Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Week 78 Last and Final weekly update!!!!

Hello! 

Well, this was my very last week as a missionary...I don't know how I feel! I feel like Pennsylvania is my home, so it feels very strange to be leaving. First I had to leave my home in Idaho, and now I have to leave my home in PA! It was an emotional Sunday for us here in Monongahela. I have grown to love these people like family. I will miss them so much, but I am so excited to see my real family again!

This week was a great last week! I was expecting it to be a long week, but it was probably the shortest week of my whole mission! 

We taught this wonderful family on Thursday. We followed up with their reading in the Book of Mormon, and the mother said she had read through HELAMAN. She continued to testify of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. She knew through the power of the Holy Ghost that it was true. She told of the spiritual experiences she had when reading in Mosiah about King Benjamin. I can't even explain the joy and the Spirit I felt when listening to her testify to me. I never thought I would be so happy at the success of others. I truly feel as Alma in Alma chapter 26 of the Book of Mormon:

13 Behold, how many thousands of our brethren has he loosed from the pains of hell; and they are brought to sing redeeming love, and this because of the power of his word which is in us, therefore have we not great reason to rejoice?

14 Yea, we have reason to praise him forever, for he is the Most High God, and has loosed our brethren from the chains of hell.

15 Yea, they were encircled about with everlasting darkness and destruction; but behold, he has brought them into his everlasting light, yea, into everlasting salvation; and they are encircled about with the matchless bounty of his love; yea, and we have been instruments in his hands of doing this great and marvelous work.

16 Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.


I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for allowing me to be part of these miracles. He is rolling forth a marvelous work and a wonder. This work is REAL, and it's hastening. 


Okay funny thing...our investigator told us he would meet us at Dairy Queen on Saturday night for ice cream, so he could see us before I leave. We showed up and waited for a while in the car, and he never pulled up hahahah. We just chuckled because we got stood up by a 50 year old man...dang I didn't think we were that ugly! Just when we were going to leave, we see a couple from our ward walking in, and they invited us to have ice cream with them. I love how Heavenly Father works! He is so aware of us. I have come to love the tender mercies of the Lord. How do I know God is real? It is because I can see He is an active part of my life. If you're ever wondering if He is there, just look, and you will see He has been blessing you all along!


These 18 months have taught me a lot.........and I mean A LOT. I don't think I realized what it actually meant to have an eternal family before coming here. I've always loved my family, but being away with such little contact for 18 months really makes you appreciate what you have. Some of my fondest memories are with my family. I know the family is ordained of God. Heavenly Father doesn't intend for our family units to be close on earth and not in heaven. He has provided temples for us where we can be sealed to our spouses and children for time on earth and all eternity. 
I'm thankful to my parents who have taught me important principles as I was growing up. They taught me to follow Jesus Christ. Others can attest to the fact that I failed quite a bit in that area, and I'm sorry for all who I have hurt or offended. I will continue to make mistakes, but my heart now truly understands WHY I need to follow Jesus Christ. I will strive my best to develop his attributes. I love the Savior. He is our exemplar, teacher, brother, and friend. Follow him and keep his commandments. Great depths of peace will follow. 

I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to the boy Joseph Smith and restored the Church of Jesus Christ established anciently. I know there is a prophet on earth today making this church a true and LIVING church. The direction we receive from the Apostles and Prophet is revelation straight from God for the whole world. If you want to be aligned with God's will, follow the prophet. You won't be led astray. 

Okay okay okay I love you all!!!!! I'll see you in a few days!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true!!!!!!!  
Love,
Sister Sparks 

P.s. I'm touring Heinz field today!!!





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