Why hello there!!
You know, just when I think I can't love being a missionary any more.. ANOTHER miracle happens and I have a new appreciation and love for it. Its fun to go back and read my journal entries at night. I'm starting to lose track of the number of days I say "BEST DAY OF MY MISSION SO FAR!" I really do just love it so much. Its truly the best decision I have ever made.
Opening a new area is one of the most rewarding things in missionary work I think. When you come there is literally nothing going on, as far as missionary work. You get to build the area up to your vision, well really its the Lord's vision for what He knows can be done there. When we got here we knew no one in the ward and definitely didn't have anyone looking into the church. Since that time we have built strong relationships with members of the ward and I have personally witnessed too many miracles to count from the hand of God in this area.
I have been blessed to meet some of His great children, especially this week. I have said prayers in their homes. I have testified to them in the streets. I have been eaten alive by mosquitos as I talked to them about family history. I have smiled and loved them to pieces as their 6 year old autistic son chooses to use me as a jungle gym. I have loved them before seeing their faces as I hear the noise 8 happy feet make as they play and laugh behind the door we are about to knock. I have loved them as I see them come to church after not coming for years and say to us after "thanks for helping me remember." I have loved them when they smiled with no teeth. I have loved them when I see they have nothing, literally nothing, yet they walked to the store to buy us lemonade and cookies for when we stop by the next day. I love them more than words will express and know that these people young and old, kind and not so kind, funny and mean, big and small. All of them are Children of God and all of them have found a place in my heart.
Along with feelings of love, there are others you experience sometimes on your mission.. Before I came on my mission, I thought heart break only came from stupid break ups by dumbo boys. However, I have felt it in different ways on my mission, as a missionary heartache comes from individuals using their beautiful gift of agency to choose to not have us come back again after saying they feel the special spirit we bring. This week my heart broke as the kindest woman and her sister gave, in the kindest and most loving way, the Book of Mormon back. It broke my heart because I love them and want nothing more than for them to experience greater joy through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Let me tell one more quick story. We had a great lesson with someone we are teaching, then on our way to the car I saw a man, obviously under a lot of stress, sitting on the stairs watching his 18 month old son in nothing but his diaper run around in the dirt. With a beer in one hand and his head resting in the other you could see the hurt and worry on his face. As we approached him he started to perk up a bit. We talked to him about peace, real peace, the lasting peace that comes from the gospel of Jeus Christ. His interest was peaked, we gave him a Book of Mormon and talked to him about it briefly before we said "can we come back tomorrow?" to which he responded he had just lost his job and would be home all day. As we drove passed we saw him holding with both hands the precious Book of Mormon, instead of the beer. The lesson the next day was great. Out of no where I asked him to live the word of wisdom, and promises flowed from my mouth. Absolutely the Spirit was prompting me to do so and he looked at me and said "I will not buy any more beer or cigaretts, my wife deserves better." He threw away his pack of cigaretts and promised that he wouldn't be drinking. Eric, prayed with such power and conviction at the end of the prayer. I'll never forget that prayer he said. Please keep their family in your prayers.
Sister Beasley and I are a great team working hard. With the Spirit of God, nothing is impossible and we have seen miracles happen. I feel extremely blessed. The ward is trusting us more and more and is starting to ask us to meet with their friends. The Lord's vision for this area is huge, and I am thankful to be his instrument for the time being in building it.
I was blessed to be at a baptism on Saturday, Samantha's birthday, for two 8 year olds in the ward. Samantha, isn't that so cool? It was a miracle. I am sorry I can't be at your baptism, but I hope you know how proud I am of you for making that decision. I know Heavenly Father loves you and that He and Jesus Christ are so happy with the choice you are making!
I love you all!!! :)
KRISTI, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! :)
Love Sister Hamilton
I love you all so much!
P.S. The title is what Sister Beasley told me last night at when we just finished planning :)