Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Final Countdown

Hey Everyone!

I've have you know I've stared at this blank screen for about an hour now.. I'm just not sure how to start this email at all or what to share. Instead I just keep going through my pictures and saving more pictures to my USB looking at all the people I've met, things I've seen, and laughing and some hilarious vidoes. haha :) I can't believe I go home this week.. THIS week. No more saying "in a couple months" or "in a few weeks" nah.. right about now its a matter of days.. almost hours. I honestly don't know how to describe how I'm feeling.. I feel like I've never felt like this before.. So happy, so sad, so excited, so nervous all wrapped into one. #thisgurlsgotprobs
Last week when I wrote you all I had had a rough minute and I just remember praying that my last week wouldn't be stressful but would instead be filled with laughter and joy. And I can honestly say the Lord answers prayers. There were a lot of things that should have been discouraging.. Such as most appointments falling through, packing, that darn language thing :), etc. But it wasn't.. because so many hilarious things happened and I felt so much love from the branch members that it honestly didn't matter.

So.. hang on tight while I tell you some of our funny moments.
  • Wednesday after an appointment we went on an adventure to find a trailer park our investigator told us about that was "Behind the QT" that was literally the only direction she gave us.. But I'm up for any challenge. So right I go.. and I start seeing signs about a dead end.. Well when I finally get to the end there are cones with a sign that says "SMILE you're on camera" I start turning into a driveway to turn around and out of the corner of my eye I see heads.. everywhere.. All I can think is "Please don't let me companions see this.." But of course they did and screamed NON STOP. Turns out the gems that live in that house think decorating the front yard/porch in mannequin heads is the new chevron wreath. I'm not kidding. There was a head on each step.. all over the bannister.. and the grass. #classy. We then go the opposite direction and find the trailer park. SUCCESS. While trying to find a place to park so we can start knocking doors two more things happen. 1. We park the car and before we get out a man starts yelling at us from the top of the hill.. haha not even kidding. so then.. 2. We find the pool/park and decide to leave the car there.. only to see a naked kid about to skinny dip in the pool. All I can say is either Heavenly Father wanted me to have lots of laughs, or He didn't want me at that trailer park. I think it was the first :)
  • So then we are about to go to our lesson with Maria and we get a phone call where she screams and yells "Se le revento la fuente!" Aka... her sisters water just broke and she was on her way to the hospital. Haha OKAY! Direct translation.. "The fountain broke" haha oh my. 
  • We met Antonio Banderaz at Macaroni Grill. Okay we didn't.. But someone looked exactly like him! Crista took us to lunch and had convinced Sister Garcia Valle that he was the real deal. Crista almost made us all get a picture with him to go along with the prank.. haha it was a good laugh :)

Now that I hope you have had some good laughs, there are many others.. but those are better told in person :) I'll just take a minute to tell you about some of the sweet tender mercies and highlights I saw this week.
  • Christa Schmidt made me an afghan to take home in Georgia colors. I am so thankful for her love and I really just love her so much! The people in this horribly humid and beautiful state will forever be my family. 
  • I got asked to sing at a baptism about.. 30 minutes before it happened. I ended up convincing Hma Martinez to sing with me while Hma Garcia Valle played the piano. We sang I feel my Saviors love in Spanish, it was really sweet. I forgot how much I love to sing until recently, so its been really nice to sing and share my testimony with the branch members that way, after all.. its much easier than speaking :) 
  • We had a wonderful Family Home Evening with a cute family in the branch this week, the Romeros :) and then went and got some legit ice cream in Mexico. Aka Gainesville. so fun! 
  • I got to teach my last mission prep out here to the Reyes' kids. I'm really going to miss them. They are so sweet! 
Yesterday, I was sitting in Sacrament meeting by myself.. Well not really, I was with other members we divided and conquered :) And I was just listening to all the testimonies and I see President Ramirez just staring me down and then point his finger at me and tell me to come forward.. so.. I did. I mustered all my strength and courage and I went up there to bear my final testimony. As I was sitting there with tears starting to form I thought "Heavenly Father.. I can't do a second language and tears.. haha But I made it through. From what I've been told by many of the branch members another miracle happened yesterday. I spoke "perfect Spanish". I don't know what I said in Spanish.. I couldn't repeat it if I tired. I have no clue if I'll remember a word of Spanish when I get home.. but I will never be able to deny that the Lord qualifies who He calls and He will help His servants to accomplish is work. He really does call upon the weak and the simple to do His mighty work.

I am sad to leave these sweet people. I'm sad to leave the green trees. I'm sad to leave my friends. I'll be sad to take my tag off. But I'll be forever thankful for my time here, for the memories, for the Spirit, for the lessons, and for the love. I have learned so many things in all of my areas, but the thing I have learned the most is that God lives. There is a God of this world and He is our Father. He has a plan for all of us and if we look we will see Him guiding us throughout our lives. He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us. I know the Savior rose again, I know He is always at our side.

The Book of Mormon is my favorite book, if you haven't read it.. you really should! :) The Book of Mormon contains not only revelations of the prophets but personal letters to each of us in response to our prayers from our loving Heavenly Father, just like all scripture. Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the Restoration. He did see God the Father and Jesus Christ, and I am going to miss telling people his story all the time.
Thank you for all of your support these 18+ months. They have absolutely been the best and hardest times of my life, moments I will never forget, and moments I will always love.

I love you all and can't wait to see you soon! Hamiltons.. SEE YA THURSDAY!! :) I LOVE YOU!!!
Lets be honest.. I still have a lot to say.. but to save time I'll use the words of John..

" I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee but I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name." :)
Hermana Hamilton... JULIE
P.S. My homecomings are..
Utah: This Sunday 1pm 8945 South 1700 East, Sandy 84093

California: Aug 17th: 48950 Green Valley Road FREMONT, CALIFORNIA 94539-8001 (off HWY 680 Scott Creek Road exit) Sacrament meeting starts at 9am

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