(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, November 3, 2014

Snow, Christmas Movies, and Building a Firm Foundation

Wow!  Can you believe that it's already not October?  This is craziness!  It's been a year since I was in Rocky Mount.

I'm friends with many of the members in Rocky Mount, and every time they post pictures on Facebook of things happening there my heart just cries a little, and my brain says "Please! let me come back and be a missionary with you again!"   Speaking of pictures, it looked like for many of you the November 1 Social Media Exchange went well.  I saw many pictures of service projects, and smiles. I hope that you each had a very fun-filling day. :)

Hallmark has started Christmas early.  So it's been fun to spend time with my family watching clean Christmas movies. The more media I'm exposed to the more I realize how easy it could be to drown in it. So I'm setting limits. And so far it's going better than it was last week. (thank you personal interview.)

Cleaning the temple last Monday was phenomenal!  I loved it! My group was able to clean the sealing rooms of the temple. It was neat to learn some of the things that I had never recognized such as the no vacuum lines in the carpet. So.... learned how to do that, which also fulfills my slight OCD complex (if vacuum lines aren't seen no one will know if they are straight!!! Wahahahaha!)

How was Halloween?  Did any of you have success with trunk or treats or ward activities? Did you get any leftover candy from the Primary? :)

'Tis now officially the season of gaining weight. So I admonish each of you to only eat what you need to survive the season, and don't overindulge. Thus you will avoid many plagues of life such as gallstones, and loss of the Spirit from eating too much. And you will be happy. Don't follow my example of sugar consumption. (It's gotten better, minus the hoard of frozen snickers in the freezer leftover from last week. But as soon as those are gone I'm off sugar! ;) Just kidding.... I think that we all know I don't have enough resolve to have that happen in my life at this point.)

I'm learning more and more to just LOVE when people talk about God. It's so refreshing! I the South you can talk about Him with anyone, in almost any setting, anywhere.   Grocery stores, gas stations, on the street.  It's an odd difference to feel here. People don't really want to talk about their personal relationships with Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ. I think that it causes them to feel vulnerable. Let's have a moment of truth.  We are ALL vulnerable in some way, and Jesus Christ is the only one that can make us strong in weak places.

I loved that about the CES Fireside last night. Building a foundation in Christ is the very most important thing. Above and beyond everything else. If we don't have that, it wont ever matter what we have because it is as sand running through our fingers, and is fleeting.  If we build a permanent foundation on our Savior, we have what cannot be taken from us without our consent. And growing, and abiding love of God, and of all our brothers and sisters here on the earth, peace that is lasting, and the ability to "endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious...you hold up under pressure and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully."(PMG p.120)
I love you all, and hope that you feel the added strength that is needful for you to conquer this week.  I know that you can do it, and I know that Heavenly Father has qualified (and He will continue to do so) each of you, through your faith, diligence, and desire, to do His work.  I am so grateful each of our paths crossed.  I'm holding on to the friendships that we've grown knowing that one day when I see you again I want to be on the right path, and I'm willing to do what it takes to stay there.

Thanks for being pals!

Love Always,
Sister Amber Garvin

P.S. For all you Utah folks.... My brother called me this morning and said that it was snowing in the canyon.
The seasons change so quickly! (parallel of life) but they're each beautiful. :)