Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Countdown Week 3 ~The Amazing Race: VWU

We are getting close to the end. What a great journey it has been. I have seen so much growth in Elder Vester, it makes my eyes water. I am so proud of the service that he has given over these past 2 years.
He has done a great job.


So, this week has been interesting...
You know that feeling, where you are anticipating something for a long time, and it starts out really slow, then zips by, and all of a sudden, it's taking forever again? Yeah. That's me right now.
This week has been so incredibly spiritual. I'm not exactly sure how to explain it. But, I'll try it like this.
It seems like every day has been getting more difficult to mount. Like, I'm putting more rocks in my backpack every few steps.
And, at the same time, I understand better what Alma talks about, in the book of Mormon, about how God made their burdens light. He did not take them away, but he did make them lighter. Every day has been getting more and more difficult. But, I've never been happier as a missionary.
On my sick days, I've had the chance to really reflect about how I am, and about what my mission has done for me. My current struggle has been knowing if I have gone home. 
Sometimes I feel like because I can't work every day like I should, that I am just wasting my time. And in the long hours of prayer and meditation, I always seem to get the same answer.
"Everything is going to be ok. You can make it. No sacrifice, is a wasted sacrifice."
I don't know why, but I know everything is going to be ok.
I've been through a lot in the last 25 months, and I know Heavenly Father has been taking care of me, and will continue to do so. I've seen more then most, and I've been so amazingly blessed.
I remember there was a point in my mission that I would not be sure if I could look back with a happy heart on the work I have done.
And thankfully I can.
It was only through the Atonement of Christ that I was able to leave the bad in the past, and continue forward, with my shoulders straight, and my head held high. Just today, even, I was talking about Brasil with Elder Naranjo, and the subject of my really difficult companion came up. (Back when I was in Cachoeiro.) And all the things I thought were so hard, and things I thought I could not put up with now, I laugh at! haha!
I am amazed at the many different ways that the Atonement can affect our lives. Not only can it wipe away the pain of sin, and mistake, but it can be a balm of healing to a injured soul. 
I've never quite understood it.
But, I'm getting a better grasp on it now.
We are almost never able to see change or progress in ourselves. It is only after time, and reflections that we can see where we've been, and how we've changed.
Like, a cut being healed. There is so much under the surface that we don't even see, or know what is happening. All we can see is the cut on the outside, when underneath, there is skin regrowing, veins correcting, tissues rejoining, and sinew reforming.
We can be so focused on the ugly scar that, that we forget to see the miracle at work inside of us.
This is much how I feel right now.
Despite the pain being even worse than it was when I was back in Brasil, I am at peace. 
I know that this was required of me.
A test of faith. 
Just another bump along the road to exaltation. 
I've given it my all. I look back, and I see how God has helped guide my steps every day, and I am so grateful for this work.
I am glad to say, that I will be going home with no regrets, and knowing I have satisfied the Lord in all I have done.
I love you all, and I'll be seeing you soon.
After all, only 2 more emails till I'm headed home!
19 days everyone. Keep on the look out.
This is the front of Elder Vester's apartment. You notice there is a BBQ place under his apartment.
~Elder Vester
This is a cute selfie!

Looking down the street from his apartment.
The last few pictures is the country side where he lives.

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