The Best Decision I Ever Met

‘Well, this last week has been quite a trip. But the funniest thing that happened was on Saturday night. We had gotten a call from A, one of the Elders’s investigators. He’s the skinniest Pakistani man you have ever seen. He called us to invite us to his ‘Hochzeit Party’ (Wedding Party) and he wanted us to come and meet his new wife. We were really surprised that he got married, considering that he just turned eighteen a couple of months ago.

So off we went to A’s. And let me tell you, it is quite a little adventure getting there. We were with  the Elders and our GML, Benji, and we got as close as we could with the car, but then we had to walk. So it was through a large field and then up the mountain and through the woods. We finally made it up to the top of the mountain where he lived and then, when we finally got there, Benji collapsed on a couch that had been set up along with a few other chairs outside.

Sister Smith and I sat down on the couch later once we had gotten our food and then we were sitting there eating when S (A’s….something, surrogate grandmother?) came over to us and said, “In Pakistani culture it’s tradition that couple sits on the couch.”
We were mortified!

We apologized and moved and we were so worried that we had offended them, but it wasn’t that bad, I don’t think. Benji started laughing his head off when we told him later what happened. (There’s a video of Benji laughing on dropbox). But oh dear, that was quite a trip. Just a word of advice for the next Pakistani wedding that you visit, don’t sit on the couch!

Yesterday was a really hard day for the ward. The Gurneys, the senior couple in our ward here, had their last Sunday, we actually said goodbye to them this morning and sent them off to Munich. The ward was openly weeping as they gave their farewell talks and it was so difficult to sit there and to watch the member cry and to see the Gurneys cry and to see how sad everyone was.
It was in that moment that it hit me, as I sat there watching them bear their testimonies of this work and talk about how much they loved getting to know the people and how wonderful everyone was.It hit me like a ton of bricks.

One day this is all going to end.
I cannot tell you how sad that made me to think about that. Yes, I still have a lot of time, and yes it’s not time to start thinking about going home, but I just realized how sad it’s gonna be when that time does come.Elder Garrett tells us, almost everyday, that we’re ‘so tod’ (so dead). And it’s just crazy how quickly the time goes.

Yesterday we stayed after church with a girl from our ward so that we could help her with her English homework (even if she did get a little snootty about some of the things we were correcting-who’s the native English speaker here?) and we ended up walking home with her and her dad. I was walking and talking with her and we started talking about missions and how she wanted to go one day and I was thinking about my decision to come on a mission and I said to here, really only in a passing thought, “Coming on a mission was the best decision I have ever made.”

I said that and I was hit again how powerful and how incredible that is.

A mission is the best thing that has je happened in my life. For the rest of my life I will talk about my mission, I will think about the lessons that I learned here, in the Alpine German Speaking mission and I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to serve here and to be a missionary.

I get to wake up every single day at 6:30, sometimes grumbling and groaning as I do it, but every day I know I’m a missionary and I am so grateful for that.

I am so grateful for all of the wonderful people that I have met on my mission and the people that I will continue to meet.

There are people who I have met that have changed my life forever and I hope that I will continue to learn those lessons as I continue to go through my mission. But I just cannot tell you how grateful I am that I am still a missionary today and that I ever had the opportunity to come on a mission.

I remember when I was little my dad would come into my room and sing ‘Amazing Grace’ to me. I remember thinking it was the best song in the whole world and as I’ve listened to this song and realized what the Lord has done for me, that He found me, gave me a second chance to be the person that I could be, the person that I should  be, that, my friends is one of the greatest gifts. 

  1. Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me!
    I once was lost, but now am found;
    Was blind, but now I see.
  2. ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
    And grace my fears relieved;
    How precious did that grace appear
    The hour I first believed.
  3. Through many dangers, toils and snares,
    I have already come;
    ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.
  4. The Lord has promised good to me,
    His Word my hope secures;
    He will my Shield and Portion be,
    As long as life endures.
  5. Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
    And mortal life shall cease,
    I shall possess, within the veil,
    A life of joy and peace.
  6. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
    The sun forbear to shine;
    But God, who called me here below,
    Will be forever mine.
  7. When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
    Bright shining as the sun,
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
    Than when we’d first begun.

I know that this life is a blessing, and I am just so grateful that I have the gospel in my life. I am so glad that I have the faith and the hope to endure all things that come my way, regardless of how difficult they might be. I know that the Lord will carry us through our difficult times, whatever they may be.

 

I love you all!

Lillie

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