Monday, June 15, 2015

Oh my GOSH! It's happening AGAIN! 6-1-2015

Oh man....this week words can express my feelings...................
I know the Lord has a plan for each and every one of us...who knew He'd make something we thought was a one time deal...a bazillion time deal?! If you don't want to read about everything else, I exhort you to read about my Sunday. Because...that's the day everything changed. 

      Well, lets start with Wednesday the 27th shall we?  during the day, Sis. Hansen (member) picked us up. Our appt fell thought, so we went to her house and taught her three kids and their friend, Trevor! (good name!) once the kids left for the lake, Sis. Hansen showed us around her farm / ranch. She had two pics (1 black - kept biting at Sis. Verdejo's toes - would let us pet him; and 1 white - skid-dish). 4 dogs (breeds them - has a huge gentle giant named king and one in labor somewhere in her five acres),  2 rabbits with cute baby bunnies, goats and chickens (along with some chicks). That was SO much fun! Got a lil' muddy - but nothing a good wash can't take off!
      Our last appt with Sis. Hansen was Sis. Porter. We got to her house...oh my GOODNESS! Huge GORGEOUS home! We had fun talking with her, then I played on my dream piano = a baby black grand! Oh mama that thing was beautiful! I played the piece I composed in Abingdon, VA; then I was asked to play another, so I played and sung my mom song, Endlessly. Of course, the whole time I'm singing, I'm thinking about my mom. Towards the end of the song, tears started forming in my eyes. I was able to finish - they loved it! 
      In the evening we taught the achievement day girl named Sapphire. The teacher and her daughter, Morgan were there too. We taught about sacrament. Eventually the elders joined in. 

      Thursday the 28th, we woke up at 5:30 am, left at 6:30 am and arrived at the church at 7:05 am. The Cleveland S. Elders (Byron and Brown) jumped into our backseat and we headed to Farragut, TN for the mission conference (all 150 missionaries) to train us on Ipads! I got to see Blau there and she LOVES sister Mulloy! That made me super happy! I had been praying so hard that she'd get a companion that she'd get along with! The meeting was long...but good! We got to have Elder Zwick of the seventy and another come and train us along with our mission president and wife. I got a package from my mom with my deep blue essential oil! whoop whoop! Thanks mom! (She REALLY takes care of me!)
      When we got back to the church, we had used 112 miles. In this area, we're only allotted 1150 miles and we have to drive more than Abingdon; in which we were allotted 1250! crazy! We were told we would be reimbursed for our miles - then we find out, we were only given 30 miles! WHAT?! Elder Houghton wasn't going to allow that. After much talking to the AP's we were finally given 80 miles! Thank goodness! We now have 17 miles a day until the new month! We ended up seeing Bernice (who we met Sunday) and finished teaching the Resto. She is GOLDEN! 

      Friday at 9 am we had our correlation with Bro and Sis. Peterson (Mission Leader) and the Elders at the church. When we got back we did our weekly planning. Good times. When we were done, we went and visited Jen and Joe. We re-taught them the POS. The spirit was REALLY strong! 


