(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. :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sacredness of Missionary Labors

I'm a day late, but I have reason, and permission to be.

Yesterday Sister Felt was throwing up in the Halloween bowl.  Like, probably for a couple of hours.

Is no bueno.  But so far today, she is feeling better!  That's good!

I spent the day watching Mormon Messages that someone gave us to watch, and sewing up my pile of stuff to sew up, eating sour patch bunnies, and writing a pile of substantial letters to a bunch of people that I love. :)  It was good.  The Mormon Message "Lessons I learned as a Boy" by Gordon B. Hinckley made me cry.  What a wonderful spirit in that profound, but simple lesson.  (I'm not going to expound, because it will give you all the chance to watch it. :)

Watch here: http://www.mormonchannel.org/mormon-channel-daily/193?v=911029440001

Also, if you haven't taken the time to watch the new on on bullying please do. It will bring a new perspective, and make you want to be, and do better.

I'm not sure of the direction of this letter this week.  There has been a lot that has happened.
For the first time in my mission we have an investigator with a baptismal date.  We are thrilled about that, but I also wonder if I should feel more thrilled about that?

I am happy because she wants it.  But it has also been re-confirmed that baptism is not my "golden ticket".  It is truly wonderful, but it is really seeing the lives of people change that is my golden ticket.  I love to see the light of the gospel shine in the faces of people that I love, and truly, I love them. I know that I'm going to be so sad to leave Rocky Mount when the time comes, because I know that this has been a place that my efforts have gone to good use in building the Lord's kingdom on earth.

I had a lot of time to ponder yesterday, and I don't know exactly what triggered it, but there was a shift in me.  I was led to pray for something that I hadn't prayed for before.  I said that I was so sorry that I didn't always understand how truly sacred this work is.  I was devastated that it had taken me this long for it to finally click, and I shifted.  I wish I could express the depth of the feelings of my heart in sharing how I feel now.

This work is SO sacred.  It is a privilege and an honor to be a part of it.  Although there are over 80,000 missionaries world wide, I am not an insignificant part of this work.  It cannot be done without my efforts, and I have been a major part of this work in a specific place.  In Rocky Mount No. Carolina, Virginia Chesapeake Mission.  Also, fun fact for you; I am the best Sister Garvin in this whole mission (mostly because I am the only Sister Garvin in our mission. :)

And I continue to thank all of those who have provided me with the means of going on this sacred journey.

I sometimes get caught in wondering how there could possible be room for any more growth, but it is the little things now to put me through the refiners fire over, and over again to get out all the bits of dross.

From the hymn "How Firm A Foundation" it says:
  1. 5. When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
    My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
    The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
    Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
    Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
I hope that I will trust enough to continually go through this process.

There is so much to hope for in a bright future, and it is oft times easy to lose sight of that when we are passing through the "dark ages" of our lives.

I just know that no matter how dark a trial may seem there will have to come a time when it shall pass.  And through the divine help and strength that provided through the Atonement of Jesus Christ it will be possible to be refined, and not consumed.

(Here's my new thing that I came up with this week. #GarvinSoapbox any time I say something that I know is true I say "Hashtag, Garvin soapbox."  Yes, I'm still funny even when I know profound things)

I love you each so greatly, and I hope that things are home are more refining than consuming. 
Also for A&A:  the youth of this church are prayed for almost as much as the missionaries, you have untapped potential to be a tremendous force for good in this world.

I love you all!

Sister Amber Garvin