The Quiet Moments
Anxiety. Anxiety. Anxiety.
The Tuesday before transfer day is full of anxiety. Especially this time around because it has been known in my head as the unpredictable transfer, my entire mission. I have served in each of my areas for three transfers, each time I spend two transfers with one companion, then one with the other for the pass off. Which left me with this obscure, last transfer, in which I've been curiously hesitant to approach. And then... It got here. The LAST one.
We finally got transfer calls Tuesday night at ten thirty.
And the news is..
WE ARE BOTH STAYING IN FORT BELVOIR
But get this. Thursday we went to transfer meeting because Sister Training Leaders always go, and they were calling out transfer outlines and all of the sudden president was like "Sister Eaton will travel to Fort Belvoir to Sister Stucki and Sister Stewart." We jumped up and were like...
SAY WHAT NOW????
Yup, I'm finishing my mission in the Fort. With Sister Stewart AND Sister Eaton, in a trio. This will be my fourth transfer here, which will total six months of Fort Belvoir. That is the longest I have ever been in an area. I really thought I was going to get booted. But... I'm staying here! And with TWO companions!
In which case, we have to get our butts to work and get this place on fire!
It's going to be a sick transfer. It was fun talking to all the Elders that are going home with me about how this is our last transfer, and real transfer meeting. They are all a TRUNKY mess. It's crazy. So many big changes coming. It's President Riggs last transfer too. President Huntsman gets here a couple days after this next transfer meeting.
Hermana Blair Bliss (from Desert Hills) is now in our mission! Woohoo another St Georgey. She's gonna kill it. Oh, and she's being trained in my zone. Hollz to the max. She's getting trained in the best zone in the mission, and the one with the very most work too. Lucky girl.
It's just been a crazy week. When we came home from transfers and everything else Thursday night we had a lot of rearranging to do. Basically we just have one giant bed now because our Apartment is small and we tried to fit three twin beds into a room... I'm in the middle so no matter which way I sleep I see faces. *smh* It's cool though. It makes up for all the slumber parities mom wouldn't let me have when I was twelve. Lolz.
(Mom- I got the package thanks a ton! The necklaces are super cute. Did you get the Instagram thing figured out? Thanks for calling my bank account thing too. I don't remember how to do anything, I swear.)
We had a sweet lesson with Josh this week. He had surgery so we went to visit him with Sister Eaton so she could meet him. We sat on his back porch with all the beautiful green trees on a beautiful eighty degree evening. We talked for a little and read a great chapter from the Book of Mormon about the little things, reading, praying, Etc. He shared his whole story about changing his life around and coming to Virginia and learning about the gospel and Gods hand in his life. We talked about so many of the cool experiences and miracles he has had just over the past few months. It was sweet. He was stoked to share all about it. At the end he prayed before we left and it was the sweetest prayer, just full of gratitude and happiness and love. Even though he had a pretty ridiculously painful surgery just barely.
And then the moment I've personally been waiting for forever. He totally teared up and cried at the end. I think it just hit him, and everybody, just how much he's changed, just how far he's come, and just how big of a blessing it's been for all of us to be a part of it. Dang. It was sweet. It was powerful too. I'm gonna miss that guy when I leave. I'm going to miss all these stories when I leave too. Fortunately Fort Belvoir is in good hands.
....Gods hands :)
We're working hard on finding new people to teach, and working with all of our recent converts and less active members. There's tons and tons of people to teach so we're keeping incredibly busy. It was cool because the other day Sister Stewart and I were on our way to a lesson and Stewart said a prayer and basically told God we would talk to every single person we saw, but to just put a prepared person there for us to start teaching.
My face though.
I was like girl don't make promises like that to God.
And she was just like get over it.
So on our way to the lesson we talked to every single person we saw. And nobody was interested. We taught our lesson and as we were walking out to go home we heard some bodies footsteps above us in the apartment complex and looked at each other. So one of us went up one side of the stairs the other went up the other side and we sneak attacked this person.
With love though because we don't really attack people.
And it was this lady walking her dog at like nine at night, she looked busy but we stopped her and talked to her and she was so cool. She told us she's actively seeking for religion right now because she's always been spiritual but has never really been a part of any church and at this time in her life she wants that to be a priority and she's seriously interested.