      Sunday....this is the day that my whole world got flipped around. It's happening again! OK, so I read all my blessings yesterday and felt really good about what I'm doing and I read the blessing I received from Elder Houghton (I record them then type them up) last week. It said I had a reason for being here - so I tried to list off some reasons. in the morning, I woke up and on the way to church (Peterson's were driving) anything anyone said would really annoy me. I was not in a good mood and I was tired.
      We got to church and went in to PEC (Priesthood Executive Council) - the whole time I was there, everyone annoyed me, I felt sick to my stomach and I felt like crying. I pushed it back cause I didn't know what was causing those feelings! I was so confused. I put on a smile and did my best to act as if nothing was wrong. My Mom always told me that even when I'm feeling down, put on a smile for the world to see, because you never know who your smile will influence. By the time PEC ended (Oh, BTW - I gave a spiritual thought on prayer!) I felt like bawling and throwing up. I was going to ask if we could go to the restroom, but RS (Relief Society) was starting. I knew Sis. Warren (Member) needed our assistance in the lesson, so I told myself to get over it, allow Heavenly Father to help you and be happy! I honestly had NO idea why I was feeling that way! So, RS happened - was a lot of fun! The feeling faded a lil' until the end. 
      Gospel Principals started and I noticed I could barely concentrate. I held back tears and I felt sick even more so to my stomach. During the lesson, I couldn't hold back anymore. I looked at Sis. Verdejo and said I needed to use the restroom. As I was saying this, tears started forming in my eyes and my lips started trembling. She asked if I was alright. I did my best to hide it, but it was starting to really show so I dashed out of the room into a stall in the bathroom. Lemme tell ya- it's hard to cry softly...especially in the bathroom! Any-who, eventually after everyone left (sure is a popular place) Sis. Verdejo asked, "Are you alright?" I came out of the stall and tried to convince her I was fine - but it's kind of hard to when they see you about to burst into tears! 
It ended up with both of us outside with me crying and telling her that I had no idea why I was sad. I felt sick to my stomach, I felt sad and I felt like I was missing something. It was kind of embarrassing, because members kept walking out. Sis. Warren gave me such a warm hearted hug! It was like I was hugging my mom! I was very grateful for that. Little did I know what was yet to come. 
      Elder Shaw gave a talk that mentioned word for word what I talked about with Sis. Verdejo (well, part of it). It wasn't his original talk either! Amazing! I was able to be a lil' happier the rest of church. Still had the sick feeling in my stomach, and my heart was racing - but I was better!
When we got home, I was so exhausted that I plopped on the couch and closed my eyes (lunch hour anyways). As I was laying there, my thoughts suddenly went to going home. I felt like I was only still on my mission for my siblings because I wanted to be the example as their oldest sibling that served faithfully her FULL time mission. Then, a feeling came that I NEVER felt before! I felt that I've completed my mission. "WHAT?! I STILL HAVE 7 MONTHS!!!" I tried to deny the idea. I continued rehearsing the blessings I've been given before how I was promised to have healing enough to do what the Lord had for me in this part of His vineyard. Not only that, but I have been doing great. Yes, I have struggled a little bit with my neck, but was planning on getting that worked out with massage therapy. I have talked to my parents about it through a letter, and members here have recommended some great suggestions. There was no way that my physical stuff was limiting me enough to make me think about going home. It just came out of NOWHERE! 
      Sis. Verdejo was eating at the table and asked, "You gonna eat?" I chuckled and put some salad in a bowl, and while I was eating started talking to her about my thoughts while I was lying down. She got so quiet and you could see it in her eyes there was something up. So, I asked. It was then that she looked at me square in the yes and said that when I said the words, "Go home," the spirit was REALLY strong. I swear my heart stopped for a full 2 seconds. I had to catch my breath! Eventually I asked her what she thought it meant. She shrugged and replied, "I don't know if it means that you need to go home, or stay on your mission." Her eyes widened. She then went on to explain that as soon as she said, "Stay here," the spirit went away.
      Tears started forming when I realized the reality of what was just said. I grabbed my now empty salad bowl, threw it in the sink while yelling, "IT CAN'T HAPPEN AGAIN!!!" I stormed off into the bedroom, slammed the door like a little toddler, looked at the picture of Christ on our wall and out loud (loudly) begged, "PLEASE don't send me home again! PLEASE tell me to stay! I'll do better! I PROMISE! I'll work harder~! I'll not complain as much! I'll be better I PROMISE! Just PLEASE don't send me home again!" The whole time I was crying and staring at the picture of Christ I was thinking, "You know how I feel! Please don't make me do this!" when I stopped crying and screaming, the thought came to me, "You need to go home."
     I reflected on ALL my past experiences and remembered my blessing which told me that through the scriptures I would know the will of God. I remembered that's how I got my answer before. I came back out determined to get an answer in the scriptures telling me to stay. I wasn't going to mess around. In my head I basically said, "You show me in one turn." I grabbed my Book of Mormon, and without thinking I just whipped open a page. I ended up in Alma 19:28 which reads, "And thus the contention began to be exceedingly sharp among them," (there had been contention in my heart all day). Then later on in the vs it stated, "She was exceedingly sorrowful, even unto tears." RIGHT next to that I had written a while back, "Knew the reason." My heart melted. I knew the reason I was crying at this point. I KNEW THE REASON!
     So of course, I started crying to Verdejo - then realized it was time to call my Mission President. I told him the whole story! Crying, sobbing, and everything! I told him I was scared! I didn't want to go home! After talking I read to him the scripture and what had happened. After more talking, he told me a scripture just popped up into his mind. We turned to it (Sis. Verdejo was with me): D&C 124:49. Whenever it said, "Sons of Men," I put in daughter since I'm a girl. "Verily, Verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the daughters of men to do a work unto my name..." (that's what I'm doing! I'm doing His work - missionary work - under His name (Pres. Griffin talked me through the verse)).  "...and those daughters of men go with all their might..." (I work with all my might every day!) "...and with all they have to perform that work..." (I give my all, all the time - or so I try). "...and cease not their diligence..." (I try not to) :...and their enemies come upon them..." (enemies could even include my physical pains he told me) "...and hinder them from performing that work..." (my physical pain has limited me and hindered me at times). " behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those daughters of men, but to accept of their offerings." As SOON as he read that last part, I started sobbing. He asked me what I felt that last part meant. I told him I didn't want to answer because I didn't want it to happen! (We talked and I was laughing and crying thought the conversation. He told me I was the first person he had ever met that cried and laughed at the same time! Was funny!) When I told him that, he replied how he thinks I just got my answer. I went on to tell him that I still had 7 months left. He brought up my mission call letter, how it states, "It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 8 months." He told me that the brethren knew it might not be 18 months. Also, that we can't put a time limit on God's work. 
