October 13, 2014
Wow. I really can’t believe it. My last e-mail as a missionary. Honestly I still don’t know what to think or feel right now. This week was an absolute blur with mission P-day, lots of lessons and tracting, and the opportunity to visit the people in Cidade Vargas for a few hours. I loved this week so much. It was hard at times and my poor companion must think I am absolutely crazy because of my mood swings up the wazoo, but it was perfect.
Here are a few quick highlights:
· Ronaldo finally accepted a firm baptismal date! He will get baptized this next Sunday. I was a little bummed I won’t be there, but it was a huge testimony builder to me that we have to accept the Lord's timing and not our own.
· We had a cool experience that I really loved this week. Sister Barraza and I were walking and talking to people on the street and we ran into an Irma in our ward. She was talking about how she was on her way to work to care for an older woman and visit with the family there. We asked her if they would be interested in learning more about our message and she said come and visit with me right now! We went with her and it was AWESOME!! Seriously such a cool family and such a neat experience. We taught them two times last week and the Spirit was so strong. The second time we visited, the woman we taught invited other people to listen to our message about the restoration and all of them felt the Spirit so strong. It was a huge blessing at the end of my mission and I loved seeing how members help us out in the work so much!
· And this week I loved reflecting about the things I have learned in this short eighteen months. Seriously it passed by so fast (like a dream--hence the title from Jacob 7:26). I really can’t believe it’s already ending. I am not perfect, but my mission was perfect for me. The circumstances, the people, the difficulties, everything helped me come unto Christ and experience the atonement more fully in my life. It was just what I needed to help me prepare to be the disciple Christ needs in these last days. I feel happy about everything that happened. I feel happy about the service I rendered. I feel sad I have to leave (The other night I had a pathetic moment after nightly planning when I was sweeping our quintal and crying by myself. Sister Barraza said, “What’s wrong, Sister Dixon?” and I said “Sister Barraza, I just realized I will never have another opportunity to invite someone else to be baptized again” in between my tears haha I am an emotional wreck right now) but I know it’s my time to apply what I learned and keep learning about this wonderful plan God has for me.
But, in other news, I finished the Book of Mormon in Portuguese this morning! I have been reading it ever since I got here in Brazil and it was fitting I had the chance to finish today during morning studies. The Book of Mormon is true. There is no doubt about it. It’s the reason I am here, and it’s the thing that will help me stay strong for the rest of my life. As I pondered about the Book of Mormon this morning, I thought about lessons I learned during my mission and from the Book of Mormon and I thought I would share a few:
· Helaman 3:7--Lesson: It’s always important to have a Plan B.
· Moroni 9:6--Lesson: Diligence is vital. We only have our short lives to serve the Lord, and one day we will rest in His kingdom. I think before my mission I was borderline lazy but I feel as though I have truly learned about the value of hard work. Whenever I felt sad, tired, or bummed out on my mission, hard work always cured me.
· Mosiah 3:13--Lesson: We need prophets. The Book of Mormon testifies over and over about the role of prophets and how much we need them in our lives. I am so grateful we have a prophet in our day and age and I know Thomas S. Monson is here to help us come unto Christ.
· Alma 5:33--Lesson: Repentance is a blessing. I used to think repentance was only for the really big sins, but during my mission, I learned repentance should be a daily process that will help us become better and more qualified servants of Christ. I learned repentance truly does bring peace into our lives.
· Alma 34:41--Lesson: Patience has become one of the most important attributes of Christ to me. I learned patience is hard, but trusting in God’s plan will ultimately give us more happiness and peace in our lives. I learned God has many blessings in store for us if we just wait.
· Alma 55:8-14--Lesson: Alcohol is bad (self explanatory).
· 3 Nephi 11:15--Lesson: The Atonement is personal and we can have our own personal and intimate relationships with Christ. He heals us one by one.
· Alma 37:44/Helaman 3:29-30--Lesson: The word of God changes people and is so so so powerful. I have seen hearts, attitudes, and people change through the power of the word of God.
· Moroni 10:4-5--Lesson: The Book of Mormon is true.
· Alma 8:14-15--Lesson: Sometimes we feel down, but God will always send us blessings to help us feel better. The most important thing is our own personal change and growth, and Heavenly Father focuses on the fact that we are trying our best.
· 1 Nephi 1:20--Lesson: Focusing on the tender mercies of the Lord will always help us feel better about our circumstances and help us continue being righteous.
· Alma 34:8-9--Lesson: Without the atonement, we would be lost and confused.
· Moroni 8:25-26--Lesson: Baptism and covenants bring blessings into our lives. I saw many people who received many blessings through the covenant of baptism.
· Mosiah 18:30--Lesson: We have a deep love for where we served our missions. Brazil and Michigan are so beautiful to me and I love these places and people more than I can express.
· Mormon 9:15--Lesson: Miracles still happen.
· Mosiah 2:41--Lesson: Obedience is so so important. We will be happy and blessed when we are obedient. I think the biggest triumph of my mission is to say I always strived to be obedient!
· Mosiah 3:7-8--Lesson: Jesus is the Christ and He lives and loves us!! I know He truly is our Savior and Redeemer and is here to help us return to God’s presence. I love my Savior.
And these are only a few of the wonderful lessons I learned. I know that this Church is true and that Joseph Smith really did see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know that God’s plan is perfectly difficult in order to help us grow and develop the attributes of Christ. I know that the atonement is real.
I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to serve my mission and learn and grow. It has been truly wonderful.
I love you all and thanks for the support and encouraging words!!