-hose explosion of words each week.)
The vibes from this email are probably easy to dis-cypher.  It's been hard this week.  It's probably going to be hard this week too, and probably longer than that.
But I can hear the North Carolina rain beating on the roof of the library.
I have a GPS that tells me how to find home.
The Spirit witnessed to me that Rocky Mount is exactly where I'm supposed to be,
I know that if I wasn't supposed to be here I wouldn't be.
There is a team here, of angels and of inspired members of the church that have answered the Lord's call to come labor in His vineyard.
I know that I'm never as alone as I feel.
I know how to find Walmart, and the church, and the golf-course.
Even though I really question my own abilities, I know that the Lord is limitless.  I know that I want to get somewhere, sometime, and I know that quitting or giving-up wont get me either of those places. :)
So this is probably a little bit of a self-pitiful rant, but there it is.  
This is my life for the next year.  I hit 6 months this week (Gracious Agnes.)
So next October everybody!  I'm coming home full speed, and will probably run down the escalator strait into the people that I love mostest in the entire world, and then into my sweatpants for an entire day.  I think I can work a year for that. ;)
Love you always,
Sister Amber in: thebestmissioninthewholeworldbecausethisiswheretheLordsentme--VirginiaChesapeakeMissionForever!!(exclamation point!)
Here is my new address:
Sister Amber Garvin
3717 Winchester Road
Rocky Mount, NC 27804