      My thoughts were everywhere! As we were reading that last part of D&C, I believe the Holy Ghost brought to my remembrance what I told people before my missions, that I would extend my mission to two years if I could. It then dawned on me - with the time I've served as full time missionary and the year I was home (in which I was told in a blessing that Heavenly Father included my time home as part of my full time mission) this past 21st was my 2 year mark. There came a point while talking with President that my heart started to accept this call from God. I said, "President Griffin, all I ask is for two favors. One, that I can finish out the transfer." He agreed I could. "And two, YOU call my parents," he chuckled. He agreed he would. The reason I wanted him to make the phone call, is because I've made that phone call once before, and it broke my heart to tell my Mom I'm coming home early from my mission. All I want is my parent's to be proud of me. Now, this doesn't mean I don't think they are or will be of me...I just don't like breaking this kind of news to my loved ones...especially my wonderful mom who has done SO much for me! Also, I want to stay as focused as I can for the next 5 weeks - and I know that if I talk to my mom, my thoughts would be distracted from the work. I know that because this is the pathway the Lord wants me to follow, Heavenly Father will help my parents understand. 
     I got permission from President to allow the elders to come over to our apt and give me a blessing. When they came over, we all sat and and I told them the story. The EXACT same thing happened to me as it did to Sis. Verdejo earlier - as I said go home, the spirit was strong. As I said stay, the spirit went away. Was very interesting. As I was explaining the whole story, I felt this peaceful feeling, even as I do now in writing this. 
      As Sister Verdejo was saying a prayer before the blessing, I kept feeling like I should ask Elder Shaw to give me the blessing. Once the prayer ended, I did just that. He seemed surprised but willing. The Elders put their hands on my head and started the blessing by saying my full name and said they were acting under the Melchizedek Priesthood. Afterwards, he started addressing me throughout the whole blessing by my first name. I knew that he knew that I go by Sister Thomas right now - so that was one example of God telling me it was time to go home. After a little bit, he went on to say, "Heavenly Father knows that you know the right thing to do." Well...there's my 2nd example. THEN he went on to say later, "He blesses you that you'll have the opportunity to be a worthy mother and wife." There's my 3rd example - because I don't believe Heavenly Father would tell me that if I was staying and needed to focus on the work. He went on to talk about genealogy and that I still have a purpose. Then he said, "As you finish your time here in Tennessee, you will continue to feel His strength." FINISH?! mind was made up. Heavenly Father wanted me to go home. As I just wrote that, my mind reflected loudly the scripture I read in Alma 10:7 - "Return to thine own house."
      Later on in the blessing, there was along pause. At first, I thought he was about to end it Then I said a prayer in my heart saying, "Heavenly Father, I feel now that I must go home. Is this the right decision?" (even now as I write this, the spirit is SO strong!) Almost immediately after I asked this (NOT out loud) Elder Shaw through the promptings of the Holy Ghost said, "He blesses you that you made the right decision." My jaw literally DROPPED! Yes, I knew the blessings were from God and that He heard me, but I've never had that kind of experience before. I've heard of my Mom's and other people's experiences; but it was really cool to experience it for myself. He went on to say the work I have and will give has been accepted. And that Heavenly Father believes and trusts in me! He said many other wonderful things that helped secure my answer. 
      I know what I must do now. President had wanted us both to pray and sleep on it then talk about it this morning. But now, I know without at doubt this is the plan that Heavenly Father has for me. Why? I don't know right now - but as I've learned in the past, that as I humbly and cheerfully submit my will to the Father's, I can't go wrong. 
     I am scared out of my wits about going home with school, work, dating, etc. I feel like I am very smart in the Gospel, but only semi-smart (because I know I'd get lectured if I said not smart) with everyone (most everything) else. What does Heavenly Father have in store for me going home "early"? Guess I'll find out!
      My testimony has not wavered at all! If anything ,it's grown immensely! 
      Last week, Elder Houghton said that he felt Sis. Verdejo was my companion to help me know where the line stands between taking care of myself vs pushing myself through my struggles. I feel she did just that as she was in tune with the spirit enough to help start my process in recognizing that it was my time. I am SO grateful for her and all that she has done for me! 
      I have talked with President this morning, and he's going to get the ball rolling. So for all of you that would like to meet me at the airport when I come home, it'll be July 2nd. Oh btw, transfer day is on July 1st. I was sent to the MS Jackson mission on July 1st, 2013. Crazy, right?! It's amazing to see God's plan shown to us piece by piece. 

I hope all of you can accept the decision I have made through the Lord. And if you are struggling with it, please pray to get the answer for yourself; because I know that since this is His plan for me, you too can know that this is the way I must go. 

I still have five fun filled weeks left and I plan on using them wisely and with every minute used! 

I love you all! I'll let you know more of the details the closer it gets .... and when  I find out! This will be my last 5 weeks as a full time missionary, until I decide to serve a mission with my husband later on in my life. 
Email me back!
Sister Verdejo and I and Great Pyrenees Named King

King and I

The Pig

Sister Verdejo and Sister Me

Us and the Athens Ward Missionaries out for Ice Cream at Dairy Barn

Elder Byron and Elder Brown

Sister Verdejo and little Marcus at church (our sweet friend who has Down Syndrome)
Sista T.
Please write! 710 N. Tellico st. #3 Madisonville, TN 37354​

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