Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fare Thee Well, Columbia!

Welp, it happened again...I am getting transferred. I don't know what the deal is, but I have realized that this is the 3rd time in 3 months that I have had to pack up all of my stuff! I don't particularly care for it, but hey waddya do? The Lord has a plan for us all right! But I am whitewashing (again) into Parkway MO which is really close to St. Louis! I am stoked for the city and to finally be able to see the Arch!!!

One miracle stands out in particular this week to me that I would like to mention! So lately, I have just been struggling with feeling like I am not a good missionary and that every missionary around me is better than I am. They are more obedient, see more miracles, get more investigators, etc. Well the Lord definitely showed me that that is not true. Monday night, a member had her friend from work cut our hair for free! So all 4 of us went over to the members home and ate dinner and wrote letters and got our hair cut. Well, the friend isn't a member so of course we brought up the church with her. Well, after we finished getting our hair cut, we taught the Restoration. Somehow the lesson focused on how the Gospel fills holes in our hearts that we never knew we had. The member actually shared a touching story about some of her struggles that she has experienced in her life. After that, her friend did as well. The Spirit was soooo strong, no one could deny it was there. While the member was talking, I was thinking about how much I love her. Like, my heart wanted to burst at the thought of how much I love her. Then, a thought popped into my head, it was " Now think about how much Heavenly Father loves her." Then I started crying. Then more thoughts came. "I sent you to this mission to be Sister Bailey and not anybody else. I want you to use the talents that I gave you to help and bless those around you." Heavenly Father answered my prayers. I realized that my talents are to love as much as I can to help bring others unto Christ. This is why I am here and this is why I am on a mission. I realized also that these are real live people we are teaching. They desire and yearn for that sense of love and belonging and we can show them that the way to find it is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It stinks to leave Columbia--I won't lie. I LOVE the people here. To have seen this area come alive from when we found it dead when we got here has been remarkable! I cried when I found out I was leaving. I didn't understand why I had to leave now, I truly felt like I wasn't ready. So the night of transfer calls, I knelt down and had an amazing conversation with Heavenly Father. I prayed that he would help me understand His will and help me align my will with His. I again cried! (haha sorry for my female-ness). But now I have peace. I know that everything happens according to God's will and he knows better then we do.
My experiences in Columbia have truly taught me about humility. That this is the Lord's work and it is not about us at all. I have learned that I am such a weak person, but that God uses small and simple things (like me) to bring about His great and eternal purposes! I realized God is not a God of coincidences, and that things happen to us to help us learn and grow. And I realized that the Lord loves me more than I can ever imagine. I love being a missionary and I love bearing my testimony every single day. Its astounding to me that I get to do this for 18 months! Crazy!

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