Tuesday, September 01, 2015

My Final Epistle

I probably won't have time to email next Tuesday, September 1st, as I will have my departing interview and dinner with President and Sister Stevens.

Dear Family and Friends,

The time has come to say goodbye to this wonderful people on this other side of the globe. I have grown to love them so much and I have learned a lot from them. They will always hold a special place in my heart and forever will be part of my life. I won't miss the mission just because I have served here in England but because of them. Remember, it's not about the geography. It is about our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is about inviting everyone to come unto the Saviour.

Time flies by so quick. There are lots of things that I have learned, things I could have done better and things that I really love doing in missionary work. This past months has been the best eighteen months for my life. I know that the things that I have experienced here will shape me to be the person I need to be, the person that God wants me to be.

This poem that I've found summarises my feelings right now:

They told me this would be..."The best years of my life";
But I guess they didn't make it all that clear
I came out looking for a bed of roses;
Not expecting all the thorns found here.
A mission is a strange experience;
It's a trial and a test.
A mission throws at you the worst,
Yet it teaches you the best.
 I've never been so happy;
 I've never been so depressed;
 I've never felt so forsaken;
 I've never been so blessed.
 I've never felt the Lord so distant;
 I've never felt Him so near.
         I've never been so discouraged;
         I've never felt so much hope;
 I've felt I could go on forever;
 I've hung on to the end of my rope.
 I've never had it so easy;
 I've never had it so tough.
 Things have never gone so smoothly;
 Things have never been so rough;
  I've never travelled through more valleys,
  I've never reached so many peaks;
  I've never met so many great people;
  I've never seen so many freaks;
  I've never had so many ups;
  I've never had so many downs;
  I've never worn so many smiles;
  I've never worn so many frowns;
  I've never been so lonely;
  I've never had so many friends;

  Man, I hope this is over soon;
  Gosh, I hope it never ends.

As I served full-time, I grew closer with my Maker and with the Saviour. I have had so many spiritual experiences that are too sacred to share, but this I know, He lives! Like the Prophet Joseph Smith said, “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of Him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of Him: That He lives!” (D&C 76:22)

I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living church upon the face of the earth that is “built upon the foundation of apostles, prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.  (Ephesians 2:20)

I know that The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel. As I read it alongside with the Holy Bible, I develop a strong relationship with the Deity. Through it, I know who I really am, who I can become and how can I be with my family forever.

I also developed a testimony of the power of prayer. It is so real! You get what you ask for. And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you. (3 Nephi 18:20) I have never prayed so much in my life until I came here in the field. But through it, miracles happened, hard hearts have been softened, testimonies have been wrought, most importantly people have come to the waters of baptism!

"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land [England London Mission], for which we will praise his name forever." (Alma 26:12)

This eighteen months will forever be remembered, these people will not be forgotten. Mission is hard, no doubt about it. It's a hard work BUT it is worth it!

Brothers and sisters, adieu.

Sister Ordanza

I jinxed the weather last week!

Yeah, I think the subject line sums it all up! Lol, we had thunder
storms and really heavy rain the whole week. ☔️⚡️💦💧

Dear Family and Friends,

Oh well... Anyways! Our week was normal! We had a zone conference
which was so good and so spiritual. We focused so much our trainings
on member-missionary work and the doctrinal topic was the sacrament.
It was so sick! I love it so much! Sister Stevens, as most of you
know, worked in the General Primary Presidency, so she made us sang
Primary songs. It was great! It was funny though because she said she
can't sing but President Stevens prior to his calling as our mission
president was a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! 👌🏽

A day after that, we were invited by the stake president to have a
dinner at his home. (Side note: We have lunch and dinner appointments
everyday to every members house, man, I am gaining so much weight it's
not even funny...) Anyways, the spirit was so strong in that house!!
We've been receiving referrals from the members.

I can see how the Lord protects His missionaries, how we have angels
on our side, because we were in an area around 20:30, we lost track of
the time as we were busy talking to people ( also, it was still light
as if it was in the afternoon) so we were there late and during that
time bus services weren't regular. We waited for ages in the bus stop
and the bus didn't come and we really needed to be in our flat by
21:00. We prayed and after a minute someone pulled over and motioned
us to get on and it was the member of the bishopric and his wife! We
got home safely and on the dot. Phew!

Can I just tell you how much I love the Bueno family, the Brazilian
family that I included in the photos I've sent the previous week?! I
just love them so much. They have us over every Sunday and they feed
us every time the traditional Brazilian food! 👌🏽👌🏽👌🏽
They also referred us to their friends, another Brazilian family. This
coming Sunday, we are going to cook for them from appetiser, main meal
to dessert! 😄
Oh, I forgot to tell you that we've been cooking the whole week for
members. Sister Chou is a great cook! I'm getting better on making the
graham cake. Be proud. 👊🏽👏🏽😆

I love you all!

~Sister Ordanza

Huge shout out to Sister Mussman's Mum, Carol, who reads my blog!!!
(Sister Mussman told me last week 😀) Her first area was in Canterbury
which was my second area. She is now with Sister Mekonnen, my last
born! Wohooo!

Some of the PDay photos we took last week

Just a random day in the car park

We found this today.
Lol, this is so true! (That's how they speak in King's Lynn)

One of my favourite young women in King's Lynn visited last week!

Because we love matching outfits....

Our family tree. Lol (So glad to see Sister Mekonnen in our zone conference!)

 We love baking and cooking!!!

Sisters serving in Ipswich and Colchester zones!