Monday, February 24, 2014

one year down.

Everything has been going so swimmingly well that I knew a week like this was coming. It wasn't even a bad week, and Alicia still got baptized on Saturday. We have just been so spoiled lately. Had to be reminded that we are still doing missionary work and that everything can't just be handed to us on a silver platter all of the time.

The highlights of the weeks are that Catherine Michel's son Scott came to church and wants to be baptized and that Alicia is a member of the church!!! 

Here is her story...Alicia's mom is named Joyce and she was born into the church. Her dad, older sister, and younger brother have always stayed active and faithful, but her, her brother, and her mom fell away for a little bit. During this time she started living with Alicia's dad and had 4 beautiful daughters. As they started growing up she realized that she needed something to help her raise them and wanted them to have the morals and standards that she learned in the church. So she decided to leave him and come back to the church. As she did this she invited the missionaries to come over and meet her family. They quickly found out, as missionaries do, that Alicia was 12 years old and not yet baptized. They taught her all of the lessons and fixed her for a baptismal date on February 22nd, the same day as her cousin. And that is where I came in. For the past two transfers we have been going over once a week and helping her get started on her personal progress and all of that, but honestly I was just the lucky missionary who got to be there for her big day. And it was a BIG DAY!! I LOVE THIS FAMILY. They are ROCK solid in the church and the baptism was incredible. Felt more like a family reunion than a baptism, and the Spirit there was incredible. Alicia was baptized by her uncle Brian who is also in the ward. My favorite part of the whole night was when Joyce and her Sister got up arm in arm and bore their testimonies together. Her sister talked all about how she always always knew that Joyce would come back and how happy she was to see her family in the gospel and how they would never let anything take them away from it again. And Joyce repeated NEVER into the microphone. JAMAIS. Ahh, I had chills. This is LITERALLY what it is all about. Happy families, forever families.

Also, I HIT MY ONE YEAR MARK. What a year. Never felt more in my entire life. I have not for one day regretted the choice I made to serve this mission. I would not trade ANYTHING in this entire world to have met these beautiful people. They have changed my life and my testimony of Our Savior and His Church forever. I have never done something so hard in my whole life. There are days when I just want to open my eyes and be at home. But I have also never done something that has brought me so much joy. And there are also those days when it feels like it's going too fast and it will be too short and there is no way my brain is going to be able to hold onto all of this happiness and remember it forever. I know that I needed these lessons. As C.S. Lewis says "isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different..." As much as I feel like the same old far from perfect Kales, I know that Heavenly Father has shaped me and helped me become who He wants and needs me to be. I know that I have done exactly what he has asked me to do, and that is what gives me the greatest peace to know that I am in the right place. And I am not stopping now!! I have these next 5 months to give it my all. Good ole' Napoleon once said, "I will not return except under arches of triumph" and I second that.

Well, I sure do love y'all.

Passez une très belle semaine!

à plus.
Soeur Johns 

 Alicia with her grandpa, and her aunt, uncle and cousins. 

Joyce, Alicia, and the family! 


love this little lady 

 the star 

all the kids!! 

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