Missionary Monday

We have several family members currently serving missions around the world. Mondays are the days we usually get letters from them. It was very difficult for them to hear of their uncle’s death when they are so far away and unable to return.

Our nephew, Justin, got permission to call me from France. His call was so comforting. He bore his testimony in French then English of the plan of salvation, the love of God and that death is not the end.

McKenna says, “Needless to say, I’m taking this one hard but I’m continually reminded about how this separation we are going to experience with Amos is so small in the eternal plan of God. But the growth and closeness we will gain with our Savior is immeasurable. I have so much respect for the Abplanalp family and their continued faith. Not only did they have enough faith for him to be spared; they also had enough faith for him not to be. This is the kind of faith that is required from the Saints of God.”

Carlie’s letter from Texas said in part, “Hillary and Abplanalp family I LOVE YOU! I know there is literally nothing I can say to make this easier but I know that the power of Christ and His atonement is beyond anything we encounter here.”

Sheridan sent these words… “When I entered the MTC I decided I wanted to improve my prayers. I made it a goal and was working really hard at it. When Elder Anderson visited us he promised that as I prayed for strength I would know that the Lord lives. I was also blessed at the MTC to know that God knows me and loves me. When I got to Vegas I just felt a lot of adversity and really doubtful of myself and lonely.

On Saturday night I read my emails and was told my uncle Amos passed away. The neighbors underneath us were blasting Rihanna and my talk was unwritten and my companion was in the other room writing in her journal. Even though I didn’t feel like it I got on my knees and prayed for strength for myself and my family. I know my Savior lives and I know Amos will live again. I know God knows me and my family, it was one of the most powerful prayers in my life. I’m not a very outwardly emotional person but I sobbed.”

I love these missionaries and their faith strengthens me and buoys me up in these dark days.

I was up in the night tracking hurricane Irma. Amos’s dad was hit but is ok. They lost a lemon tree and went without power but they were unharmed and we are so thankful.

My childhood friend, Adrian, sent me this beautiful picture of my family. I love it so much and it reflects the letters of our sweet missionaries and their testimonies of the Savior and eternal families.

Ward Family

Our hearts are full today as we return from church after feeling so much love from our ward family. I can’t even explain how special it was. About half of our ward members held a special fast for Bishop Abplanalp today. We then gathered in the overflow and knelt together as his first couselor, Brother Elwood, offered an incredible and humble prayer to consecrate our collective fasting to Amos and his healing and comfort and the spiritual growth and unity of our ward family.

Amos got up early this morning to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for the ward members who fasted for him. We are both overwhelmed with the continued love and support. Feeling that people serve us because they love us fills us with a deep sense of gratitude and love for them.

My sweet friend Rebecca spoke today about when the Savior washed the feet of His disciples and were told if they didn’t allow Him to wash their feet they would have no part with Him. She said it would be like if President Monson came to have dinner at your house then insisted on allowing him to wash your dishes if you wanted to remain a member of the church! That would be very difficult for me. Learning to accept service from our ward members has been difficult at times, but “having part with them” or being united with them in love and service has made it worth it. Service is fertile ground for charity and spiritual growth. What a beautiful gospel principle that we have learned to be true. When wondering what plan our Father in Heaven has in all this, I often think of our ward family and the lessons we have learned from them already.

We want also to let our extended family know of our love and appreciation for them. We missed seeing my family today. My sweet niece McKenna gave her farewell talk and we were so sad that her ward time is the same as ours. I knew my family would understand our absence. I might be biased but you can’t really find better siblings than mine. <3 My sister invited Amos to come help set Sister Morris apart for her mission this week and he is so excited and honored to be there for that.

We missed going through the temple with my niece, Carlie, so we are glad we will make it to her ward for her farewell talk in two weeks assuming Amos’s new cancer regiment will be barable enough for him to function.