Oh my goodness! I cannot believe that this is the last email I will be sending home and that I only have a few more days as Søster Taylor. This has been the most amazing journey I have ever been on and I wouldn't trade it for the world! I am dying just thinking about getting on a plane tomorrow to fly to Oslo for my departure interview with President Evans and then back to the states on Wednesday. It has gone by so fast...
The past couple of days have been really hard and really good all at the same time. I experienced my last Sacrament Meeting in Norwegian yesterday and was given the opportunity to bear my testimony. During the intermediate hymn, I just cried and cried- it was amazing and I just knew that these people are my brothers and sisters. I love this country and I love these people. It is going to kill me to leave! However, I know I have done my part here. I am so incredibly grateful for the time I have had to serve the Lord in this part of His vineyard. It has truly been an honor! I am so incredibly grateful for all of your support and your prayers. I have felt the strength that comes from them.
Remember this scripture? Alma 29:9
I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
It is the scripture I decided to put on my plaque. I read it again it again this morning and it is more true today than it was when I first chose it. This was not my mission, it was the Lord's and so I cannot take the glory. The glory goes to Him. He sent me here and I was merely His instrument. That, my friends has been the greatest honor! He has trusted me enough to help some of His choice children to come into the gospel. As I continued reading this chapter in the Book of Mormon, verse 10 struck me. It says:
And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.
Being able to see these precious souls come unto Christ has reminded me of how blessed I am to be a member of this church and to have the heritage that I do. The Lord has truly been merciful towards me! He has heard every prayer that has been expressed, vocally or in my heart and I He has helped me all along the way. Yes, my full-time mission is almost over, but now I have the opportunity and obligation to take what I have learned here and use it more fully in my life. That I am excited for! I cannot wait to be a better member of the church and continue doing the Lord's work just in different ways!
There are things I will desperately miss here. To name a few:
- Speaking Norwegian 24-7 or throwing Norwegian words into English sentences and having people understand
- Meet cakes, boiled potatoes, stewed peas and brown sauce
- Amazing public transportation
- Beautiful scenery everywhere you turn
- My new converts
- Those stalwart members who keep the truth rolling forth
Best year and a half of my life! I will never forget it!
A final update on our fantastic investigators- our twin brothers both have baptismal dates! One for the first of December and the other for the 8th. They are so amazing! The ward just loves them and they are enjoying feeling the Spirit when they pray. They were atheists like 2-3 weeks ago! It truly is a miracle to see the changes they are making in their lives. I am honored to have been able to meet with them!
Oh how I love this work! And oh how I love you as well! I am excited to see you all real soon here... I can't believe it is already that time! :) See you in a few! :)
♥- Søster Taylor
P.S. So I will be flying to Oslo tomorrow morning to spend the day. I'll sleep at the mission home and then head to the airport bright and early Wednesday morning. We'll see you at 9pm!!! :)