25 March 2013

Week 10

March 25, 2013
Mi Familia!
So I don't know if any of yall would have done the math like this, but I did and today makes my 9 weeks and five days mark. That is the same amount of time that I spent living in Belize and that means that after today this will be the longest amount of time that I have spent away from yall. Can you believe that?
I think that this week my thoughts are directed toward Easter Sunday this week and toward the Atonement. There is this really great talk that we have in our mission binder that is by President Holland called "Teach the Atonement." In it he says some really powerful things. One of the things that really caught my attention is how our missions will reflect the life of the Savior is some way. I think I have probably explained this before, but President Holland makes the analogy that we are literally disciples and representatives of Jesus Christ. That means that we will have to walk the path that he walked in order to really feel like his
Yesterday my companion and I visited a lady and we talked about some really terrible awful things that her family has had to go through. My companion brought up Hebrews 12: 21. It goes something like: "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." I'm trying to do that in my life right now and overcome evil by spreading this beautiful gospel message....
I just couldn't believe hearing some of the things that her family has had to go through and my heart literally ached for them. It is devastating! I can't even imagine all that the Savior would have had to go through to take on all of the pains and sicknesses of the people. I know that I am so incredibly grateful for Him and I don't think I will ever be able to wrap my head around it.
However, I am so incredibly grateful that I have been blessed to have been raised in this gospel and been sheltered by a lot of the things of the world. The second principle that the first lesson of the Restoration teaches is "The Gospel Blesses Families." I just can't even tell you how true that is. Thank you family for helping me grow up in a wholesome and uplifting environment. I am so grateful for the gospel and all that it has done to bless my life and change me to become who I am and what I know.
I hope yall have a great Easter this year, but I hope you can always remember and reflect on the Beautiful Atonement that we have!
My companion and I were talking about how there is literally no sense of time here in the mission. I was thinking about how fast and about how slow the time has gone by here these past two months. Sometimes I feel like I have forever to go left, but then I'm so surprised by how fast these two months have gone by. However I do know that despite how fast this time has been moving I am completely unprepared to come home anytime soon. I feel like if I came home today that there are a lot of really good things that have happened to me and that I have had a great mission experience so far. I feel like I have changed a lot and I feel like I have learned a lot.... but I definitely know that I am not who I can be by the end of my mission. I see that I have immense strides of growth to make here and I'm excited for what the Lord has in store for me! I am humbled everyday and I think I understand the magnitude of my call as a missionary more and more everyday.
I love it here in Manchester Tennessee. I feel so blessed to have had all of the experiences that I have had. Don't think it has been completely easy for me, because I would be worried if the mission was too easy-- that would mean I wasn't working. But I really do love it here. I feel like I have seen numberless tender mercies and I feel so blessed to have met the people I have met. I'm so scared that I will be transferred from here soon and I don't want to! I feel like there couldn't be a better fit for me here! But I know that the Lord has a plan for everything and that He will continue to bless me and provide me with opportunities to open my heart out to Tennessee even more.
Have a great Easter! I know you will all experience a void without me, but I guess we have Easter 2015?! haha, that is so far away. But yall are great and I hope I can continue to hear from yall more. (And I'm going to call Cougar out right now because I haven't heard from him for the longest...)
Que Dios Les Bendigas!
Con Amor,
Hermana Rich
P.S. I know you probably noticed that I said yall a couple of times at the beginning of my email, but I can't not stop saying it. It has been engraved in my vocabulary. I'm working on getting "I reckon" and "I'm a fixin," but I'm sure that will come with time.

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