"Final Vermobster squad rap album cover. This can be posted on Facebook"
Hello and Happy Monday friends and family (and Martin Luther King Jr. day for my American friends). This is the last time I will address you all in a mass email with my myldsmail.net email and I truly don't know what to say. This has been one of the best weeks I had as a missionary and I can't wait to share it with you all. But I need to say thank you to everyone who has ever supported me through this journey be it a kind word through an email, a letter in the mail, a meal on a rough day, or text/call of encouragement (obviously from the people who I serve with out here). I would not have been able to make it these past eighteen and a half months in a place of the world and even country that I would have never put myself in. Before I came here I thought Northern New England seemed like the least warm, least exciting, and least fruitful place to serve a mission, and there were times out here when I would allow myself to believe that. But through the Atonement and love of Jesus Christ, which often made itself manifest through the loving charity and works of others I have come to make New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont my home. It will always be another home for me because the memories I made here will always remind me of our loving Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ and how blessed I am to be a part of their church. There are many reasons I titled this email "Stronger", the first one being I really have no idea, it just felt right. Everything about this mission has made me stronger, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. My testimony of Jesus Christ and His restored church has been strengthened. I know whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger, and sometimes I did feel like something was going to in some way kill me. But I am stronger, and just to wrap up my testimony of my mission I know that it is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we can all be made stronger. This mission is just one example of that. And I know things can keep getting better as I trust in Him and turn to Him.
But as for this last week, like I said Sister Clegg and I worked very hard to make it the best ever! We had so many miracles happen that made me so happy to stick through it til the end! Our friend we have been working with and trying to help progress came to church yesterday! She hadn't been my entire time here and I could tell it gave her the energy she had been telling us she has needed all week and even month. We were able to teach her twice this week with members present, once with an actual member there and another time where we had a member call in. The member shared her testimony of the Book of Mormon over the phone and it was SO POWERFUL. It was probably the most spiritual testimony I have ever heard shared and I was so glad we used what we had to get a member there creatively.
We also had the stellar and spontaneous opportunity to have a FaceTime call with another friend (the one if you remember who was hoping to be baptized in Utah but he found out it wasn't that easy) while he was visiting a member's house 20 miles away from the church where we "taught" him. It was so cool! He has been around the church for 30 years and he now set a date to enter the waters of baptism in April and we are so excited we were able to set that with him through our iPads. He'll be going to church next week to so it will be official. Thanks technology!
Wrap up miracle: We had a teaching opportunity come from a member who invited his friend and his family to learn and he said yes! His wife wasn't able to come Saturday but we were able to teach him a bit at the member's home and testify of the role of the Book of Mormon and how it will bless his family. He asked if we could meet again with his wife so we are really excited to see where this is going. He also closed the lesson with a prayer in Hebrew which was really cool.
We were also able to find someone who gave us total New England directions when we met him in one of the snow storms a few weeks ago. "It's a blue/gray house up the road with a big front yard". Oh yeah, we totally know where that is... We didn't but we hunted for it for twenty minutes just hiking up the road and somehow we ended up on this hill with apartment buildings. We asked the woman at the door if she knew anyone by the name he had given us and she said No but as we turned around we saw across the street and down the hill was this little gray/blue house with a big yard. So we ran (well, kinda, it was icy so we kinda face walked/slid) to this house and he answered the door and was just so glad we had taken the time to find him. We gave him a Book of Mormon and committed him to read the introduction by next week. Cool finding experience.
Non-proselyting things though: Monday Sister Clegg and I had steak and tots in honor of our love for Napoleon Dynamite. Wednesday I took my death picture. May I just say my district is the best because when I texted them Wednesday morning it was going to be Clue themed they all went with it (well, the Montpelier Elders more than others). Thursday I had my exit interview with President Blair. I love him and Sister Blair so much! And we had stake coordination in Essex so we had to take the last Vermobster Squad photo. Friday we helped at Days for Girls again. The Montpelier Elders also had their car hit last week so we were in a car share with them for a bit until they got their loaner car AKA SALLY FROM SACO. She was already at the mission office to be sold because she is over 50,000 miles BUT WOO SALLY made a cameo for my last week! Saturday we had seven lessons and ALL OF THEM FOLLOWED THROUGH. And yesterday was just a really good and saying good bye to the members here was hard but no tears!
In summary, this last week has been fantastic. These last eighteen and a half months have been great. I will love and miss New England, but you know what? Rogue One and 60 degree weather will be pretty nice too. I love and miss you all and pray you have A GREAT upcoming week!
"Steak and tot dinner"
"I always hold their dogs in the lessons"
"Us at Ashley's house"
"Breakfast Monster crepe at the Skinny Pancake"
"Brother Sypher let us borrow his leather jacket so we had to have a photo shoot"
"Who doesn't love the rainbow bat of Batman"
"Not as good death photo"
"Best death photo
"Official death photo"
"More inside jokes"
"Sister Calya is a sweetie"
"Us at the garage where we got our oil changed"
"Sally in Vermont"
"Pretty scenery in East Montpelier"
"She's pretending she's floating weightlessly surrounded by tiny baby sea horses"
Brother Sypher was so sweet to send these pictures to Mom
"I get to be by Sister Daughety on Brother Sypher's board!"