So this week I finished one year as a missionary! And it feels the same haha. But, anyway, we celebrated by painting rocks and eating papaya, so it was a good day. I've been thinking about the last 12 months of my life, so....here's some things I've learned!
12 Things I've Learnedas a Missionary:
1. God is our Loving Heavenly Father. I"ve felt so much closer to my Heavenly Father in this time, and felt His love so much, and seen His love for the people here, and His tender mercies.
2. The Gospel Blesses Families. There is such a difference in a family who lives the gospel principles, who prayers together and reads together and goes to church, than the families who don't. And that's why we really have the gospel...so we can achieve happiness as families in this life, and be able to be with them throughout eternity. God has such a beautiful plan for all His children!
3. Heavenly Father Reveals His gospel in Every Dispensation....haha well yeah. I've studied and understood more that. but that's not something I've really learned haha
3. Hair grows. But sometimes really really slowly. so be really really careful before chopping off a lot of hair
4. It's completely fine to eat rice and beans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And it actually is enjoyable...now if I don't eat rice for a day I feel like something is really missing in my life
5. Also, it's totally normal to eat rice and beans with spaghetti. or with potatoes. And eating all three together is super normal too. who needs vegetables....
6. The people of Costa Rica are so wonderful!! I have felt so, so much love from people that I've only known for a few months, or even just days. I love Ticos. They're pretty pura vida.
7. Sloths are the cutest animals. And lizards are a close second.
8. The Church is true!!! and it's growing. Hearts of people are being prepared every day, and the Lord literally puts people in our path. The field truly is white, and ready to harvest.
9. It feels like Christmas every time we get the new Liahona every month,
10. Spanish. well. mas o menos. I sure try at least!;)
11. People have their agency. And sometimes they use it in not the best of ways. And it can be really, really hard to realize that. The hardest part of the mission isn't leaving your family, or learning a new language. It's heartbreaking when people you love say that they're not coming to go back to the church, that they don't want to hear more about the gospel. This week that happened with Marvin and Marcela....and it was really, really sad. But it's okay. Because I have faith that one day two missionaries will knock on their door and this time they'll accept! I know that the time is different for every person, every family.
12. And...people have their agency! and lots of times they use it to make wonderful decisions!! :) And there is so, so much joy in seeing people change their lives, feel the Spirit, receive answers to their prayers. The First Presidency Message at the beginning of Preach My Gospel says, "More happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among His children." And, a year ago, I didn't understand that statement at all, and I don't know if I really believed in it! But now I know. There is so much joy in sharing the gospel. And I have been happier this year than ever in my life. I know that this is the work of the Lord, that the gospel brings so much happiness to our lives. and I am so so grateful for the choice I made in serving a mission. It's changed my life, and I have felt so much joy and love for my Heavenly Father and His children.
And....yeah! sorry the list is kinda random I don't really have time to write it well haha. but yeah. things really are great here. And I hope everyone has a wonderful week!! :)
Love, Hermana Moon!