(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, August 25, 2014

AWESOME WEEK!!! Obedience, Standards of Excellence, Playing the Piano, Spanish Branch, Lord's Kingdom on Earth

Before I forget: Since Labor Day is next weekend, I will be emailing on Tuesday.  It will probably be later in the day, so I may not be able to chat back and forth, but I'll write home.  Promise. :)

Sisters Carlson and Garvin - Nag's Head, NC - Beach

I sort of regret sending the letter home last week that I did.  I'm really sorry that it was so negative.  I was just really grumpy that day, and it showed in my interactions with everyone on email.  I just wanted you to know that grumpiness doesn't last forever, and I've done a complete 180' to who I am today.
This week was truly incredible!  Sister Carlson and I are feeling so blessed.
We were able to reach almost all of our goals this week, and even exceeded our member present lesson goal.  We taught 7!  It was so great!  This week we've had the highest numbers in this area for the whole year so far.  And our zone exceeded the number of member presents total for the zone ever.  What a wonderful thing to feel that we've contributed in small part to the work in our zone.  
Our vision truly has been raised as we've focused on the Standards of Excellence.  I'm so grateful for President Baker's inspiration and reliance on the Spirit of God to help increase our faith in building, not just maintaining the Lord's Kingdom on earth.

Sisters Garvin and Carlson - (In the humidity)
I have a relate-able experience to share with you mom....
The Hermanas in our area a trying SO hard to start up a Spanish branch.  There are not many Spanish speaking members, and it's very difficult for them.  We felt impressed to go to their Sacrament Meeting last night, and it was such a special experience!

Here's the relate-able part:  I got to play the piano!  Boy.... I'm sure grateful that it was one of the electric ones that had the hymns already programmed in.... All I had to do was hit one key on the keyboard and count right.  Piano lessons paid off as far as understanding counting and time signatures!  :)
I didn't understand most of the meeting.  Bless our dedicated members.  We had several that speak no Spanish come just to support the branch.  It was so sweet.  Our Bishop is doing an amazing job.  He conducts in Spanish and reads off a card to say things right, and he's been practicing.
There was an English member that was asked to give a talk, and he consulted his daughter-in-law from Mexico to prepare.
The Spirit was strong, and was not bound by a language  barrier.  You could feel that.
There was one investigator that came, and he said the same thing.
We had 4 investigators at Sacrament meeting!!!!  I don't think that has ever happened to me on a mission!  There was a part member family that we've been teaching as well as an investigator that we just met last week.
We know that Heavenly Father loves us so much.  I feel that so strongly.  There were so many things that happened, not because we did anything different-- or discovered some secret recipe for missionary work, but because we were so set on being exactly obedient (No exception!).  We know that our week was good because we were trying so hard to be diligent.  The Holy Ghost bore witness to us both of that.
That's all I have for this week! 
It's the Last week of August, and I have only 6 weeks left. AHHHHHHHHHH!
Love forever,

Sister Garvin

Sisters w/youth- including Whitney who was recently baptized
Sister Missionaries  :)
At park with "Big Fish".  We read the Book of Mormon there with some members.
Bodie Lighthouse!  Sisters Garvin and Carlson
Cupcakes for Someone's birthday