Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Final Countdown

Hello Everyone!!
The final moments are coming and it is pushing us to do even more and more. We are still pushing our goal of inviting thousands and baptizing many. Unfortunately, people are having a hard time coming to sacrament meeting (which is such a fundamental step in the learning and growing process) so I will not get to be here for their baptisms. But its all okay because one day it will happen when they are ready and in the Lord's timing. Why stress about things you can't control?
This is an exciting but bittersweet time for me. I am reflecting on all of the things I have learned from friends, investigators, companions and leaders. Lately I have been reflecting on the time I have spent as a missionary serving here. I have come to realize that I have been very blessed to see many different aspects of missionary work. I have seen what it is like to unmotivated and motivated leaders and learned from both. I have been able to teach and find many and help prepare them for baptism and confirmation. I have come to learn to love the Lord's Work and rely on Him through prayer and guidance of the Spirit. I have learned to love the Albanian culture and its people. I have learned to accept my weaknesses and have humility. I have learned how to lead and how to be led. I have seen sorrow and success. And greatest of all, I have become converted to this Gospel and will never falter. I count this as my first and most important convert in the Church.
There have been so many things that I have learned that I never thought could or would happen. I do not remember much from my blessing when I was set apart to be a missionary and that makes me sad but I do remember the words Dad said. He told me that I would not return the same person I was when I left. I remember laughing inside to myself a bit because I thought I was good enough as I was. I now laugh even more to myself when I realize how much I needed to change and how far I still have to go. His words have been prophetic and I am so grateful for the change I have seen in myself and in others around me. 
Today I want to close with my simple testimony that I know this is the Work of the Lord. His Spirit testifies and witnesses this of this to me everyday. Even though the going is tough from time to time, if we stop we can always see the Hand of the Lord guiding us along. I know that Christ lives and that He is our Savior and Redeemer. He loves us and has provided the Way for us to return to live with our Heavenly Father. It's all true and it all points us back to our divine home on high.
Love you all!!
Motra Hawkins

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