Sister Hamilton has been called to serve for a period of 18 months in the California Arcadia Mission. She will be serving in Spanish.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Nearing the End of the CCM


So I leave Tuesday early in the morning. It simultaneously feels like I just got here and like I have been here for ever. Most of my district will be flying to California together and then splitting there between the Redlands Mission and the Arcadia Mission. I got travel information this morning and I´m going to start packing today. It feels surreal. 

I feel like I have gained so much here. Every sunday before a district from our zone leaves we have a testimony meeting as a zone where the leaving district shares their testimonies and advice about the CCM. Every time at least a few people talked about how that wish they had put more into the CCM while they had had the chance and that while they did have amazing experiences they wish they had been more diligent. I am so thankful that I don´t feel like that. Of course I wasn´t perfect and 100% focused all of the time, but I tried really hard to do all that I could. I feel like my life has already been changed so much and I am so overwhelmingly grateful for the time I have had here and the people that I have met. I am going to miss my teachers a lot. I have learned so much from them. I will miss my district a lot too. We have shared so many cool experiences together and it will be hard to say goodbye. 

This past Sunday we had another one of those meetings for the district in our zone that my district was closest to. I had to say goodbye to some wonderful Hermanas that were wonderful examples to me and really helped me to feel loved when I first got here and was feeling like I didn´t particularly fit in. I think it is cool how they could be placed in my life for such a short amount of time, but have impacted it so greatly. I hope others can say the same about me. 

Something fun that happened this week was all of us Hermanas in the district sat with some Latina Hermanas during dinner. it was simultaneously very humbling and encouraging. The Hermanas were very kind and we quizzed each other on words in Spanish and English. It was hard to keep up with them and I had to ask them to repeat, but that fact that I could understand anything at all was exciting. 

Another fun thing was on Friday there was a super clear full double rainbow over Mexico City. I´m not sure i´ve ever seen a full rainbow before let alone a double one. The rest of the sky was pink and purple and it was possibly one of the most beautiful things I´ve ever seen. It wasn´t  Pday so I didn´t have my camera, but I wish everyone could have seen it.

This morning the CCM was visited by Elder David F Evans, the executive director of the mission department, and Elser Stephen B Allen, the managing director of the mission department. We had a devotional where they spoke and it was so good. Some of the elders were annoyed because today is our Pday and we had to give up two hours of our personal time to go to the devotional, but afterwards I felt like there was no better way I could have spent my time. The entire devotional made me so excited to be heading out to the field. I have such a blessed opportunity to help people change their lives for the better. There are so many people who feel alone, who feel like they aren´t loved or even worse like they aren´t worthy of love. I am so humbled to think that God has called me to go and help them and be their friend. During the meeting I felt so strongly that this is exactly where I need to be and what I need to be doing. They were honest and talked about how missionary work is hard and how every missionary, even missionaries who have gone on to become prophets, experiences serious discouragement , but they also talked about how it is worth it. 

I honestly feel like going on a mission has been the best decision of my life. I am so grateful to be here and I am changed so greatly by being here. I feel strengthened in ways I didn´t even know I was weak. The work is definitely hastening. I know that the age change was a divinely led decision that will result in a stronger youth in the church and consequently stronger families. Families are the basis of everything and it will be those strengthened families that will be able to chance the world for the better.

On Sunday our Relief Society meeting was based on a talk by Thomas S. Monson. Coincidentally I had been studying that talk already during my personal study. That is twice what i have been studying has matched perfectly with what our RS lesson was. The talk is called Love- The Essence of the Gospel and he gave it this past General Conference. I encourage you to read it. One line that really stuck with me this week was that every person has the power to increase the sum total of the worlds happiness. It sounds cheesy, but it´s true. Every little act of service I did this week and every little act of service I received increased the sum total of the worlds happiness. 

I´m out of email time, but I want you all to know that I love you very deeply and I am thankful for your influence in my life. I am so thankful for this gospel, the healing power i have felt in my life and the opportunity to help others feel it too.

Hermana Hamilton

Also, if you have the time look up His Grace Is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox. It´s a great talk. 

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