Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Last One!

This is her last letter to us, from Sister Cottrell's mission. We have loved having her serve, we will really miss these weekly letters, but we are so excited to have her back home again! She comes home tomorrow!

Well I am faced with 2 choices. I could either tell you all about the week or I could share something else. I might do a little of both.
This week I had the opportunity to go to the temple twice. On Wednesday I went with the mission and enjoyed getting to see so many missionaries that I love very much. Then onFriday just the departing missionaries went. I got to ride with the other sister going home in Pres. Halls car. We enjoyed the ride down and talked about our missions and the memories he has of his mission so far. It was quite insightful. I love President Hall so much. The session was amazing and the spirit was so strong in the Celestial room. While there I started to pray. I hadn't been able to come up with a question to take to the temple so I just prayed. I am so glad that I didn't have a question because I would have totally missed what he had to tell me. In my prayer I heard the words, "Its okay your mission is ending. Its time for you to go home." The peace that accompanied it was overwhelming. I had been having little panic attacks over the matter and needed to be comforted and calmed. As I sat in the temple I could think of nothing but the peace. I didn't want to leave the serenity with in its walls. But the time eventually came to leave. 
Over the next couple days we continued to work hard and to do the very best we could to share the gospel. On Sunday night I had my departing interview with President. Normally I could expect he would ask me questions. This time it was just a conversation. The things we talked about were very interesting and were all tailored to the next chapter in my life. I had been warned in a letter from Pres. Hall that he would be asking me if I had been faithful to my mission call. For days I had been asking myself if my mission was worth it to the Lord. I know that it had been worth it to me but I was wondering if it was worth it to him. At the very end of the interview President Hall gave me a blessing. It was such a sweet blessing and a very special one at that. Its not everyday that your mission President gives you a blessing. At the very beginning of the blessing I had the distinct impression that the Lord had accepted my efforts as a missionary and that my mission was worth it to Him. Then President Hall told me as a voice for Heavenly Father "Well done thou good and faithful Servant." (Matt, 25:21) It was so wonderful to feel the burden lifted. 
As I have been reviewing my mission in my mind there are certain things I have learned that I could have only learned on the mission. I am so grateful for all those lessons. They were learned through trial and at points I couldn't see why I was going through the trail but I am very grateful for them. 
I will close with my testimony:
I know that this is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know that the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was necessary so that we could have the fullness of the gospel on the earth. I know that Joseph Smith as a young boy had a question. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and answered his questions by telling him that Christs church was not on the earth. I know that in the coming years Joseph Smith was prepared to be the prophet who would organize the church back on the earth with Christs Authority, the priesthood. I know that through the Priesthood the Book of Mormon was translated. The Book of Mormon is the Word of God. It was written for us today so that we could pattern our lives in a way that we could follow the Savior. I know that when we do all that the Savior has asked us to do we will have the opportunity to live in our Heavenly Fathers presence. I know that through the Atonement we can be forgiven for all our mistakes. I know that he is waiting for us to come unto him and to give our burdens to him so he can lift them. I love my Savior and I have been able to come to know him so much more through the scriptures. I know that when I get down on my knees to pray that an answer will come, no matter in what way or what the answer may be. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and that he has prepared me and others to learn and grow together. I know that my mission has been worth it to the Savior and that my efforts were enough to bring some of our Fathers children back home, where he is waiting to receive us. I love this Gospel with every fiber of my being. Amen.
I am so excited to come home and to see you all again.
Hurrah for Israel!!!!!!
Sister Cottrell