Friday, August 10, 2018

"For me, it's all about love" (August 6, 2018)

I really don't know what to say.

I must honestly say my heart is here. The pain I felt to say goodbye to my family for these 18 months, is nothing compared to the heartbreak I feel to have to leave this beautiful land and these beloved people and this sacred calling. They have truly changed my life. My heart has been scattered amongst St. Paul, Lakeville, Minneapolis, Rochester, and Richfield. A part of my heart that I never want to have back, because what I have learned in return has changed me. The people and the God I have learned to love here have changed me forever. Every goodbye at every transfer has brought heartache as a I leave a part of who I was and who I am with the people I have served. However, every change has always been positive, and as hard as endings are, I know it’s part of a wonderful new adventure. I have full faith that this change will be no different, that as painful as it is to say goodbye, it is the beginning of a wonderful new life I have with the privilege to live serving Jesus Christ.

This week we have seen so many miracles, and been so blessed to be guided by the spirit, oh the stories I will be telling for the rest of eternity of the miracles I have seen here. We have kept going until the last minute, and seen God bring us to people who are still in need and it has been incredible.

In Conference last April, Elder De Feo gave a talk about how love is the true sign of every true disciple of Jesus Christ. He said

“Brothers and sisters, the gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of love. The greatest commandment is about love. For me, it’s all about love…

I love my Heavenly Father. I love my Savior. I love the gospel. I love this Church. I love my family. I love this wonderful life. For me, it’s all about love"

I echo his words and testify that it's all about love. The more I study, the more I learn, the more people I meet, the more challenges I face, and the more miracles I see, I have learned that, yes, it's all about love. Love is what changes weak and imperfect children of God into the divine beings he knows we can be.

Since the beginning of my mission I've been making a list of the life lessons I've learned, so I thought it would be appropriate to sign off with a selected few from that list.

Thank you all for the wonderful support you have given. I look forward to seeing you in a few days! Thank you for sharing some of these wonderful memories with me. I know that to live will be an awfully big adventure.

