Howdy!! How are y’all? I’m so excited to share some experiences from this week, it has been AWESOME! I officially have 4 more days in the CCM, and after that I will be sent off to my first area to share the Gospel FOR REAL! I can’t believe it has already been 6 weeks. I will miss this place dearly, I’ll miss the teachers, the missionaries here, sports time, and of course the endless supply of peanut butter, but I am so excited to move on and start seeing the miracles God has in store!! However, I see miracles everyday here too. It’s incredible how much the hand of God is in each of our lives. You just have to pause and think about it.
Hermana Rollins, one of my 2 companions had a hard week. After the death of her grandpa, she was just thinking “haven’t I gone through enough? Have I not had to endure enough trials?” This girl has been through everything. I look up to her so much. She has shown me that I shouldn’t know how to feel anything other than happy. I shouldn’t know any other mindset than positive. Like I said, she’s incredible. However, even the happiest of people can have a moment of weakness. On Monday night (after getting her to open up to me) she admitted that that day she had never been so hard on herself in her life. She had just found out of her grandpas death, and she didn’t understand it. She felt like every time in her life she experienced extreme joy, it was followed by heartache. Without telling too much, I quickly rebuked her and said that she had the events in her life backwards. Do we experience trials? Yes. But if we persevere, I PROMISE God will strengthen us to overcome it. Her life was the perfect example of this. I asked Hermana Rollins if we could ask the elders to give her a priesthood blessing. She had never received a blessing before. She was so nervous! But she accepted. In that room, with those elders bestowing a blessing of comfort and encouragement by the power of God, I felt so much gratitude for my Heavenly Father, worthy priesthood holders, and my beautiful companion Hermana Rollins.
This week, I was also given the opportunity to study the Atonement. Now, I study the Atonement all the time, Jesus Christ is the core of missionary work, but this week I REALLY studied it. I wanted to put myself in his shoes. I wanted to walk through his last days. I wanted to feel his emotions walking into the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal he felt by his apostles, the closeness he felt to His father, the emotions he had carrying his cross to the place where he knew his mortal life would end, the way he felt looking down on the people that hung him, when he knew he just saved them! I wanted to feel a bit of the love he felt for all of us, because the total amount is incomprehensible. I wanted to feel as he arose 3 days later, see the look of Mary’s face when she saw the resurrected body of Christ. How incredible is our savior!!!
I was reading in the end of Mark 4, when Christ calms the storm. The whole story is incredible, and makes me want to grow my faith. But the part that stuck out to me the most is the last line in verse 41. One of his apostles said, ¨What manner of man is this…¨ What manner of man is this!? I can’t put in to words the feelings I have for my older brother, my best friend, my Savior, Jesus Christ. I challenge all of you to ponder that question…. What manner of man is this?
As always, I’ll share with you how the park went this week. I want to make one thing clear, this park is HUGE! Like miles and miles of park, miles and miles of pure BEAUTY! This week I was paired with Sister Hitesman again. I wasn’t sure what lesson we didn’t learn the first week together, but we were excited to be paired again! I went into this week, similar as all the others, praying to be an instrument of the Lord, setting goals, and just working hard! We met some incredible people, but we did not see the ¨fruit¨ as some other weeks. It would have been pretty easy to feel down on myself, and a lot of me did as other missionaries were sharing these awesome experiences they had. But Heavenly Father blessed me with a pretty powerful prompting telling me that the work I put forth was enough. I could feel the power of the spirit working in me, and when another person told me to scurry along, I listened to the spirit on where I should go next. I think this day was important for me, and I learned a lesson that I need to remember the rest of my mission and the rest of my life! I learned that even on hard days, Heavenly Father will still be proud of you if you are trying your hardest.
I just love the Gospel!! I love the answers it has for all of my hard questions. I love the happiness it brings me. I love sharing it with other people. Being a missionary is my favorite because every single day I get to fill each hour with his goodness!
So with my last 4 days here in the CCM, my companions, and really just best of friends, have tried to soak up every second we can! No serious injuries this week in sports. I’ve got some pretty gnarly bruises on my shins, but I’ll take it to say I finally scored on a real Spaniard that has played soccer his whole life! Aww, sports time is the best. I have probably a 100 stories I could tell that brought me to tears from laughing so hard, but I think I better explain one particular picture. Elder Reeder (who is just under 7 feet) picked up Elder Rivero from the feet and swung him upside down. I wish I had the video to send y’all of this hilarious act. Hermana Smalley and I once again said that Hermana’s could do anything Elders could. And boy did we prove them wrong! Hahaha! Those swimmer muscles came to work and after 5 attempts we had this pose down.
Thanks again for all the love and support y’all have shown me, I love every letter/ email sent. Remember… be better today than you were yesterday!!
Love, Hermana Devereaux
P.S. My last P-Day in the CCM was AWESOME!