I love Micronesia. My whole heart is here. Serving the Lord here has made for the most difficult and yet rewarding and amazing 18 months of my life. I'm grateful for the lessons I learned here that I simply could not have learned anywhere else.
- We have a Savior who knows and loves us individually with a perfect love. He atoned for each one of us and because of Him we can become new. We can start fresh. & through Him we can become all the Father desires for us become.
- This is a day of miracles. Through our unshaken faith in Jesus Christ we can be witnesses that the heavens have not been closed!
- The Book of Mormon is true and there is a power within that book that cannot be adequately described. I watched that book work miracles and change the lives of many, myself included, during my many months as a missionary on Pohnpei. Through studying it daily we come to know our Savior & His doctrine. Our testimonies of the Prophet Joseph are strengthened and rekindled. & we become more capable to meet the challenges of today.
- I learned that I CAN do hard things. I learned how to endure through difficulties.
- I watched this pure love for the Pohnpeian people form as I prayed for and served them. Service is the gateway to happiness and fulfillment in this life and in the life to come. It softens and it changes hard hearts. it's humbling. & it brings a light and a peace into our lives the moment we decide to lose ourselves in the service of others.
- I learned how to LOVE. From the moment I stepped into Sapwalap I was treated like their own. They took me in and loved me as family. It didn't matter that we had come from different backgrounds and cultures, we were family. It took a while for me to love them in a similar way (just being honest!) but I'll tell you, I LOVE my Pohnpeian family with a love that I can't put into words. I miss them. & that's something I'll miss about being a missionary, being able to feel just the tiniest bit of love that our Father has for His children.
- I learned how to give. The Pohnpeian people KNOW how to give and through their examples to me I learned what it means to truly be a giver. & by doing so I learned who the true giver is. In a similar way, I learned what I disciple of Christ looks like. Through countless experiences I watched others give their ALL to him. I learned that discipleship is a journey. & though it's not always easy, we are always rewarded as we strive to follow His perfect example.
- I learned WHY people say it's the best 18 months. Because as I am reaching the close of my mission I look back and all I can remember are the lessons learned from those difficult days & the moments of PURE happiness. They were the most difficult & trying months & yet were filled with the greatest, most life changing, & joyous experiences of my life!
I love my Savior. I know Him. You come to know Him in a new light as a missionary. I'll miss wearing His name daily. I LOVE this gospel & I'm so grateful that I was given the opportunity to share it with my brothers & sisters here in Micronesia.
Udahn I poakepoake kumwail!
Love, Sister Russell