Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014 - 77 weeks down and one to go!

My dear friends and family,

November birthdays at Zone Conference
1) Thank you for reading these letters for the past year and a half. I really do appreciate all support, love, prayers, and the general care and attention paid to the little and big things I shared with you. Thank you all so much.

2) This is my last letter to you all. Sunday night I will take an overnight bus to Rome then Monday I won't really have email time, and then Tuesday I'

Departing Testimony

3) This mission was nothing like what I thought it was going to be, and it was nothing I could have really prepared for in a certain sense. I mean that there was nothing I could have done in the months leading up to my mission that would have prepared me for it, but rather the only real preparation to be done for a mission is living the gospel every day of your life and listening to the Spirit of God that tells you to do good, and then trying to do good and become the best you can be, in every way. And then when you get to the mission, it turns out that it is just a continuation of that life style, just with some very different activities. But you are still trying to be your best and to live the gospel without shame, like the apostles of old, and to hold on to every good thing and to fight off temptation. And it is still not easy! But it is not our work that we are doing. It is the Lord's work, and we are here for the ride. He does not need us to do His work in order for Him to accomplish His great and eternal purposes. But, WE need to do His work in order for us to accomplish OUR eternal purposes, to become like Him and to be ready to meet Him. We need to serve missions so much more than He needs us to serve missions. It is about so much more than being obedient to a law, to only giving handshakes to men, or to being home at 9. It is about turning your heart to God in a way that is so irreversible that you want to do all you can to obey anything He tells you, because you know how happy you will BOTH be if you can do it. Of COURSE missions are hard. You are rooting out a natural man or woman that has been inside of you for so long, and trying to help others do it too, others that may be so far ahead of or behind you in their spiritual progression or in their relationship with God. But you have to keep trying, and when you fail, you have to try again. The only time you really fail is when you stop trying, when you give up completely and feel that you can never do it, that you will never be good enough. But God has never been concerned with the amount that we give Him, He is only concerned that it is our all. He asks our WHOLE heart, no matter how big or small we feel it is. I guess I just learned and am learning a lot about His love and mercy, and what it really means that He is my Father. I am just so grateful I came. I am SO grateful that I came, and stayed. I am grateful for my changing heart, for the love that I feel, for the passion for the word of God, I'm grateful for my desire to work and to learn, for the relationships I have established, for the lives that changed, and for the time that we are given. I am just so grateful. 
Malta/Catania Zone Conference - November 28, 2014

4) I am excited to see all of you. I will be home in a week, and that is just so weird. I will say that it has not really hit me yet, and it feels like just another transfer. I guess that is probably normal. People keep asking me how I feel. I feel GREAT! I am so excited!!! I won't get sad till I get on the plane, and then I will probably cry a ton, but until then, I am just really excited. 

5) I love you all. I really can't say that enough. I just love you guys so much. 

6) See ya next week!

Sorella Patterson

Training at Zone Conference

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