Oh My goodness my family!
If all I got on my birthday were sweet words from each of you, I would be set. This has been the most amazing/best birthday. I love you all so dearly and love being a missionary. Heavenly Father is so aware of us.
Family, I had the best experience in the temple this morning. First off, I felt like Heavenly Father was saying " happy birthday my daughter, I love you". I got to have my pday today and go to the temple with my zone. AND email you all today. What a beautiful blessing. I am surrounded by people that I love and who love me. ( i say that in the most humble way :) I was in the dressing room and Carla, from the Federal Way Ward I loved so much, came up to me and was like "happy birthday!" haha. She came to the temple at my scheduled time just for my birthday. My heart was full! Then we walked into the chapel to wait to go upstairs and there was a row full of tongan women. Oh my heck! Allah Hallah! Then we walk into the room for the endownment and it was packed. EVERY single older missionary couple and my mission president and his wife were in the session with us! AND a woman from a ward that I served in was the worker. We just kept smiling at each other the whole time. Carla sat next to me and held my hand during the session (she is 72 yrs old and Indonesian and like my best friend). My heart was so full of gratitude.
Then we finished the session and went to the Croom and it was full of missionaries, tongans, and older missionary couples and my mission president. It felt like Heaven. That is exactly how I imagine heaven to look and feel like. We were all so happy to see each other and everyone was hugging (except elders and sisters) and talking with each other. We didn't know the tongan sisters but we went up and just hugged them and told them we were from the islands... well sister aitiria was. But they still accepted me and hugged me haha. Oh my goodness. It was blissful and the best present I could have asked for. Then I came out and Tom Barrett, an old friend from college was there with his wifey! Crazy Cray.
This week was maybe the hardest week on my mission. I never knew someone who was trying to follow their Heavenly Father as closely as they could, could experience so much opposition and despair. Despair seems a bit dramatic but Family, this was the hardest week I have ever experienced. For a number of different reasons. I will tell you about it after the mission. my testimony of the Savior has been strengthened yet again.
Stormie made me a birthday cake last night and they sang and i blew out birthday candles :) Haha. She was supposed to get baptized saturday and didn't :( So hard. My heart broke. But we set another day for baptism for this friday. Please pray for her. I put her name on the temple prayer roll today).
There is so much to tell! I want to be able to write you each individually. I'm so sorry. I am eternally grateful for each of you. Alia sent me the COOLEST journal. It was perfect timing because I literally have 3 pages left in my old journal. Thank you!
I'm so happy that you have had time to spend with Sister Morgan. She is so special to me. Keep having fun :)
Oh! we had interviews with president and I told him that sister aitiria and I laugh a lot, maybe too much and he just looked at me and said " That's what she needs. Keep laughing" oh my music to my ears. We laugh so so so much together. She is my brown sister. I love her with my entire heart. I love that I can laugh together and work together so well.
Ok, I love you all. This gospel of Jesus Christ is true. There is nothing greater or sweeter. I want you all to know that this sacrifice for the service of others is the best thing I've ever done in my life! That is where TRUE happiness comes from.
I love you!!!
Love, Sister mara