Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Can't stop, won't stop

Hello Everyone, 

I'm just going to start this e-mail out by saying that I'm starting to get better! Seriously, it's a great blessing and I'm so grateful to finally start improving health-wise.. Thank you for the concern and all of the prayers that were said on my behalf. 

Just a few wild horses chillin' in the middle of Tirana… Typical
This week seemed super long! But that's okay. A lot of good things happened. On Tuesday, I was able to meet with President Weidmann. Sister Coleman and I went over to the mission home (Which.. as far as I'm concerned is like, a palace.. It's beautiful and I love it) and met with him. I promise you all that President Weidmann is one of the most incredible people I've ever met. We sat down to have our interview and I pretty much cried from start to finish. The thought of not being able to complete my mission is such a terrifying thought to me. President and I talked a lot about the will of God and how no matter how hard it might appear to us, His plan will always get us where we need to be. 

I know that we will be blessed as we humbly submit to the will of our loving Heavenly Father. We must become like "...a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." (Mosiah 3:19) I know that the Lord places trials in our lives so that we can become the people that we ought to be, so that we can grow and become strengthened spiritually. Sometimes the Lord doesn't take away our burdens immediately because there is some essential lesson that we learn from carrying that weight. Greatness does not come by passing through life with ease. One of my favourite quotes recently has been by Elder Holland when he stated, "If for a while the harder you try, the harder it gets, take heart. So it has been with the best people who ever lived." 

After our interview, we went downstairs to find that there were 2 companionships of elders who also had interviews with President. Not gonna lie.. my dignity took a little hit on that one as I walked into the room with my puffy eyes.. Pride.. I'm working on it. So.. backtrack a little bit, earlier that day we had district meeting and I was just not feeling well. Afterward, an Elder asked me if I wanted a blessing. And to be honest, I didn't. I really felt that seeing as I'd received at least 4 blessings for this already that Heavenly Father wasn't answering those prayers, it wasn't in His will to heal me. I didn't see the point of getting another blessing.
Im obsessed with this puppy… I want it
So after we came downstairs at the mission home, we all chatted a little bit and then President says, "So.. Sister Vermunt, with all of these priesthood holders in the room, would you like a blessing?" All of those same thoughts just came back to me. I was like, what's the point? What is one more blessing going to do? I realize that these thoughts were not inspired by the Lord. But, I accepted and President Weidmann offered the blessing. I have to say, that was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. President and the 4 elders that were there all joined in a circle and participated in giving me the blessing. I promise that the power of the priesthood was so strong. I immediately felt lighter. My pain was not taken away, I didn't immediately feel better but I knew that the Lord loved me, I felt His awareness of me and I felt so much strength. President blessed me to be able to fulfill my calling as a missionary in the Adriatic South Mission and he blessed me to bless the lives of people here. I was so grateful for that experience and I am so grateful for the power of the priesthood. 

Trazhgim is going to England
On Thursday we had mission conference in Durres! It was amazing! We had Elder Dyches from the area presidency here and it was such an uplifting and amazing conference. As I was sitting there I was just hit with how much I love being a missionary and what an opportunity it is to serve here and to invite these people to come unto their Savior. As Elder Dyches was giving us a training, he talked about his respect for President Weidmann and for the great person that he is and he said, "You don't become a person like that by having it easy." It reaffirmed to me the lesson that the Lord builds us by tearing us down sometimes. I am so grateful for every hardship that is placed in my path because I know that all things are for our good. 

"And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." (D&C 122:7) 

Our title for this week as a companionship was "Can't stop, won't stop". I love this work, and I will keep going despite my difficulties, I will continue to work as hard as I can so that I can be an instrument in the Lord's hands. It is such a great blessing to be a missionary and to be on the Lord's errand. I pray that we can all thank the Lord for our difficulties and always remember His infinite love for each of us. I testify that He will never forsake us, and that as we turn to Him all of our burdens can be made light. 

With love, 
Sister Vermunt

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