Kobe, Japan

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Letter 1 - Become a Better Me

My LAST Mission Leadership Conference (MLC) with all Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders in the Japan Kobe Mission. I'm in the blue sitting next to President.
``Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellowbeings.`` (Mosiah 8:18)

The word I`ve been thinking about lately was `becometh` in this scripture. As we make this journey through life, we aren`t simply checking off a huge list of should-do`s. We`re here to BECOME something. That something is to become like our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Same with the mission field -- we come out not to fulfill a list of to-do`s or should-do`s, but to become something great throughout the process. God desires for us to BE something. He doesn`t want us to just DO something. The mission has been a perfect place to BECOME a better me.

I`ve received a lot of calls this week from leaders and sisters and they always ask me, `How do you feel? Do you feel like it`s coming to an end?` 

The truth is, I feel normal. This work isn't about me. It's not Sister Heimuli's work. It is the Lord's. When I'm gone there will still be church held on Sundays, missionaries around the world will still be teaching lessons, and those I've come to love will still carry on with their lives. I think that feeling of calm and reassurance that this work doesn't end with my 18 months has been a huge blessing from Heavenly Father. 

We talk about sacrifice, and leaving is just another one of those sacrifices the Lord has asked me to make in order to help these wonderful people in Niihama and Japan progress, to help the next Sister Training Leader in Niihama to progress, and to help myself progress with the next stage of life. I`m so grateful for the time the Lord`s allowed me to have to serve Him with 100% of who I am. I am more tired than I`ve ever been before. I have muscles that have turned into knots -- muscles that I didn`t even know could turn into knots. I`ve felt the full spectrum of stress, sadness, fear. However, I have also felt the full spectrum of true joy, solid joy, indescribable joy that this world cannot give. I`ve seen hearts change and people build their relationships with their Father in Heaven. And I`ve seen myself change and evolve into something that only a mission could`ve helped me become.

``And behold, there were divers ways that he did manifest things unto the children of men, which were good; and all things which are good cometh of Christ...`` (Moroni 7:24)

I know that change is not possible without the love of our Savior Jesus Christ and His atonement. I know change is good. I know we are able to improve and grow because of Christ`s atonement. I`ve seen that change in the lives of those around me (investigators, companions, members).

I have gained a testimony that our lives are all about becoming who we are. I know the Lord loves His children. He shows His love through many different ways, one being this gospel. I know this church is true, it`s the Lord`s church. I am so overwhelmingly full of love and gratitude for those who have supported me on my mission. You know who you are and I love you. I can`t believe how fast the time`s gone, but I know that moving on is part of the Lord`s plan. I`ve loved every single trial, fun time, and sad time on my mission. I know the Lord has been with me every step of the way, and He will continue to support me. I love you all and hope you can recognize your process of `becoming` and know that the Lord`s got a hand in your life, pulling you up to higher levels everyday. I will sign off here by leaving you with the words of Moroni which resound deep within my heart especially now:

`And may the grace of God the Father, whose throne is high in the heavens, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who sitteth on the right hand of his power, until all things shall become subject unto him, be, and abide with you forever. Amen.`

Love always,

Sister Hevynn Heimuli

I'll miss the long bus rides to/from MLC and exchanges with my beautiful companion!

Some of the sisters who have inspired me:  Daniels & Hunt

Komai & Lawson

Millham (she has a Greek fam in Utah, btw) & Eto

I'll miss the little presents/notes the members always leave me (McDonald's coupons!)

Check out my new companion! She's coming home with me. Look at her tag! (It says "Sister Heimuli")

I love the Ashitani kids!
The branch threw me a going-away talent show...it was SO fun!

The Imabari missionaries all came to say goodbye, too.  I love my little district!

The Ashitani family came to church for the first time in 20 years! 

It was hard to say goodbye, but I'll have my memories of all these wonderful people forever!

My buddy

Photo-bombed by this cute little boy

Last bit of sight-seeing!

Really gonna miss Ichikawa shimai

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