Monday, June 3, 2013

Letter # 38 06/03/2013

Dear Family and Friends,

It's been a great PDay, but I'll admit that I'm a little down while writing this letter. Tomorrow, my awesome trainee, Hermana Spradlin (Arkansas), will be leaving to go to her "real" mission. We've spent the day packing and getting the house in order because the past month has been the craziest of my life. I say that every month so I guess I should just be used to it by now.

I'm finding it really difficult to hold back tears at this moment because we've just received an email from our mission president and his wife, informing us that, due to the condition of Hermana Armstrong's health, they will be released from their assignment at the end of July. President Armstrong will continue his church service in Utah in the Church Legal Department, working on international legal matters. They will be replaced by President Gary Newsome and his wife.

I love President and Hermana Armstrong so much, and it's hard to let them go, even though I know it's completely out of my hands. It will be better for them and their family. I am so incredibly grateful and blessed to have had the privilege to serve under their watchful care. They know the Savior so well for the challenges that they have had to go through together, and from what I have observed they have done so admirably. I think about their incredible service and I want to be a better missionary and a more converted disciple of Christ.

The good news is that President Newsome served in the Uruguay, Montevideo mission as well, as did President Armstrong, and get this-- President Armstrong was President Newsome's trainer in the mission! There are no such things as coincidences in the work of the Lord :)

I never thought I needed the Lord so much as I have had to rely on Him in the mission. He really is in all things. In a world where things change and nothing is constant, Jesus Christ stands alone as the standard around which His disciples can rally, the rock upon which if we build we will never fall. He is the way, the truth and the life. When everything falls away, I hope that I will be found a true disciple of my Lord and Savior, and I hope more than anything to find the power to yield my own will completely to Him and become an instrument in His perfect, gentle hands.

I love you so much and hope you are well. I hope that we can all learn to "lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better." (D&C 25:10) My patriarchal blessing says that there are those around me who are very close to me who have been great examples of faith, of endurance, and of stability. So that's my challenge for this week (and for the rest of my life): increase my faith, strengthen my ability to endure, and seek balance and stability. Any suggestions? How do YOU do it?

Jesus Christ lives and He loves us. In the words of President Uchtdorf, "He is aware that we are not perfect. He is also aware that the people who we think are perfect are not."

Love you forever,
Hermana Phillips

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