And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up. ~D&C 84:88

Monday, May 4, 2015

Gifts from the Sea

I will share an experience from today that has been developing for a couple of months:

So my reasons for serving a mission have changed several times since I have started my mission. To be honest I never really liked it when people ask me why I am serving a mission because I feel like there is no right way to explain what I really feel and because we are all in the process of answering that question...

Well, a couple months ago we were walking in an urbanization and I am not sure what I was thinking about (I wasn't discouraged... but we weren't see a lot of success with people) but the thought came to my mind that maybe my mission here in Puerto Rico is not the most important thing I will ever do in my life. It really took me off guard. It made me think A LOT and change my perspective and my reasons for why I am here in Puerto Rico. It also made me think of what is the most important thing I will do in my life. So I made a list of my purpose here as a missionary, why I am here.

Also a couple months ago President Boucher told us in a talk that while baptizing is very important, the most important thing is that we as missionaries develop to become more like Christ. That also caused me to think a lot.

Then today we had a zone activity (that went REALLY long, that's why I'm writing so late) and it was neat. We went to some cool caves in Arecibo, saw the ocean, gorgeous! They gave us some personal study time and invited us to focus in our purpose as missionaries and why each of us is here. So that gave me time to develop my thoughts even more and to write them out a bit more.

So... Now we come to Sister Hardy's Personal Reasons/ Personal Purpose as a Missionary:

1. To invite others to come unto Christ.
2. To become more like Christ.
3. To prepare myself for my role as a wife and mother (my true purpose in life).

To be honest I made this list a couple months ago and while I was looking at it again today, studying more, comparing with my Patriarchal Blessing, it came together even more. The thought came to my mind "This mission is preparation for my life's mission" and I had the wonderful experience of feeling the Holy Ghost testify to me that this was true.

Now how does being a missionary prepare me for the rest of my life? Lots of ways! I explored a few today.

In Preach My Gospel, chapter 1, there are a lot of quotes from prophets in the latter days about missionary work. I think none of them actually mentioned anything about full time missionary work... they were more on member missionaries, lifetime missionaries. One by Brigham Young spoke a lot about living the Gospel principles so I can teach the Gospel principles and help others. I think that living and teaching the Gospel are one of the most important things a mother can do for her children. (Like how my mama has lived and taught all of us)

Well, one of the ways that my mission is preparing me is to prepare me to understand the necessity of the Gospel, to live the Gospel and focus in the Gospel, and to prepare me to teach the Gospel (in the PR of course... but more importantly to my future children).

To be honest every missionary is different. And there are a lot more reasons and purposes and even sub reasons and sub purposes that we can't see or recognize. Everyone has their own reasons for coming on a mission (and everyone's reason changes while they are on the mission) and I realize that my purpose as a missionary may not be the same as others'. Furthermore I think it is more important to realize that Heavenly Father has His own reasons and purposes for each and every one of us.

But this is mine! And I will own it to the best of my ability.

Maybe there is more to Heavenly Father's purpose for me that I can't see. For now, I feel like I am on the right track.

So, that's my motivation. There are people here for me to serve and to teach. There are also more spirits that I will teach in the future. So for all of them present and future I will work my hardest to give them my best and prepare with all I can to do that.

Thank you so much for your wonderful example to me, Mama! I am so grateful for you and for everything you have taught me. You are the best and I owe everything to you and to Dad. I have been so blessed to have been able to be born in your home, with parents that would live and teach me the Gospel so that I would have the opportunity to develop my own testimony. To be honest I have never doubted that the church is true. I feel that is a gift of testimony that my Heavenly Father has given me and also the firm, strong testimonies of my parents that built that foundation for me. Our family is rare. The world doesn't have a lot of families like ours, where the parents are united. Even in the church it can be rare to see a family where all of the children are actively living the Gospel and not straying from the path. I've never realized how spoiled I've been to have this family and to have her for forever! So it's our purpose to stay strong and to help other families do the same.

There are a lot more ways that I can see (and can't see) the mission preparing me. I was only able to share a few but please know that I am so grateful for this opportunity and for the many blessings I have received and the many miracles I have seen.

So that is my testimony. That the Church is true. That our families will be together forever. That Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us. And I am so excited to learn more about what He has in plan for us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

xoxo Hermana Hardy

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