Monday, December 15, 2014

LETTER 70: The one where Tessa has her last transfer: HOME

Can hardly believe it, but the time has come! I'm transferring home. This past week has been filled with the most amazing things; a lot of reflecting and a profound sense of gratitude. I'm convinced I've gotten the best last week of my mission possible!

I was able to have two trips to the LA temple--one as a whole mission, and one with all of the departing missionaries. Then to top it off, I am going to the temple again this Tuesday, the last night of my mission, to be there as my recent convert Glenn goes through the temple for the first time! I am sooo thrilled and blessed. Words can't even begin to express it.

This past weekend we had Stake Conference in Canoga Park. Elder Neil L Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and spoke Saturday and Sunday, as well as a YSA fireside Sunday evening. He is absolutely amazing and I know without a doubt that he is an Apostle of the Lord! I was able to shake his hand, and he thanked me for my service (: Such a kind man. Filled with the Spirit. His words and testimony had a deep impact on me. 

We had a ward Christmas program yesterday, with a little pie party after as a farewell for me. This is the best ward ever, I love each person so much and they have treated me well! I've found lifelong friends here.

There are so many things I could say, and so much I feel in my heart, it's overwhelming! But the main thing is my love of the Savior. I have become more on my mission than I ever thought possible. I know without a doubt that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior, and that He is the only way to ultimate happiness and joy. I know the gospel is a gospel of transformation. It truly shapes us into the people God knows we can become, and outlines for us how to receive all the blessings God wants us to have. I'm grateful to have had this time to really allow the gospel to seep into me, and become a part of my very core. It means everything to me. I am nothing without it.
I have come to know of the reality of a living Father in Heaven who's love is vast and deep and all-encompassing. He knows me--and each of us. Our fears, inadequacies, concerns, mistakes, short-comings, strengths, aspirations, everything! And He is there to help, no matter where we are at. No matter what. He answers prayers. He really does communicate with us. 
I know that as we are faithful, all things work together for our good. The reason we are here is to learn and be tutored and shaped. As we allow ourselves to be molded by God through our experiences, we are fulfilling our purpose. We just need to hold to Him, no matter what.
The peace, direction, purpose, clarity, love, and all things good that come from living a life consecrated to God is priceless. There is great power that comes from establishing a pattern of prayer, serious scripture study, and active participation in church. It is real. I know it.

I could go on and on! But just know that this really, truly has been the best experience of my entire life. I have had the BEST mission in the world. I wouldn't trade it for anything, and I am going home with no regrets. I am completely indebted to my God. I love Him and the Savior with all my heart!

With much love,
Sister Bishop

Mission temple trip with my favorites. (L2)

Our Christmas booth at CSUN!

Departing temple trip <3

Last Sunday with Bishop and Sister Patton

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