Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"THIS IS IT!" Last email!!!! 1/13/2015

"Funeral in a Box"

"A few goodbyes... with many more to come"


Well everyone, this is my last email I'm sending out as a full-time missionary. It doesn't feel remotely real. However I do think its starting to hit me little by little. I don't really know what to say other than these last 18 months of my life have been the most intense learning period of my whole existence. And I am so grateful for them.  It would take hours to be able to express the love I have for my mission and for my Savior. My mission is truly everything to me.  I've changed, and I've helped others change.  There is no greater work than this.  I love it.
This week has been a lot of hugs and tears however its also full of excitement for the future too.  Saying goodbye to some of these people is so incredibly hard but I have never been more grateful for a stateside mission because I CAN come back! I had my departing interview on Saturday with President Miller. It was one of the sweetest interviews I've ever had with him.  We talked for an hour and ten minutes! Usually they don't last that long but I spent a good amount of time asking him for advice haha. I just value his opinion so much.  He asked me to share with him one principle and one experience from my mission that has shaped who I am.  I talked about the Atonement.  I have learned so much about so many things but if I had to pick one it would definitely be that.  I've learned that the Atonement isn't just for the remission of sin. But its for "good" people too. There is a real enabling power behind it that allows good people to change into better people.  I learned a little more about the depth of His sacrifice. That He really did feel everything, not only pain, but also happiness so that He could understand every flaw and every strength of our character. Its only through Him that we become like God. For my experience I shared the one with Gloria.  As I talked about it I started to cry, and as I looked up, he was crying too! Ive never seen him cry.  The spirit was so strong. He asked me to type the story and send it to him.  Of course he gave me the whole marriage/family talk and  lots of good advice. At the end he thanked me for the kind of missionary I have been, and told me that I have changed his and sister miller's life, and have truly served an honorable mission.
I also had to speak in church on Sunday. There was only two of us so I had to take up half of the meeting haha. Of course my topic was missionary work. I spoke on 3 ways that we can preach the gospel effectively as members: developing our own testimony, consecrating our life to God, and working with love.  It went pretty good! I am going to miss the Montana Vista ward dearly.  They have become my family. I mean ive been here 7 and a half months! 
This past week consisted of soooo much finding. We found another incredible family. The parents are Isabel and Pedro and they LOVE us.  Its funny because missionaries are basically like celebrities to members, but its rare that investigators fall in love with you that fast. They are taking me out to eat at a steakhouse before I leave haha. They call us their "angels" and told us that we bring such a beautiful spirit into their home. I love them so much. I think the hardest people to leave though is Monica and her kids.  This family has changed my life completely.  I want to come back for their baptism.  The father is presenting a lot of difficulties for them... so they haven't been able to come to church because of him.  They just have my heart. I hope to be a part of their lives forever.  
Im just so grateful for everything. Im so sad to end this but at the same time so happy to start this next "adventure chapter" as President says.  I cant wait to see you!!!!! I cant thank you enough for all the support you have given me. My life is different because of it. I Love God. I love my Savior. And I love this church. IT IS true. and I love all you so much. See you soon :)
Hermana Maxwell 

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