SURPRISE! I didn't think I would make it to the internet today, but I wanted to surprise you all. So here I am! =)
I'm comin' home, comin' home. Tell the world that I'm comin' home. :) I'm leaving here in an hour to go to the airport. Just wanted to write my LAST email!
So our trio, Hermana Cook, Hermana Tingey, and I, is called something special. They call us "Las 3 Nefitas". They as in whatever member of the church. Missionaries, members, etc. who don't even know eachother. It's just a natural thing to call us so amazing... um cause we are amazing! Nah, but seriously, how cute is that! Las 3 Nefitas. =) (see... https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/three-nephite-disciples?lang=eng)
Funny missionary thing: So per the church's system, I am not a missionary any more. I have not been for at least 2 weeks. (I have served for 19 months now; it makes sense.) I try to log into my missionary account to write President Wright my weekly letter or to put numbers in for our sector... nope, can't do it. SAD DAY! I am a missionary, for right now. Pahhlease. =( CHAU!
"Enchufate!" --- "Plug yourself in!". It's another saying like the one about the batteries. Hahaha. That was for you Bryan.
It's kinda cold here today in Chile. We're wearing jackets. Well let's be honest; it's not cold at all... we're just turning into Chileans. Haha. I don't mind at all though, it's at least preparing me a TINY bit before I come home.
This week has been full of emotional roller coasters and "lasts". I've cried, laughed, gotten angry and frustrated, etc. I did my last full time missionary procelyting day, last district class, last interview with President Wright, last prayers, last lessons, last emails, last talks, last .... Oh it was eventful to say the least. I couldn't have asked for a better ending as a full-time missionary and nurse in the Chile, Santiago East Mission. =)
We went to lunch with Dr. and Hermana Johnson. They took us to a Peruvian restaurant. YUM. Thankyou!!!
I know the gospel changes lives when we live it. It has mine. I have a fuller and clearer understanding of spiritual things like never before. The mission has taught me, amongst many other things, what I wasn't doing as a member and daughter of God before the mission. I lived the gospel superficially 19 months ago. Yes, I always tried to choose the right, bu that's just not enough. Also, I have seen a glimps more into knowing who my Savior is and what the Atonement really is all about. I have seen that: God knows everything, we need to trust Him, through Jesus Christ we are whole, and yes it is possible to be strictly obedient, depending on the desires of the heart and its respective actions. During these past 19 months, my spiritual eyes have been opened a little wider everyday as my soul has become more hungry for spiritual strength. I feel as though I am a sort of transplanted, spiritual tree. I left the USA with some kind of roots. I arrived to Chile with my roots dangling in the air. Not long after, those roots found soil, air, sun, water, etc. (a message of Jesus Christ and the restored gospel) and those weak roots then started to grow and support a deeper rooted spiritual tree. Now the time is coming for me to be uprooted again. However, I can't wait to see what the future has to hold!
There have been many tender prayers this past week on my behalf. Investigators who have prayed for the first time, to less actives remembering how to pray, to reactivating members, and to active members... in their prayers, they have included me, my travels, and my future life. How tender is that?! I think I might have the smoothest trip home with all these prayers here. I have received many gifts for the trip home and to share... we'll see how much of it fits in the suitcases. =)
"What Will You Choose?" is a great talk in the January 2015 Liahona by Elder Nelson. Go read it!!! I love the questions and comments it has. He states saving or exalting ourselves depends on our individual decisions and as we choose to access the power of the Lord's Atonement in our lives. Then he continues with these 8 questions and counsels. (1) Will you choose to increase in learning? - D&C 130:18-19 - Education is the difference between wishing you could help other people and being able to help them. (2) What manner of living will you choose? - 1 Timothy 4:12 - Choose to think and act differently than those of the world. Choose to look different, and see what an influence for good you will become. You can't be a life ever if you look like all the other swimmers on the beach. (3) Will you establish priorities to help you make your choices? - Matthew 6:33 - Your choices will not all be between good and evil. Many will be choices between two good options. Choose eternal life as your highest priority! (4) With whom will you associate? - You know that the consequences for not playing by the rules are not only temporal but also eternal. (5) Will you choose freedom or bondage? - 2 Peter 2:18-19 - Avoid bondage. None are smart enough to outwit the adversary on their own once they have been poisoned by pornography. It is as destructive as leprosy, as addictive as meth, and a corrosive as lye. (6) Will you choose to follow the Lord or the philosophies of men? - Carefully study "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" and 2 Timothy 3:15 - Your faith in Jesus Christ and His gospel will give you the courage to marry and to bring children into your family. Study the scriptures and keep doing the things thy build your faith in Jesus Christ. (7) How will you prepare for your personal interview with the Savior? - Alma 34:32 - Each day on earth gives you time and opportunity to prepare for that interview with Jesus Christ. Please know this: as you choose to live on the Lord's side, you are never alone. (8) In whom will you put your trust? - 2 Nephi 28:31 - Maintain your focus on His holy temple. Remain faithful to those covenants and return frequently. I love our prophet and apostles! They are inspired men with the power of God and a special communication with Christ for His church. May we choose to be a light to the world and always remember who we are (D&C 86:8-11).
