I hope you enjoyed my reference to Ice Age haha. Wow, I really thought that this day would NEVER come and that I would get to be a missionary forever. Sadly, we don't always get what we want. When we got transfer calls this past Friday, Elder Malcarne told me that they reconsidered my request to extend that that I would get to stay a few extra weeks! I was the happiest person on earth!! And then I realized that it was a joke....broke my heart. He should feel bad haha.
Well it has been a crazy/weird week trying to get everything done. I have been packing little by little but the past few days I've tried to get more serious about it. They are pretty much done now. Yet I feel like I just packed to move to another area, except for the fact that I keep weighing them to try and keep them under 50 lbs haha. I'm leaving like 4 boxes of things in the Bushman's shed...they are the best haha. I have so much stuff!!!! Good grief. Can't believe I've been lugging all this stuff around the mission.
Saturday, Kambryn was baptized. It was such a special baptism!! Kambryn was so pretty in her white dress. It was the same one that she wore earlier this year when her family was sealed in the temple. I got to play the piano at her baptism which was also really special :) A lot of people came! One of their old missionaries even flew down from Utah for the baptism. This family is just amazing, I can't wait for you to meet them :) It was so hard saying goodbye to them last night.
On Sunday, Elder Driaza and I did a special musical number in 1st Ward and Winchester Branch. 4 of the Allred's were already doing a musical number in our ward (2nd ward) but that was super cool to hear them play! We played Redeemer by Paul Cardall. I borrowed Josh Allred's viola. There was no sheet music for instruments so I had to figure out what notes to play by listening to the recording. Needless to say, it was a lot of work but it turned out really great! It was a fun way to end my final Sunday. We ended up being at church for 8 hours and had to leave for the final hour because I had the worst migraine EVER. Oh it was horrible. Dr. Bushman takes good care of me though, he forced me to go home (which I really REALLY didn't want to do my last Sunday) but I was really in bad shape. The Bushman's are amazing. I want to be just like them one day. They are excited to meet you all! I rested at home for about an hour and a half and then went back to work and finished up my last night as a missionary.
Wow, is this really it? Is it the end now? I keep thinking I have another week or two. When Elder and Sister Malm came last August to the mission, something she said really stood out to me. "Love every day of your mission, because one day it will be your last and you will be praying for one day more." I had been on the mission for less than 3 months and I thought that she was crazy. When my last day came, I thought that I would be ready to wrap up and go back home to my family. While I am excited to see you all on Wednesday, I have wished for only 1 day more. I've loved being a missionary with all my heart. Becoming Hermana Martin and letting the Lord shape me and change me has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. I think back and can't believe that I thought that I didn't need to come on a mission, that I honestly believed that going to school was more important. Although I am excited to start my Senior year at Utah State in January.
I want to end my final email with my testimony, that I know that our Savior lives. I have come to know Him in such a different way as I've joined Him in His work and His glory to bring our brothers and sisters back to Him. From El Dorado, to St. David, El Rio, all the way down to Willcox I have seen His hand every single day in the work. He really is SO aware of every single one of us. I love Him and I am grateful that He has given us the opportunity to change. I needed to change more than I even knew. He has helped me to become the person that I am today. I hope that the things that He has taught me on my mission will in turn help me to continue to be an instrument in His hands to bless the lives of other people.
I know that this church was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I have SEEN amazing changes in the people I've been able to meet as they apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives. I love El Libro de Mormon and I'm grateful that I was able to again finish it today before ending my mission. I also was able to finish Doctrina y Convenios and Personal Progress this past week. I have such a love for the scriptures. They really are roadmaps for our lives.
I want to end with thanking you all for the help you've given me. I really couldn't have gotten through this without all of your help. Now I get to thank you in person for that amazing help that you have given me. I am going to stop now before I cry again, Ah!! To quote Dr. Bushman last night, "Women are so emotional." Dang straight, haha. He gave me a great blessing last night which is helping me to feel better about having to leave the mission. I know that everything will be okay. It is just still really hard at the same time.
Love you so much, see you on Wednesday!! Wow, that was really weird. Let's pretend I didn't just write that haha. See you soon :) Love you with all my heart.
This is Hermana Martin, signing out.
Practicing for the baptism
The last signature on the quilt