Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Week 79 - Feeling the spirit, watching changes, and it's my birthday!

I finished my souvenir shopping last week, and I think my companion should get a prize for going with me all around the city trying to find everything on my list in the blazing heat.  But I just want to say that we both did it, and I'm pretty proud of us! :)  It's such a lifted burden now that I'm done with all that!

We met with a wonderful member family on Monday.  The sweet husband was telling the story of him and his wife, and he started to cry just relaying how much he loved her and wanted to marry her.  They made my heart melt a little.  And their cute baby was sleeping so angelically - I couldn't help but see how their lives have been enhanced and enriched by the Gospel.  They are an eternal family, and their love for their family just deepens with time and the experiences they share.  I love that the Gospel does that!

In other news, it's been BLAZING hot.  And we got a fan on Friday, and I'm pretty sure it's one of the best parts of my week.  Well, I'm just so grateful for a good, working fan that helps me keep my sanity and enjoy my life a little more! :)

Another crazy thing this week was zone conference.  This was my final zone conference.  It went really well!  We talked about language and using time wisely.  There were about 20 missionaries there, and they all participated well and seemed to like it.  The weirdest part, though, was when they had me get up and bare my testimony - my final testimony in a  zone conference.  I knew it was coming, since everyone gets up at their last zone conference, but still…  I felt so peaceful, though.  It kinda hit me that I would be leaving soon, but I felt mostly peace.  And love.  I talked about the love I feel from Heavenly Father, and how my plan was never to serve a mission, but that I'm so grateful God had different plans for me.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity I've had to be up close and personal in the changes of people's lives.  The changes I've seen in others and in myself are not accidents.  There's nothing that has happened in the last 18 months that I would change.  I've grown and come to know my Savior more personally.  Sister Harper got up at the conclusion of my testimony and shared words of encouragement and love as she shed tears at the thought of sending her beloved missionaries home.  But she was so kind.  I'll miss her.  

Later, we taught the plan of salvation to a seventeen year-old girl who has never heard anything like it before.  The Spirit permeated the room as we concluded and asked, "what do you think of this?  It's new, but what do you feel right now?"  and she answered by saying, "I have never heard anything like this before.  But I already knew it.  Now it's just more detailed."  I wanted to cry!  It was so powerful!  We talked a little bit about how the Spirit helps us know the truth.  And she said she wanted to be baptized so that she can, in fact, live with her family and with God after she dies.  The Gospel is true!  

I'm in shock a little bit from realizing that at the end of the month I'll be on a plane.  But I'm so grateful that I get to have daily experiences that strengthen me and help me go to bed feeling like I've done good every day.  I love my mission!

Sister Bottorff

I love grocery shopping in the summer - we even got an eggplant!

I love rainbows!

Nothing to say here :)

Ahh - this is a true blessing!

Ghinggis Khan still lives on the hillsides

Birthday balloons from home!

And a tie-dye birthday cake - life is wonderful!


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