(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, July 28, 2014

Monday, July 28, Nag's Head, North Carolina - "Questions of the Soul"

Neat 'Tender Mercies' 
(From Sister Garvin's Mother)
Yesterday I received a text from a family visiting Nag's Head from Utah and...they took a photo of the missionaries with their family.  It was SO kind of them and SO rewarding to receive a photo and message.  How great to know that we're all connected and 'in this together'.  It was a tender mercy for them (as their son just entered the Mexico City MTC 2 1/2 weeks ago and...they felt very blessed to see and talk with the missionaries in NC) and...a tender mercy for me to see their bright, smiling faces and..to meet Sister Garvin's new companion.

That is the Second news item and neat 'miracle'.  Apparently Sister Garvin's new companion is Sister Cami Carlson from Sandy, Utah.  I'm just waiting this morning for e-mail with more details and while I do so I'm piecing together information.  :)  Yay.  It's SO neat to be involved in this exciting work.  ('The Adventures of the Spirit' as Elder Robert E. Wells called it.) 

Well, Sister Carlson's Mother 'friended' me on G+, which I'm thrilled about (and will respond to as soon as I get Sister Garvin's email) and...her daughter's blog is:  Sister Carlson in Chesapeake, so you can read both of their perspectives and experiences.  Isn't it incredible how technology can bless our lives?   

They are SO busy and don't have much time to write home on Mondays (their 'preparation days') so....they each share what they can and....it's nice to be able to read what they both write.

It's been a glorious blessing for me to be the mother of a missionary.  All the sacrifices and 'missing' her (sometimes tremendously) is compensated for because of her growth and learning and progression and the way that she has strengthen us at home because of her service and sacrifices as her covenant part in helping to build up the Kingdom of God here upon the earth. 

I feel particularly grateful, this day, for the members in NC that I've connected with because of this mission and...the mothers of her companions - who I now feel are all dear online friends. 

Sister Garvin's Entry:

Questions of the Soul:
Two answers to that question.... Preach My Gospel Page 107
AND....NEW Companion Information:

What's her name?  Sister Carlson
Where is she from? Sandy, UT
How's it going with her?  Wonderful!
Do you 'connect'?  Yes.  We watched the same youtube videos in the past, read the same scriptures, like to talk to people, and both have name tags/purpose in life.  So we've got a bunch in common! :)

Where did Sister Petrie go?  The pickle capital of the world!  Mt. Olive, NC in the Goldsboro Zone.  She'll love it there!
In other news.... (this is like a duct tape mustache that just got ripped off of my face...)
I found out at transfer meeting that the day I'm coming home got pushed to a week earlier.  So now it's officially, October 7th.

AHHHHHHHHHH.... And this week is August.  So that's outrageous.
I've made a countdown because Sister Jasperson told me that everyone was going to ask me about it anyway.  And they already are....
I've allotted myself 4 days that I can be emotional about this situation.  That is when I hit 50 days. 30 days, 10 days, and 5 days.
On to reports from this week:
President Baker promised miracles as a trainer when you are trying to be obedient, and they are already starting to happen.  but I wanted to share a funny story first.
This is one for the journal for sure!
We went to contact a potential investigator.  There was a 'No Soliciting' sign on the door.  But we are not solicitors, so we knocked anyway.  They were obviously home, and obviously ignoring us.  So we said "let's just come back in a couple of days".  So we went back two days later, and there was an additional sign posted underneath the original.  Written on cardboard it said: (it was the little circle with the line through it.... No smoking sign...)
No religion,
No politics,
No magazines,
No candy
I don't know how else to react except to laugh.  It was funny.  Okay, we're girls in skirts, on bikes, and it's a lot less work to just say 'no' than it is to make a perfectly strait edge sign.
Please bless that house.  
Also, this morning, I saw a spider with florescent orange legs.  Weird.
We found a few new investigators that are really sincere.
We met many new families that we hadn't met before.
We met a family from Utah that took care of us at church, and were super nice.
We ate some delicious food.
We taught many lessons.
Sister Carlson gave out a Book of Mormon to the first person that she talked to.
It hasn't been deathly humid.
I received a letter every day from my dearest sister (Ashley).
We took the Sacrament.
We provided an environment for members of the ward to take care of us by "comforting those that stand in need of comfort".
One of Sister Carlson's (beautiful) spiritual gifts is that of being able to weep, and feeling deeply.  She's going to be wonderful for this ward, because she will allow people to love her and take care of her. 
I have a harder time doing that because I don't cry that much, and I have a hard time asking for help if I can do it myself (even with much difficulty....) So I'm looking forward to repenting, and learning new experiences for the next few weeks.
I learned a powerful truth for me yesterday during Sacrament meeting which I was grateful to learn.  "sometimes the biggest leap of faith is not accepting an answer, but in asking a question."
I feel that I've grown a lot in the past year, in ways that I cannot even see.  But I've still SO far to go!  And if I focus on that, all the results, and answers in the future.  I miss the joy of learning now, asking questions now, and having the peace that comes from a question.  There are many questions that I know I will probably never have the answers to, but my faith is founded.
The Atonement has already been made, the price was paid, and there are no take-backs.  Plus, there is no way that Christ would take it back anyway.  His gift to us is always there for us to reach out, take hold of, and to be the wings upon our backs when we haven't any strength left to walk.
In a very real way I am growing spiritual wings.  
I don't have the strength left to walk on my own, so I have to be carried.
That was promised to me in a blessing I received several months ago.
When I look back on my life and only see one set of footprints on the path-- I will know that I was not walking alone, but was being carried.
These are my wise words of wisdom for the day.  I feel that often they are meant more for me to vocalize than they are for you to read, but I'm appreciative of someone that listens to all my thoughts.  
It's therapeutic for me to write with a purpose, and is basically a purposeful journal.
I have to go now.
I love you all forever!
Sister Garvin

New companions:  Sister Carlson and Sister Garvin

Sister Carlson's Blog