Monday, December 28, 2015

The Miracle of a Mission

Well, this is it. 

If you're reading this, know that I love you! You've been reading these emails for a while now, I'm impressed! And I'm really grateful for your love and support. It means a lot. So thanks for reading along and being with me these past 18 months. It has been the best. :) 

I have been staring at the computer screen for a while now... trying to decide what to say haha. 

I feel like this past week and these past 18 months have been a dream!
 It has gone by way too fast, but it has been wonderful.
 I never cease to be amazed at the miracles that happen in the mission field.
 It is so exciting and it is so fun to be there to witness them, first hand. 

We saw so many miracles this week and I had so much fun. We had Christmas conference where I was filled with the Spirit and my heart was so happy, spent Christmas and Christmas Eve surrounded by some of my favorite people on the planet reflecting on the life and love of the Savior, knocked doors, street contacted, testified, and just tried to soak up every minute

I had my exit interview with President Wilson yesterday!
It was a bit unconventional because he usually does them at the church, but he offered to drive me down to Richmond before I leave and so we had the interview in the car on the 2 hour drive down to Richmond.
 It was such a blessing to sit across from such a great man and hear his wisdom and council and love. He has blessed my life so much and I will always remember sitting in that car with him and him grabbing my hand and telling me how we will always be best friends.
 I have learned so much from him about what it means to give everything to the Lord.
 To hold nothing back. And to follow your dreams. 

I spent last night and am spending today with the STL's in Chippenham! My very first area! Yay!
 It was so happy.
 Last night we went to VCU and went contacting and I just felt so at home. :) 
It brought back so many memories of myself as a brand new missionary 
taking on the streets of downtown Richmond. 
I didn't know how many happy times were ahead! Its so funny how the Lord brings everything full circle. We taught 3 lessons to random strangers and all I could do was jump at every opportunity I had to bare testimony of the Restored Gospel. I know that it is true. 

That is most precious knowledge I've gained these past 18 months.
 I know that this work is His work. I know that God loves us! 
It amazes me that Heavenly Father knew exactly the mission that I needed, the companions I needed, the struggles I needed, and the miracles I needed in order to grow. He knows us.  

I haven't been perfect, boy have a discovered my weaknesses! Haha :)
 But even though I didn't deserve it, He let me be His missionary.
 He let me come along and experience for myself His goodness and strength and grace. 

In Zechariah 13:9 it says, "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God."  

Missions aren't easy, they are a refining fire. Someone shared this quote from a missionary with me recently and I really love it, it says:

"Through this fire, He heals us.
 He healed me from my pride by letting me fail miserably. 
He healed me of my lack of faith by driving me to my knees, and then answering my prayers when I called on His name. 
He healed me of my disobedience by withdrawing His Spirit, but promising to forgive me and take me back if I would change.
 He brought me into the sanctifying fire of the Holy Ghost, and cauterized as many of the wounds of my broken heart and contrite spirit as I’d be willing to put on the altar."

I am always reminded of the promise in Ether that says, "...if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

But even as you learn of your weaknesses, and fall short, and are rejected, and are in that refining fire, there is a sacred and almost tangible joy.
 I have never been so happy.
 I still don't know how that happens, but I'm grateful for it haha :) 

I've been reflecting a lot on miracles lately and the miracles I've seen on my mission. I've seen so many in the lives of my investigators and the people I've met. Things that I never thought would happen or work out or ever be possible happened. And that was amazing! But even with all of those things, I honestly think the greatest miracle I have witnessed these past 18 months was the miracle within myself

I have felt His love and I have felt the Spirit work in me. That has been the greatest testimony builder so far. That through Him, any heart can change. Including my own. 

In the talk, "The Miracle of a Mission" by Elder Jeffery R. Holland, he says: 

"I've been your age and you haven't been mine, but I do remember what it was like to sit here and have dreams and fears and hopes and wonder, wonder if you were about to do it, wonder if you'd be happy, wonder if you would work hard, wonder if you could succeed. Now, 38 years and one month later, I tell you that it was the most important thing that ever happened to me in my life, that it's brought so many blessings that have now become important and now take their place in my life, but which would not have happened, I'm absolutely confident they would not have happened, if it had not been for the privilege of a mission." 

I know that my mission will forever be a part of me. I won't wear a name tag every day or go tracting every day, but I will always be His servant. And I will never be the same. 

I'm so sad to leave Virginia. Wow, do I love it here so much! It will always be sacred ground to me. But I am so grateful that I was able to be a missionary here in the Virginia Richmond Mission. I can't wait to see what the future holds and the blessings that are ahead! He has gotten me this far and I know He will continue to lead me. :) 

Alma 26:35 "Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name."

Thanks for all of your support and emails and packages and cards and love. You're all wonderful. 

Its been the best. 

I love Virginia. I love my Heavenly Father and I love my Savior. I love being a missionary. 

I'll see you soon! 

XOXO, Sister Fowers 

The happiest week!

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