Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Farewell to Michigan

Saying goodbye

April 28, 2014

Well I am heading to Brazil tomorrow!  I really cannot believe it is actually happening.  President Hess called last Thursday (which happened to be my one-year mark on my mission--cool coincidence, huh?) and let me know I will be leaving on Tuesday.  We are flying from Lansing to Detroit and then from Detroit all the way down to Brazil with no stops.  Wish me luck!

It's been a crazy weekend getting everything ready and seeing everyone before I leave.  I am really excited but also so sad.  I have come to love Michigan and Michiganders with all my heart so it has been really an emotional time.  I will probably sound dramatic this whole e-mail but oh well...

I keep reading and rereading Mosiah 18:30 because it is EXACTLY how I feel right now:
“And now it came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever.”

However, whenever I read it I replace Michigan for Mormon...The place of Michigan, the waters of Michigan, the forest of Michigan, how beautiful are they to me who there came to the knowledge of my Redeemer.  In my journal this week I wrote: 

"It has been wonderful to see the people here that I love and reflect on how much they have changed me on my mission.  I feel like I am leaving a different person than I came.  I have experienced hardships and trials here, but I have also experienced miracles.  I am more sensitive to the piercing feelings of the Holy Ghost.  My testimony has been hurt at times, but has been nursed back by the word of God and become stronger than ever before.  I have made friendships that will last for a lifetime and for an eternity.  It's heartwrenching to feel like I may never see these people again.  I love them so much because they have aided me on my journey to conversion.  Michigan has become sacred ground to me because it was here that I experienced the reality of the atonement and felt its power in my life.  I know my Savior is there and He loves me.  I know I was allowed to be here for a divine and specific purpose."
Next e-mail will be from the MTC in Brazil!  It's like I am starting a whole new mission.  I am really nervous but Elder Gardner and Bruce gave me a blessing last night that brought so much peace to my heart and mind.  I won't be a Michiganary for too much longer, but I know it's time to embark on this grand new adventure!

Sister Dixon

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