Speaking of light... we finally ran into Martin after a month absence! We talked about light, true light, in this life. He states it is difficult for him to want a 24/7 light in his life (the joy, happiness, and blessings which come by living the gospel principles) because fireworks seem more appealing and more fun. Understandable right? We talked about how fireworks don't last and usually leave you in darkness; however, a turned on light with electricity attached is always there. We talked about how we always need the constant light in our lives and that fireworks are not bad as long as we are keeping the commandments. By the end of the lesson, he stated he needs to stop looking for and wanting so many fireworks because he can't see the constant light in his life. He expressed concerns that he is losing his faith because he has recently inplugged his light from the electricty socket. There is truly something special about that kid. I pray he will see the worth of this gospel and of himself, as well as remember to doubt his doubts before he doubts his faith. That 15 year old is like a little brother to me. On Wednesday after my last lesson with him, he attacked me with the biggest, most sincere bear hug in the world. As he laid his head on my shoulder for a second, said goodbye and that we'd see eachother again, and left extremely fast right after, I felt as though I was leaving a brother behind. I know my work with him is not over; I love him too much to give up on him from Maine. Thank goodness for technology. I wrote him a letter this past Thursday; I hope it will be something he likes.
After 19 months in Chile, two days before I come home, I totally heard a Mariachi Band!! We were contacting this really nice lady and all the sudden 3 guys all dressed up with HUGE sombreros and instruments (there was this massive guitar that sat on this guy's big belly, a regular guitar, and a trumpet) came walking up to the house across the street. And then they began... singing and playing till their hearts were content with the people dancing. They even made my toes start tappin'. =) It was a fun experience out in the middle of the street.
Speaking of Chile. I'm gonna miss something else. All of the people who sing terribly, but sing anyway. Sometimes it just hurts the ears. But with time, you get used to singing over the top of it. Haha.
Another young man story: Esteban. 16 years old. We're at the temple last week, Hermana Tingey and me, and are waiting for the other Hermanas to come so we can have Hermana Cook back from divisions. Immediately as we come out of the door, I see a kid standing over across from the temple just looking at the building. I had no idea what he was doing. I thought maybe he was thinking about entering and I realized he didn't have dress clothes on. I thought maybe he wanted to know more about the temple, but was shy. I thought... a lot... and after ignoring the thought of going to see him for a few minutes, I just went for it. Weird or not I just walked up to him and asked what he was doing. He said he was waiting for his grandmother to come out of the temple for the past hour and a half. I talked with him about why he had never been able to enter the temple. He stated that he doesn't go to church every Sunday because he doesn't have a way to get there. He lives 7 kilometers from the chapel on dirt roads and has no way to get there other than by foot. He said he has a motorcycle, but it's nonfunctional. So we set some goals for him to go to church on Sunday, to fix his motorcycle, to get himself to the temple this year, 2015. It was the coolest contact I've had in a long time. To have just come out of the temple, see him standing there looking at the temple, to feel the need to talk to him, to testify of the importance of going to the temple, and tell him of the feelings I had just felt ... It was a precious moment for me. I gave him my name for Facebook and also my email. I hope to hear from him and to know he's achieved his goal.
I had my last district class! Wow. I feel like I honestly just got into the routine and now I'm leaving it all. Ya anyway, it was a fun district class. Elder Silva said being that it was my last class that I was to lead it. And I totally had a part of the class to teach. I thought about faith, rectitude vs. obedience, and how to prepare ourselves for the promptings of the Spirit. It was a fun class to teach. I love teaching! Also, before I left the chapel, the entire zone sang me a goodbye hymn. :) Ahhh.
I read this in the Gospel Principles Manual this past week.
"The Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith that missionaries would receive great blessings. Speaking to elders who were returning from their missions, the Lord said, “Ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you” (D&C 62:3). He has also said that those who work for the salvation of others will have their sins forgiven and will bring salvation to their own souls (see D&C 4:4; 31:5; 84:61)."
Like Elder Rasmussen said I hope my name and testimony are written on a bigscreen in the heavens, not just a small one.
I have three words to describe how I am feeling right now... content, hopeful, and scared. I think that covers it all. Haha.
Love you all.
See you all tomorrow! Can you believe it? Cause I can't.
Hermana Talbot (Hermana...for the last time)
P.S. Remember Hyman's Seafood Motto: "The longer I live the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have ... and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our ATTITUDE." - Chuck Swindoll.