Hermana Anna Meredith
Minnesota Minneapolis Mission

101 things I’ve learned
  1. The Book of Mormon is the word of God.
  2. Joseph Smith was a prophet called by God who restored the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth.
  3. Never judge who may or may not need the gospel. Everyone does.
  4. God's timing is perfect
  5. You literally can't do it by yourself.
  6. Agency is one of the greatest gifts God has given us, and you have to respect everyone's else's
  7. Sarcasm always drives away the Spirit.
  8. There is a big difference between missionaries who come to change themselves and missionaries who come to help others change. And the latter are the ones who always change the most
  9. Finding joy in your life begins when you choose it. "My dear brothers and sisters, the joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives." (President Nelson, October 2016). So choose Christ now.
  10. Obedience is the only intelligent choice.
  11. Your will is the only thing you can give to Christ that he didn't give you.
  12. Work hard, give it your all, no matter what everyone else is doing.
  13. Don't sacrifice quality for popularity
  14. Miracles don't serve as testimony builders unless you already have a belief in their divine origin.
  15. The most dangerous words in the world are "It's always been done this way"
  16. Be who you are, and love what you love, and don't waste time worrying about what other people think.
  17. People are more important than things.
  18. Exercise makes you feel better.
  19. The only way to be irreplaceable is to be yourself, the world has enough people trying to be someone else.
  20. Missionaries have so many rules because we need to learn and experience the power of repentance and the cleansing power of the atonement in our lives.
  21. God does not expect us to be perfect on our own, he expects us to repent and be perfected through Christ.
  22. Life is not about perfection, it's about progression.
  23. We are not expected, nor should we try to do it all by ourselves.
  24. How beautiful the knowledge we have that God is our LOVING Heavenly Father.
  25. Everyone has a conversion story. Everyone has a point in their lives where they had to decide, and they knew that this was the truth.
  26. Teach and have your children speak your native language.
  27. Pray to Heavenly Father as your friend and Father, because he is.
  28. Don't take yourself too darn seriously.
  29. Its not about you, God doesn't need you to do this work, he lets you be a part of it. It is a privilege to be a servant of the Lord.
  30. I have a hero, and his name is Christ.
  31. Don't pray for a lighter burden, pray for a stronger back.
  32. You can't convert someone past your own conversion.
  33. None of this is about you. If you try to stand in Gods way, he will wait, he will work around you if you try to stand in the way, because we are nothing without him.
  34. The blessings I have seen come to my family because of my missionary service, even if I never saw any fruit of my labors in the field, would make every moment of every day of every week of every month worth it
  35. Salvation does not come by comparison. The call is to become like Christ, not to be more righteous than your neighbor.  
  36. We are to convert people to Christ, not to the church,
  37. Mormons are the happiest people.
  38. Your happiness has nothing to do with your wordly circumstances. The happiest people I met over the last 18 months are the ones who had nothing worldly, but had everything through Christ.
  39. Neither members nor missionaries are infallible.
  40. Stick with it, don't give up on God, even if the only thing getting you from day to day is "no more than a desire to believe"
  41. It truly is astounding, the love parents have for their children. People who are willing to give up anything for them, which gives us just a glimpse at the love Heavenly Father has for us.
  42. The hardest thing to do sometimes is realize you just need to plant the seeds, and walk away, and leave the rest to God.
  43. Be prepared, or you'll look like a fool
  44. Never, ever, ever, ever be too busy for the church, too busy for the gospel, too busy for scriptures, too busy for prayers, too busy for Christ. It's the little things that make the biggest difference in the end.
  45. Prayer is the answer to every question.
  46. One of the hardest things is finding motivation to keep working hard when no one else around you is. Always work hard, even when no one else is.
  47. Its ok if you dont know whats going on. No one does. As long as you have the spirit, you will be amazing.
  48. I had a lot more pride then i was ever willing to admit, and I still do, but I'm learning.
  49. When you are a Mormon, you must always live as an example of that name. You never know what that example may mean to someone.
  50. The gospel makes life better. “The most satisfying experience I have is to see what this gospel does for people. It gives them a new outlook on life. It gives them a perspective that they have never felt before. It raises their sights to things noble and divine. Something happens to them that is miraculous to behold. They look to Christ and come alive.” - President Hinckley
  51. Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world.
  52. Missionaries are made of what you do at 8:00 pm when it's 10 degrees, and none of your plans have worked
  53. "You are capable of much more than looking hot"
  54. Being right is not more important than being kind
  55. Be a good example to your kids
  56. Never, ever give up on anyone
  57. Families our only hope in this crazy world.  
  58. The first step, the first and foremost thing we should always do in any situation, good or bad, is pray.
  59. When you're sick, it's ok to take a break and sleep it off.
    Hispanics say "I love you" two ways: "te quiero" and "Come más!"
  60. How to love. How to truly love as Christ did. To meet someone, and within 30 seconds of talking to them, you would do anything to help them because you feel Christ's love for them.
  61. Handwarmers are the greatest invention since the printing press
  62. Spend as much time with your grandparents as you can. You have a lot to learn from them, even if they tell you the same stories every time.
  63. Revelation comes on the move. Get up and get going even if you don't know where, and the Lord will tell you.
  64. Don't let a first impression become a definition of someone.
  65. How to talk on the phone, and not feel severe anxiety every time I do.
  66. Don't become dependant on substances
  67. God uses imperfect people to bring about his perfect purposes, so never postpone a prompting or don't not help someone because you think you're not good enough He makes up the differences, and can send you to help his children in need.
  68. If you can make your life's work about service, you'll never work a day in your life
  69. The organization of the church is perfect because it is done out of love. Church leaders are motivated solely by love, not power.
  70. There are so many naturally good people in the world, we can't give up.
  71. This is gospel is for everyone, even those who seem so far gone, the Atonement is for them too.
  72. Even though we don't know everyone's needs, God does, and he will help us serve to them even when we don't know why
  73. Being kind and patient will get you much further then being rude and short.
  74. Gods purpose is different from our purpose.
  75. Everything I've learned about the gospel my whole life is true, coming on a mission just helped me put it all together and now it makes sense.
  76. People are much more effective, perform better, and are happier when they are doing something they are passionate about.
  77. A complaining voice/tone is 3 things: unattractive, unattractive, and unattractive.
  78. Be a disciple of Christ who astonishes, be so bold they don't know how to react.
  79. There really are 10,000 lakes in Minnesota
  80. Parents don't know what they're doing either, and that's ok. We're all making it up and relying on our savior and hoping for the best.
  81. EVERYONE should go on a mission.
  82. The importance of having an open mind. If you expect something to go wrong, it will.
  83. You are made of the little decisions you make every day.
  84. Never be too busy for the Lord, for your family, or the church.
  85. I have gained a vision of how imperfect I am, but how completely perfect the Savior is.
  86. Salvation is not a competition.  
  87. Learning to happily embrace the Lord's will and timing is a key to finding joy.
  88. Biking in the rain, in a skirt, in a Minnesota summer is happiness
  89. Los hispanos son increíbles, no tienen nada, pero ellos dan todo al señor y sus misioneros.
  90. “The greatest decision I ever made in my life was to give up something I dearly loved to the God I loved even more. He has never forgotten me for it.”
  91. Be Scrooge! Lose yourself in your service to others.
  92. You have the power to make your dreams come true.
  93. This isn't a religion, this is real-life. And how great the urgency to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth.
  94. The importance of having an open mind and being willing to listen to the opinions of others.
  95. See others for what they can become, because people change, they change every day.
  96. The only way we can ever find ourselves is to completely give it all over to the Lord. When we give our hearts to the people we serve, they become a part of our heart forever.
  97. Consecration is the way we become the most like ourselves, because we are living closer to our divine identity then we ever have before.
  98. If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.
  99. None of it is about you. It doesn't matter if anyone remembers you, they probably won't. You didn't come here to change the world. You came to serve the Lord.
  100. It's easier to keep the commandments 100% of the time than 98% of the time.
  101. Never leave this church.
Never leave the Lord.
Never stand against His servants.
Never turn from His truths.
Never look back, ever!

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