Monday, September 21, 2015

Until We Meet Again‏

One last time... Malo e lelei and alooooo-ha!


This week has been so hard, and wonderful at the same time. Saying goodbye to the members, the investigators, the ward, the missionaries, all of whom I have come to love so dearly. Leaving them behind is so scary for me at this moment. Then, on the other hand, starting my life up again, going to college, seeing my friends and family, building stronger bonds with my loved ones, watching films and listening to music. I am excited for all of these things!

Saying goodbye to the members has been top priority this week, and updating the area book. Sister Mitchell is being transferred, and Elders will be coming into the Palehua area. We teach a lot of single sisters, so naturally we are worried. We know the Lord knows the plan, though! Just have to have faith. 

Yesterday in church, it was ward conference. Our bishop spoke, Emilene (our recent convert) bore her testimony, and then SURPRISE Bishop Aken called me up to bear my testimony one last time. It was on the spot, but I felt the Spirit in me. I didn't cry! 

In Hawaii, there's a tradition. Whenever a family, member or missionary is leaving the ward, they sing a beautiful Hawaiian song called "Aloha 'Oe". They had me come up to the stand, the entire congregation stood, and sung to me these words:

Ha'aheo ka ua i naa pali
Ke nihi aʻela i ka nahele
E uhai ana paha i ka liko
Pua 'ahihi lehua o uka

Aloha ʻoe, aloha ʻoe
E ke onaona noho i ka lipo
One fond embrace,
A hoʻi aʻe au
Until we meet again

I may have teared up, but I didn't cry either! Weird, huh?

Our time is so limited on this Earth. My time has been so limited on my mission, in Hawaii, but it has influenced me more than anything in my life. The culture, the Aloha spirit, the members and missionaries. Everyone and everything has taught me something about myself and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now more than ever, I am 100% sure this is the TRUE gospel. That this is Christ's church upon the Earth. 

I may have only had 1 year to wear the official badge, but I forever will have my name tag engraved in my heart. I want to continue my spiritual journey, this is not the end. I have been sent here to Hawaii for many reasons, but something my mission president taught me is that our number 1 investigator on our mission is ourselves. I have been truly converted. It didn't happen when I was baptized, it has happened the past 2 years in the church. Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been the biggest blessing, and has saved my life in more ways than one. I am grateful for those who have supported me during my trials, and have supported me in all things. I hope I have made you proud. More than anything though, I hope I have made my Heavenly Father proud.

I love my Savior. I have learned more about Him than I could have ever imagined I would know. He truly died for our sins, so that we could have that opportunity to have eternal life. Christ has paid the price for our salvation. We must come unto Him, though, and partake of His salvation. His hand is forever outstretched to us. It is our choice whether we grab His hand, though! 

I have learned so much my 12 months here in Hawaii, but mostly I've learned about the LOVE that our Heavenly Father has for each of us. He places us exactly where we need to be, with the people we need. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and will provide blessings for us to have the best life possible. We, in turn, must choose to follow Him and His son, Jesus Christ, to achieve all the blessings we are promised.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's true church upon the Earth. God called his servant, Joseph Smith, to restore the priesthood authority that was taken so long ago. I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ, in the sacred grove, and that he was called to restore the everlasting gospel. The Book of Mormon, along with the Old and New Testament, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price contain the everlasting gospel. All are the word of God, and we are so blessed in this day and age to have all of them. I know that He loves us, and wants us to come to Him for anything and everything. We are never to unworthy to feel His love. 

I love my Father in Heaven, my older brother Jesus Christ, and all of you who have been with me every step of the way. I am so excited to see all of you again, and to be able to show you all in person how much I love my Savior. Bless you all, for the time you've put into writing emails, letters, cards, and sometimes even packages! I have appreciated every single word you've sent. Know that I love you, and that when I come home I want to continue to serve. If anyone needs ANYTHING, I hope you don't hesitate to call me.

The gospel is true, the book is blue, and Jesus is the Christ. (:

Until we meet again, toko's!

~Sister Alexis Michelle Noriega

No comments:

Post a Comment