Monday, March 30, 2015

Last one!

Dear Family                                                                                      
How do you put 18 months into words?
You can't.
Simple as that.
This week has brought a lot of reflection, and the underlying feelings I have had this last week is so much sadness and so much gratitude I feel I can't contain it all. 
Volmer Zone Olympics
     Writing down my memories and thoughts every week has helped me to reflect on the fun and spiritual experiences I've had. It's almost been like therapy for me, and I'm actually incredibly sad that this is my last letter. 
     So what do I tell you about? My spiritual revelatory moment this week when we found out that Amanda has breast cancer in both breast along with terminal brain cancer, and I discovered the power that the atonement truly has to cover all of God's children? Or do I tell you about the funny Sister Volmer Olympics I put on for my last district activity...or that time last week I flagged one of our investigators down by jumping out of our car and chasing him down the street!
     Yup. Monday was a doozey. I declared we play all the games I had wanted to play my whole mission, but nobody had ever let me. So we got nylon tights and put an orange down the leg of one and tied them around our waists and played croquet by swinging our hips to get the orange to hit another orange. And then we put shower caps on with shaving cream on our heads and then threw cheetos at each other to try and get them to stick to their heads. And then Sis Robertson smashed a bunch of shaving cream in my face! That cheeky monkey! And then we put nylon stockings on our heads and fed each other pudding through them! sooooo funny! Especially Elder Simonsen who was being such a girl about the whole thing! And then we put flour in nylon socks and had a flour war by hitting each other with them! Epic p-day if I do say so myself! And very very messy! But it will be one for the books! 
    Monday night we met P. L. , who is a new investigator....except he was on some serious pain meds for his back and he was totally out of it...It totally zoned out while we were reciting the first vision and had no idea what we were talking about when we asked him what his thoughts were on it a few minutes later! haha! But we are seeing him tonight, and hopefully he won't be on drugs.
     Tuesday was crazy! 
     We had a temple training for the upcoming open house and I finally got to see the video that I was in back in November! Haha super cheesey and I'm in it a lot more than I would have liked to have been. They said they would send us a link so hopefully I can send it to you all so you can see it. 
Trying to get to the meeting was super stressful because we were supposed to give the Spanish sisters a ride, but Sis Inman had to be there early because she is a temple coordinator and the Spanish sisters lost their phone so we couldn’t get a hold of them. So we called some other sisters to give them a ride, but by the time we got to the meeting early, we got a call from the other sisters saying they had locked their keys in their house and couldn’t give the sisters a ride because they were stuck and we couldn’t call the other sister because they didn't have a phone! We were making calls like crazy trying to find someone to give them a ride so they wouldn’t hate us for forgetting them! We didn't forget...they just didn’t have phone. 
     It was Sis McCune's birthday that day and we all gave her a flower with a note on it because she loves gardening and we all held our flowers up like a little garden and read her a cute little message about how she had helped all of us grow. 
     D is doing a lot better, thank heavens! He met with President McCune this last week and it did a world of good for him! It also helps that his brother got home from his mission this last week to give him support. He is being baptized the end of May now to give him some time to sort things out, and I hope I will be able to attend. 
     Also, I mentioned A this last week. She is struggling so badly. She just got diagnosed with severe breast cancer on top of her other cancer....I try not to think about her and everything too much or else I start getting really emotional. All I can do is love her, and I pray for her like crazy. She isn't supposed to last to the end of the summer and I hope I get to see her again before she passes. We are working hard to help her with the word of wisdom so she can be baptized before she goes. She refuses to receive a priesthood blessing which breaks my heart. She thinks someone else needs it more than her. Are you kidding??? Nobody needs the Lord's blessings as much as she does! How often do we deny the atonement's help in saving us. How often have I rejected the gift Christ so freely gave me. How often do we break his heart, by handing him back that gift and saying "No thanks. I don't need it." when in reality we need it so so so bad. It has been a very tender subject for me lately, because I know how much I used to think that way at the beginning of my mission. God loves all his children. He has enough room and blessings for all of us. 
     We had even more zone trainings this last week. My last ones. They were pretty technology centered and technical.
     Friday I had exchanges with Hermana Villegas and Herman Rackley. Hermana Rackley reminds me of Sarah Rex in High school. She says it how it is and I had a blast with the two of them. I discovered that Hermana Rackley has the same obsession with Jane Austin movies as I do and so we decided we are going to go on a Jane Austen Tour someday together. It's sad to make such good friends with people right before I go home. But it was a day to remember! I felt the spirit so strong as I listened to those two sisters teach, and I had no idea what they were even saying...The spirit testifies of truth no matter what language, I have learned. The gospel is true for all kindreds, tongues, and people and I'm thankful for the chance I have had to experience that here in Utah. 

