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.

Cheerio,
Sister Ordanza

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