God is good.
Of course he would make it the last person.
We gotta keep our promises to gain blessings right?
He really does try us in all things,
But it was a sweet miracle that he showed us.
It reminds me of a scripture in Mosiah 2:41
"... I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state
of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold,
they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual;
and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven,
that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness."
When we keep promises and commandments and covenants made with God he blesses us in all things. Both temporal and spiritual. We receive so many blessings. And what a wonderful thing that is! That God cares about every aspect of our lives and wants us to be
God is so great.
And I am so grateful.
And if you want a good scriptural read look up Mosiah chapter two
And read King Benjamin's sermon before he dies,
It is like two pages.
It's in the Book of Mormon.
Look it up it will make you happy.
here I am.
6 weeks left to go.
The final transfer.
It seems not long ago I was thrift shopping with my mom, I can't quite remember what for. But I was intrigued by the supply of books this place had each under a dollar in price. I remember sorting through them trying to find my favorite classic historical fiction novels and came across this book titled
"What I wish I knew before my mission."
I couldn't put it down, so I bought it. And I remember the look my mom gave me with one eyebrow raised like "what the heck?"
I remember six months later laying in my bed, door shut, lights off. The moonlight was again shining in my panel window but this time it was different than other nights because the Electronic lights of my phone, iPod, laptop etc. Were not there to distract me. A few hours previous I was set apart as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And in six hours I was supposed to drive up to Provo, Utah to get dropped off at the curb for the next year and a half. I guess that night was pretty full of anxiety as well, as I thought to myself...
"What on earth am I getting myself into?"
Fourteen days after that I found myself sitting across from "President Riggs" in the mission home located in Burke, Virginia. I had only seen pictures of the Riggs family.
...and Burke Virginia.
But now it was real life. I was having a one on one conversation with my Mission President who told me he was excited to labor with me in doing the Lords work and to
"Hit the ground running."
I remember trudging through the knee high snow in my worn out combat boots that definitely weren't constructed for the winter weather in Manassas. Being so cold you couldn't feel your toes, all the way up to your knee caps, even though you were wearing five pairs of socks. I would think to myself that my trainer was insane and that there was no way I could go through another day of this "finding people to teach" thing.
But somehow, something, woke me up each morning
with a fresh start, a brand new day.
I remember staring out the sliding glass doors watching the once beautiful vibrant green trees change to shades or orange and red and brown. I spent What seemed like forever watching leaves fall one by one from the giant tree branches down to the bottom floor of the apartment complexes in Springfield Terrace. I remember fervent pleas and prayers for guidance and direction and help and commitment, I truly learned what it meant when the scriptures told us to rely on the Lord, to pray always, to endure.
The Relief Society room seemed perfectly placed where the backseat corner had a perfect view of the Potomac river, only yards away from the church doors. As I sat there and stared at the water ripple I could vividly recall every moment of serenity I spent so close to the waters edge. The breeze of the wind biking down the side of the water, the exciting joy of a baptism at the break of the river, the sound of the water lapping as you sit and talk about life in Fort Belvoir.
It's the quiet moments of life I can't seem to ever forget. The moments where you're alone and can entertain large thoughts, big changes, future plans, questions for God. It's the quiet moments that enlarge your soul, open your mind and provide the means to dream. It's been the quiet moments of my life where I've felt the presence of God so strong, inviting me to keep going, keep trying, to not give up. Because there's so much in store. There's always so much in store. For all of us all the time.
I've learned that no matter what place you are at in life it's important to:
1. Take time to think, take the time to council with God,
to listen to his direction and
2. To endure, to keep going, to push forward and press on.
Only six more weeks, it seems like a dream, but I'm excited to keep going, keep working, and soon step into the next phase of my life. It's exciting, and kind of stressful, but I'm excited and I feel good about the places I've been and the places God has prepared next for me.
I don't really know who is reading this or why but I just hope you know how much God loves you, and I, and everyone of us. And that these things are real, this gospel is true. And there's seriously no work greater than the work of God. So get involved, be a part of it, become who God needs you to become. You'll never experience more happiness.
Sister Madison Paige Stucki
Sent from my iPad