Carter's baptism
     Saturday was busy because we had to oversee a baptism taking place with converts from California who wanted to be baptized in Utah. They were D's nieces and so it was cool to meet D's family and see his support system. We then had another baptism with a little ten year old boy named Carter H. His mom has severe health problems and takes the sacrament at home. They all live with Carter's grandparents. We felt the spirit strongly at his baptism.
     We were so busy this week and went on so many splits! We almost went on a three way split this week because we are in a trio. People are coming out of the woodwork here and I wish I could stay to see what the ends of their stories are like.
     I had to say goodbye to J yesterday and that was hard. Her adopted mom is the best too! Mom, I will have to introduce you to her while we are here. She is the cutest! I also had to say goodbye to S and T, our Russian investigators. I will have to stay in touch with Sis Inman and Robertson to see how they progress. We also teach this funny little Hispanic man named G who is so stubborn, but has such a big heart, and I got to teach him yesterday on his front porch. He says he thinks he will never become Mormon even though all of his family is. I think otherwise. It will just take some time. That's the recipe with most people; time, patience, and a lot of love. 
Saying goodbye to investigators.
     These last 18 months have taught me so much by means of love, service, and sacrifice. All the credit for everything accomplished on my mission goes to the Lord. I feel like I was just His instrument in forming the melody that makes up the masterpiece of my mission. I will say it again and again; My mission means everything to me. But it's not about me. I wanted to change people, but these people who I have come to love, and care, and serve, have changed me. Their words and testimonies have cut me to the very center, and I will never be the same.
     My Savior has become my very best Friend, on whom I can rely for anything. My Heavenly Father has become my constant who I could never deny nor forsake.
     I will miss the sandpaper knees, the chapped knuckles, the rushing, the planning, the meetings, the inspiration, the fast pace, the look in President McCune's eyes (He can stare into your soul, I swear) the smiling happy members, I will miss the way the spirit lights up people's faces, and that overwhelming whoosh of joy that comes when the words "yes" come out of their mouth when you invite them to enter the waters of baptism, or as you see them step through the veil into the celestial room in the temple. Nothing. Nothing nothing nothing compares to these moments, these memories, and these celestial experiences. I will remember them every day for the rest of my life, and into eternity. 
     I want to express my appreciation for all the prayers and fasting done in my behalf and in the behalf of those who I worked with and taught. I am so grateful for the support I have received from family and friends. I'm thankful for all the emails, letters, packages, and love I have been sent. I'm so grateful for my family for letting me go for a short time so I could help others be with their family for eternity. My mission is the greatest work of my life so far, and I intend to do a whole lot more of it. 
The gospel is True!!
     I want to bare my testimony that I truly truly do know that this is Christ's gospel on the earth today. This is the path that leads to eternal joy and happiness. I know my Savior lives. I know it. And I have discovered that that is a truth that you can't take away from me. I've seen the miracles. I've seen the change. I've felt the light inside me, and I can't let it go, because so many others need it. I know this is God's work. I know this was where I was meant to be. I know God has so many more things in store for me. I know families really are eternal. I know this life is just a small moment, and as we endure we will be raised up to experience God's fullness of Joy, which is beyond anything we can imagine. I look forward to the day in which I can meet my Savior and my Father in Heaven and live together with them, and my family, and the people I've met and taught on my mission who accepted the gospel. Until then I will happily sing my love for the gospel and gratitude.
     In the words of a song I've grown to love from my mission:
"The hardest thing I've ever loved to do,
Is getting on that plane back home to you.
In a million ways completely torn apart,
as a land so far away still holds my heart.
In the most sincere prayer I've ever prayed,
I thank my God for each and every day,
and for the woman I've come to be,
as I walk up and kiss my mama's cheek."
     So here it
goes. The end of a very beautiful and life changing chapter, and on to another one. I love you all to the moon and back. And I'll be seeing you real soon :)
    Signing out for the last time as Sister Volmer.
All my love,
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer


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