Just some pictures, to start :)
one last time, of course :) got absolutely filthy that day!
It was so much fun :) Gotta love exchanges!
my Louisiana family
I have never seen a baptismal service so well attended! It was most of the ward! I am so so so proud of him!
WOW. What a week. I think the pictures kind of sum it up. I couldn't be happier right now. What a way to end. I don't even have words for this week! So I'm pretty much just going to close it like that. I have one more week left, and it's going to be amazing. We get to see all of my favorite members and there is a mission conference on the 31st, so I also get to see ALL MY MISSION FRIENDS!! (and some non missionary mission friends!)
The time has gone by so fast but it has been so, so worth it. Next week I'm going to bring my journal (I meant to today but I forgot). But I want everyone within the sound of my email to know that I KNOW THAT THE GOSPEL IS TRUE. I have never seen anyone as happy as I saw Joe after he decided to be baptized, until I saw him after he had actually been baptized. I know that we don't just do missionary work to increase numbers or anything like that. I know that the ONLY way for people to receive that joy is through living the gospel of Jesus Christ. I loved what Joe said this week as we were over. He and Nikki were happy before--at least they thought they were. But once they fully accepted the gospel in their lives, the happiness RADIATED from them. It was like they were new people. (It was like they were newlyweds, too haha). They were united, working towards a common goal--they're going to the temple next year! And they are just so HAPPY. They have that JOY it talks about in the scriptures and that came because they finally understand that living the gospel (having faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repenting and changing their lives to come closer in harmony with the Savior's teachings, being baptized by one holding the priesthood or authority from God, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, partaking of the sacrament and continually pointing their life towards God). I am SO proud of them. And now I understand what the scriptures say, finally.
"I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy."
"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.... yea, and we have been instruments in his hands of doing this great and marvelous work. "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 know that we have a prophet on the Earth today and that God wants us to be happy. I know He loves us and the commandments He gives us is proof of that. I know that He has made it possible for families to be together not just until death does them part, but now and in eternity. AND I HAVE GOTTEN TO BE A PART OF IT. I am excited to come home, yes. But I am so, so sad to leave these people that I love. I am so humbled and grateful to the Lord for the blessings He has given me, and for the path He took me to get here. This has been the greatest experience of my life. I am not the person I was when I left. I hope you can see that. I love y'all so much, but what's more I now know how much Heavenly Father loves you! I know that because I finally understand that He loves me. So if you are struggling, if you are stuck with nowhere to turn or if you are looking for a way to be happier, just try it. Put your life in greater harmony with His teachings.
I think God knows something we don’t—things that are beyond our capacity to comprehend! Our Father in Heaven is an eternal being whose experience, wisdom, and intelligence are infinitely greater than ours. Not only that, but He is also eternally loving, compassionate, and focused on one blessed goal: to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life.In other words, He not only knows what is best for you; He also anxiously wants you to choose what is best for you.
If you believe this in your hearts—if you truly believe the great mission of our Heavenly Father is to exalt and glorify His children and that He knows best how to do it—doesn’t it make sense to embrace and follow His commandments, even the ones that appear difficult? Should we not cherish the light posts He has given that guide us through the darkness and the trials of mortality? They mark the way back to our heavenly home! By choosing Heavenly Father’s path, you lay a divine foundation for your personal progress as a child of God that will bless you throughout your life.
I love yall a lot. For those of you at home, I am excited to see you in a few days. For those of you, my family here in Mississippi and Louisiana, I have been trying not to cry for the past several days at the thought of leaving you behind. But the good thing is that there is no such thing as goodbye. So I will see you again some day.
I hope yall have an amazing week. I know I will.
Sister Cassidy Steele