Monday, January 11, 2016

My last Zone Conference!

Sharing our testimonies!
Well this week was a whirlwind of emotion that is for sure!  I had to give my departing testimony at Zone Conference we had on Friday- and truly I never expected that day to come.  But it has! I will share with you some of what I said:
1.  My mission has helped me to develop Charity...and I have defined charity as a never ending search for someone else's happiness.  So therefore my mission for me has been a never ending search for someone else's happiness.  And because of my Savior, I am able to feel a greater understanding for everyone I meet.
2.  My reasons for coming on a mission have slowly changed over the course of these last 17 months.  I feel a sincere desire to help- lift- and support.  That has come through hours, tears, and sacrifice while on my mission.  As I have developed better study skills and tried to overcome some of my inadequacies I have felt Christ qualify me for the work I am doing.
3. I love my mission BECAUSE I love the Lord.
4. I didn't want to change on my mission.  Change scared me!  And little did I know that the only consistent thing on a mission IS change.  HA.  But I realize that it is more refining than it is change.  I am still the same old me, but better and more in-tune.  I have seen in myself the spark of a new person and I would never give that up.
5. Life is hard.  But Christ makes it possible...and it is oh so worth it. 
6.  "This isn't the best 18 months OF my life...but the best 18 months FOR my life."

So after that shocking experience and for the FIRST time realizing that my time here is running out....we had lunch. Okay! Moving on!

Sister James gave an instruction on 'healthy eating' and proceeded to make a healthy green smoothie in front of us all and gave us each a sample.  Then she brought in Kale chips she made and had everyone try them.  AND THEN she handed out a yellow piece of paper that said SISTER GOLDEN on it and there were several 'healthy recipes' I have compiled while on my mission.  She had heard from a few of my companions, and other missionary friends that I am a health fanatic and she asked me for these recipes.  Well, now everyone in the North Carolina Raleigh Mission has a copy of my recipes.  HA.

This week we had a lesson with a part member family in which the Bishop accompanied us to. We taught the restoration to the dad who is working towards being baptized and it went so smoothly.  The Bishop added great insight and was so spiritually in-tune.  I was glad he took the time out of his schedule and came to this lesson with us.  I am so grateful that we have leaders in the church who have authority and the priesthood to act in God's name.  These leaders truly make a difference in my life and I know that because we have the gospel here on the earth, we are blessed with revelation and insight from them.

I had to go on 4 exchanges this last week! It was crazy.  I went to Jacksonville and got to see a few of the members I grew to love! Oh it was so FUN!  I was sad to hear that people have moved, become less active, or don't talk with the missionaries.  But so is life. 
Jacksonville 3rd Ward

Jacksonville 2nd Ward
I was able to have a lesson with my convert Mellisa and talk to her about getting ready to go to the temple and get her patriarchal blessing.  I feel so privileged to be an instrument in God's hands...because Mellisa's life is SO different than what it was just a year ago.  She is still going, still loving the members of the church, and is involved. It made me SO happy.

Last night we were able to watch the Young adult broadcast given by Elder Nelson at BYU Hawaii with our investigator Ezzy.  It was a great broadcast and something that Elder Nelson said stuck with me, he said, "Listen with the intent to obey."  Do we listen to God- the prophet- our leaders- with the intention to apply and obey the counsel they give right away? Or do we take it as a nice little devotional, and get pumped up, but then go about our day.  I challenge you to heed promptly to the counsel we receive from the Lord and our Prophet.  Don't listen just to listen, but listen with the intent to obey.

"I hope this new year to come you make mistakes.  Because if you are making mistakes you are trying something new, learning, pushing yourself, changing the world.  You are doing things you have never done before and more importantly doing something.  Dare to make mistakes. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough or it isn't perfect.  Whatever it is you're scared of doing, DO IT.  Make your mistakes this new year and forever."  (A quote by Pres. James adapted and abridged from Neil Gaiman.)
Love, Sister Golden

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