Monday, August 25, 2014

Last Email!!!!

Wow. Well…I can`t believe I`m actually writing my last email home.  It breaks my heart knowing that in just a few short days I have to say goodbye to this country, the people I have come to love so dearly, and my calling as a full-time missionary.  These last 18 months for me have been the hardest, intense, most spiritual, wonderful, character building and life changing months of my life.  As I have sincerely reflected on this last year and a half, I have come to feel so much gratitude to my Father in Heaven for the trials, tests, hardships, joys and opportunities I have lived.  I have never quite understood the purpose of trials, or why the Lord gives us experiences that He knows will genuinely test our faith, and our deep desires to be obedient, and effect our lives in such a profound way.  Through intense study, and prayer I have come to slightly understand the role that God has designed the Atonement to play in our mortal existence.  I have come to appreciate more than ever before the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ in moments of difficulty, where I learned what the scriptures mean when they say, “Pray unto the Father with all energy of heart.”  Never have I felt so close to my Savior, or felt so carried by His love.

I know without a doubt that my Heavenly Father knows me perfectly, He knew that for ME…a mission was necessary, He knew that I had to serve in the Arequipa Peru Mission, and I am positive that He knew when he called me that my mission would change my life forever.  Each area, each companion, each ward, each experience I have had on my mission has been part of this change within me.  I have felt a true change of heart, and change of priority in my life…I know what is really important and I plan to live the rest of my life as a representative of Christ, of His gospel, and of the joy that comes from living worthy of the constant companionship of the holy ghost.  I testify that the gospel changes lives, opens our hearts, and our eyes to God`s pure love, and sets us free completely.  I testify that there is absolutely no other way in this life to experience the wonderful joy that I have come to know on my mission than through accepting Jesus Christ as the Savior of the World.  Only through Him can we return to live with our Father in Heaven.   I testify that as you study the basics of the gospel and pray with true desires to understand them, that your mind will be opened and you will feel within you a desire to change.  Through my own personal study, the desire I feel now to be obedient in every aspect of my life is something that has been eternally etched and engraved into my heart.

I testify that through our obedience to the commandments of God, that blessings will come in abundance into our lives.  God has promised to bless us as we strive to do what is right. (Doctrine and Covenants 82:10).  Yesterday in church I gave my last talk on obedience.  I felt so strongly the spirit testify to me as I taught the members of our small branch, that God wants to bless us.  He loves us perfectly and desires our happiness, salvation and success in this mortal life more than we even do.  I have learned on my mission, and understand more profoundly WHY I must be obedient.  I do it because I feel closer to God, and the spirit.  I do it because I know with all my heart that this is the only true church, and way to happiness in this life.  I do it because I love my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ, and I do it because I can feel this change within me continue to grow.  I am forever indebted, and grateful for my mission, and I hope I can spend the rest of my life thanking God for this spiritual adventure that opened my eyes to the eternal blessings of heaven.

I`ll see you in a few days. I love you all!

Viva Perù!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Carli Andelin Stone

I love Arequipa
One last family home evening with Kelly and her family
Operation Smile
Dinner in Tacna with President

Operation Smile
Sister Conference-Arequipa

  Hermana Deby

Sister Zobrist
Sister Conference-Tacna

1 comment:

  1. I love you Carli!!! See u soon. Aunt Suzi aka Makesha America Noel..old stage name haha.