Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Adventure Is Out There!

Well folks... It has come to this. I have not been looking forward to this. Ask anybody here in Arlington YSA and they'll tell you how much I DO NOT want to go home. Don't be surprised if I don't make it to their airport-- they probably kidnapped me. They've been making threats all week.
We had a great week! We met with our investigators and I'm happy to report that Sweet Soul and Weightless are back on track! They both had experiences where they realized they wanted CHANGE and that they were fed up with the ruts they were in. We also set TWO baptismal dates with our two new investigators from last week! YUSS. I don't care if ya sin so hard ya black out, if it makes you come back and change then AWESOME. Without being casual, that's what the Atonement's for. That's why we have a Savior. So that we can change and move on. Doesn't matter how far you've fallen, you CAN (and WILL, if I have anything to say about it!!) get back up. Is the Atonement infinite? Or is it infinite???
So, this is my last email as a tagged missionary. Come Thursday, I'm gonna take my nametag off (read: Pres. Houston will have to tackle me to the ground and wrestle it from me) and that's gonna be about the only thing that'll change. Oh, well, I guess I'll start wearing pants again...
But I wanted to share with you (for those of you who've never heard it) my personal testimony story. So, yes, this will be a hecka long email, but go big or go home right? (haha..................... wait.)
There was a point in my life (circa high school) when I became spiritually Less Active. I went to church cuz that was the Gunson house rules but I never read my scriptures and I never prayed. I slowly started slipping until I just didn't... care anymore. My parents tried to intervene, but no matter what spiritual experience I had, it never STUCK. This all started when I had tried to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and didn't get an answer back. I was like "what the heck, man?? I thought there was a promise in here!!" This went on for I want to say maybe 2 and a half years or so... And that's when I was like "this is stupid. This is ridiculous. I'm gonna read the Book of Mormon." I was angry and sad and grumpy all the time, I fought non-stop with my family, just wasn't fun. I remembered all the many blessings my father had given me, telling me to JUST READ THE BOOK OF MORMON. If I did that, I would be safe. So, I picked it up and decided I was gonna read a chapter every night. A week later, I started praying every night AND reading every night. And within just barely under a month, things turned around.
So that's how I got my testimony. But my conversion story is my mission. I knew this stuff was true and out here, I got to apply it. This mission has been the making of me, the sanctifying of me, the burning-away-a-bunch-of-dumb-stuff in me, and now having completed a full and fruitful mission, I can say that IT IS ME. I can say that the scripture that told me to go on a mission(Jacob 5:75) wasn't just a prompting but a prophecy. I have received a GREAT joy in my service. So much joy that the first 15 minutes of my studies this morning was  bawl-praying my thanks to Heavenly Father for letting the ultimate goober serve a mission. Thank GOODNESS He took that chance on me.
What have I learned? I have learned that God lives! God is my HEAVENLY FATHER, who loves me with a depth I cannot comprehend. He has watched over me and those I love carefully and mercifully. He's never let me out of His sight or out of His arms. And I will always have that relationship and nothing can take that away from me. I have learned that Jesus IS the Christ! His Atonement is INFINITE, people!! He can change ANYONE who is willing to listen and willing to ACT. No matter how black the Friday, Sunday ALWAYS comes because of Him. I know that Joseph Smith was a man of God and has done more for me than any other latter day prophet-- maybe more than any prophet! The Book of Mormon is the word of a LOVING God who would never let His children live in darkness unless they chose to. It is relatable to me and to my day and time. I have learned to be holy, to be sanctified, to put off the natural man and to ditch old habits and old personalities in favor of my eternal personality. I have learned to LOVE. Brothers and Sisters, friends, family, people I don't yet know and even my enemies, LOVE CONQUERS ALL. It trumps everything and anyone who tries to bring you down. I know how much the Savior loves me because He has allowed me to love YOU. And He has shown me the proper way to do so.
I had my exit interview on Saturday and I received an incredible blessing. In that blessing, I was given a clear vision of what I need to do. It wasn't specific-- I still have various ideas about which major and I don't know my husband's name or where I'm gonna live-- but I know who I am and I know God's plan. And I will be walking confidently into the future as a woman of God and a disciple of Christ.
Last thought: I had been scared of transitioning. I was scared because I was like "I need something to work towards, I'm not gonna have a vision, no accountability, AHHHHH" but then I read Chapter One of Preach my Gospel. There is nothing in that chapter that does not apply to every baptized member of Christ's church. Especially Page 10-- where every missionary looks to make sure they're doing their job right. That's where every member needs to be looking to know if they're living up to their baptismal covenants, honestly. In that last blessing, it was promised to me that I would continue my missionary work. And while I REALLY would like to put my name tag back on, I know that the world is my mission and you're all under my circle of influence, which makes YOU my area. So get ready to be spiritually edified, son, cuz I'm coming home!!
Love, Sister Hannah Gunson

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