I have fourteen days left until I leave for New Zealand and I've never been so sure about something in my life. I spent a week in Bundaberg with my wonderful cousin and her family. I remember it was Tabitha who inspired me to serve a mission in the first place. We were house sitting and she had a friend having discussions with the missionaries. We made brownies and I remember her suggesting we should go next door and introduce ourselves as missionaries and spread the good word. She really inspired me to be active in the church and build my own testimony. I am ever so grateful for her example and her loving and bubbly personality. I owe her for all my happiness.
My dear sister missionaires Sister Alfaro and Sister Joyce are two good friends of mine. I felt bad that I didn't spend as much time with them before I left. I was so self conscious and socially awkward that I didn't really enjoy the YSA activities so I would skip some. Now I see the value it could have given me. I am so grateful that they left on a mission. It was the step that inspired me to get stuck into my papers and the letters they have sent me have made me more motivated to leave.
There is still a lot for me to do. My Preach my Gospel study has been great. I've read the Book of Mormon through in six months and it only affirms my testimony of its truthfulness. I'm really excited to go! I only have a little more shopping to do and I've pack up half of my room in case we move.
Yesterday at institute, two missionaries came to teach the missionary preparation class. They were amazing. You could tell they were really teaching of the spirit and that they really knew Preach my Gospel, but at the same time they admitted that they weren't perfect. They spoke about how much they enjoy their mission and about how much you grow. Most importantly they advised us that to keep motivated it is best to keep a daily or weekly focus and not count down the time left as it can discourage you.
I was also amazed when a YSA came to me and told me that I would be a great missionary. She had read the posts I had put up on the Multi-stake YSA Facebook page. There was a young man who is a member but wasn't taught everything about the gospel by the missionaries or didn't understand it. He has some sort of social or mental issues and he often gets under peoples skins when he quotes scriptures. But I knew this was a child of God and that we should love and help him. So I offered suggestions to help him with his concerns. It felt so good to help it out and it obviously showed. She said I didn't have to respond to him but was glad that I did. This amazing feeling came over me that affirmed that going on a mission was the right thing for me. Even if people reject my testimony, I know that I've done my best and given them the choice. I will love them regardless of whether they love me because that is what God wants me to do. If I am discouraged by it then it profits me nothing.
Fourteen days to go and I know time will pass quickly. I hope I can write at least another time before I leave, but we'll see. I leave these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
~ Sister. H. Phillips