Monday, January 11, 2016

Stacie's email and pics January 11, 2015

Hermana Ferwerda's last day in the mission! 

My new companion, Hermana Burgoyne :)

Dear family,

What a wonderful past few weeks I have had! I hope you as well were able to enjoy and celebrate the life of our Savior on Christmas and spend some special extra time with family and loved ones. I am so grateful for new beginnings. With each passing year I feel new energy, desire, and motivation to be a better person and do better things that the previous year. For the year of 2015, the Arizona Tucson Mission has helped over 600 people come closer to our Savior Jesus Christ by being baptized into His church: a testimony to me that the work of the Lord is moving forward rapidly and we are truly preparing the world for His coming. This is good, but we can and will do better this year! I would like to challenge each of you to ponder on some of the things that I have been prayerful about sharing with you. 

I truly believe that when we have hope in Christ, we can influence the results of our labors, and the Lord blesses us when we strive to do His work in His ways. We recite regularly as missionaries "no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing". This week I was asked to give a training to other missionaries about accountability which has naturally caused me to really learn the concept of accountability for myself. While thinking back on the past year, I have seen much happiness and sadness, failures, and successes, having to teach and having to be taught, times of ease and times of (painful) growth, experiences, lessons learned, and unfortunate regrets. What I have learned is that we cannot do anything about our circumstances. God places us where ever He needs us and there is just not much we can do about it. BUT, we do have 100% control of how we REACT to those circumstances and what we make out of them. Missionary life is one big roller coaster, many ups and downs that are both fun and scary at the same time. I feel sometimes as if I experience every single emotion going through me multiple times a day and all at the same time. With all of the unpleasant things that we experience in life, we have the choice to make the best of it and learn. 

As we welcomed in the new year, I was prompted to prayerfully make goals and resolutions to help me make the most of the rest of my time here in Tucson. My hope and prayer is that each of you will do the same specific to your own lives. Pulling from a talk given by President Uchtdorf, I want to share with you some examples of some things we can do together to make this year much better than the last:

"Let us resolve to cherish those we love by spending meaningful time with them, doing things together, and cultivating treasured memories.
"Let us resolve to follow the Savior and work with diligence to become the person we were designed to become. Let us listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. 
"Let us resolve to be happy, regardless of our circumstances.
"We must begin to walk that eternal path today; we cannot take for granted one single day. I pray that we will not wait until we are ready to die before we truly learn to live."

As a result of prayerful goal setting, we were able to accomplish and achieve all of our desired results last week. It really works, and the work continually moves forward! 

Love, Hermana Townley

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