(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 6, 2014

Pondering, Beach for Last Time, Prayer, A Treasure in the Sand

I've been pondering what to say today.
This morning we walked on the beach for the last time.  Somewhere in my heart I prayed that I'd find a conch shell to take home with me. (It's been known to find them in the early morning after the tide has gone down.)
There was no sight of one anywhere.  
As I continued to walk farther down the beach scanning the sand for even one unchipped shell something caught my eye.
On top of a small mound of sand there was a clean, white, unhidden clam shell.  Perfectly in tact, and unbroken.  

With a leap of enthusiasm I picked it up, and for the rest of the morning made sure that it was in a safe environment.

As I've pondered about this experience I've been able to recognize parallels to my mission here.
Here is what I've been told:  As a child I was a social butterfly, and I loved everyone, and knew no stranger.  I had personality!
As a teenager I ended up being closed off, sitting in the back of the room, quiet, and not confident in my decisions or relationships.
I became a closed clam.
Over time, and through the experiences I've had over the last 2 years. (College, Mission, etc...) I've been able to learn the things that I needed to to open up again.  To be myself, and to be able to become a precious, in tact, treasure in the sand.
I opened my mouth, and look at what has happened from it.
Parallel 2:
I only wrote that someone had been baptized, and confirmed in my planner once.
Baptism is SO important, but I think that sometimes in missionary work it becomes more important than treating someone as a child of God, and giving them a decision.  
I wanted to baptize everyone!  It didn't happen, but that is okay.
Sometimes you spend all your time looking for the conch shell that you miss the opportunity to find another type of rarity.  A together clam shell that is white, and not chipped. Also, if you spend all your time looking for obstacles in the sand you miss the sunrise.
Sunrise - Nag's head
I'm being kicked off the computer now.
I want to continue to write on this blog.  It's been a good outlet for me.  
My soul is rejoicing to see you again. (TOMORROW!)
Love Forever,
Sister Amber Garvin