Hey guess what?! This week, we did weekly planning! Woooo!!! Well, Sister Arnold did weekly planning while I updated the area book 😛
I FEEL SO WEIRD RIGHT NOW.
Tonight, we’re hosting FHE for the recent converts and returning members in our zone. We’re opening up the visitors’ centre, and giving tours of the temple grounds. Tomorrow, I’ll go to a workshop about finding a career, hear some departing instruction, go to the temple, have dinner and a testimony meeting at the mission home with all the departing missionaries…and then tomorrow at 9am, I fly home. Weird.
Packing is such a pain. Everything fits in my suitcases, it’s just all too heavy. I’ll have to go repack after I’m done emailing today. Sister Arnold is inheriting a large majority of my wardrobe.
The gospel principles lesson this week was on Eternal Marriage…. of course.
It feels like I’m going to wake up in the morning, and still have six more weeks in Brampton…
Sister Jolie is replacing me in Brampton. She’s gonna love it 🙂
Where do I even start. This week was crazy! All the days just blurred together.
We assembled our desks for our new apartment all by ourselves this week. 😀 Add that to the list of skills acquired on my mission.
We went on exchanges with the Mississauga Sister Training Leaders this week. I went with Sister Jensen, who is from Magrath. We got to see my ESL friend that got baptized, and other new people that I didn’t know. Mississauga has a very special place in my heart.
My baby, Sister Lundin, went home this week. =( She’s been in and out of the hospital the past few weeks and needed to go home to recover. Sister Clayton asked us to accompany her and Sister Lundin to the airport so that she wouldn’t have to pay for parking. Which means… that we drove the mission president’s car! Now that is trust, my friends. It was good to be with Sister Lundin. She’s such a wonderful person. I’m excited to see her at Glenwood celebrations 😀
This week, we decided to try something new, and go sing to patients at the local hospital. It was great! They were so appreciative! It definitely brought the spirit into their rooms. The temple is right across the street, so hopefully they’ll come visit once they recover. 🙂
Sister Mandla was my MTC companion. She also used to serve in this area. Sister Mandla called us a while ago to give us a referral. Sister Mandla’s dad is the home teacher of someone in Australia who has relatives in Brampton. One of those relatives is from England, was baptized in Spain at age 10, and now lives in our area here in Brampton, and hasn’t been to church since moving to Canada. So Sister Mandla’s dad asked if his daughter could go visit him, but by the time it all got worked out, Sister Mandla was moved to another area. Anyways, we’ve been meeting with him and his family and he is SO GREAT. He still has such a strong testimony and really wants to read the Book of Mormon the whole way through. His wife and two children aren’t baptized, but he’s excited to share the gospel with them! They are SO PREPARED. All of their questions were golden. We taught them about the Spirit World, which was a totally new concept for his wife. At the end of the lesson, we asked him to say the closing prayer, and right when he went to do it, he got the worst leg cramp. He said, “I can’t wait for the spirit world!”
Then his wife said, “No, you can’t go there yet! You’ve got things you still need to do here!” and pointed to the pamphlet where it says that we need to repent and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ while on the earth. Hahaha they’re so great. Now is their time! I’m so excited to hear all about their progression in the coming weeks.
We went to go visit our 95 year old friend from the ward, but we were 12 minutes late. Sister Arnold and I pride ourselves on NEVER being late, but this day we were just over booked and were running behind. We met our 95-year-old friend in the hallway, and boy, did we get a scolding! THE ONE TIME SHE REMEMBERS OUR APPOINTMENT WAS THE ONE TIME WE WERE LATE. Oh man she was not happy with us and was not interested in seeing us today. We stood in the hallway dumbfounded for a couple minutes before going on our way to our next appointment. It was the nicest, sternest scolding I’ve ever received from a grandmother before haha.
THE M FAMILY WENT TO THE TEMPLE!!!! We helped them prepare some family names, and the mom and her two sons went to the baptistry for the first time together =’) The father was unable to attend… but we’ll get him next time >=] The oldest son was advanced to the office of a priest by his father yesterday. =’) They were completely off the map when I first arrived in Brampton. Now they’re right back in the swing of things!
We went to a relief society activity this week with the intent to set up appointments with the members…. but we invited almost everyone who showed up, and already had appointments with them. =P When I tried to talk to people it just reminded me how awkward I am. “Soooo… how’s your Book of Mormon reading going?” What do normal people even talk about? Real world relief society is just around the corner for me… Oh boy I’m doomed.
We received 11 member referrals this month. That’s like a 200% increase than past months! Brampton ward knows how to do missionary work.
Speaking of the Brampton ward, can I brag about my ward mission leader and relief society president for a minute? They’re married, and they’re stinkin’ awesome. We called them this week with an idea for an activity for the 25th anniversary of the temple, and right then on the phone the relief society president said, “Okay, I’ll write up an email to bishop and the ward council to get their input… and I’ll tell them that they need to reply since we don’t have meetings this week… my husband is looking at the calendar right now.. okay so August 25th is a Tuesday. We’ll have to make sure that the chapel is booked since that will be the biggest thing…” etc. They are people who know how to get stuff done. I love it! They have been huge in helping the work move forward in Brampton. And I promise that I’m not only saying this because I know that a member of their family may or may not read my weekly blog posts… 🙂
One less-active member that we’ve been working with finally broke up with her boyfriend who has definitely been pulling her down. She said, “I told him a half truth… I said that I had met someone else at church. What he doesn’t know is that the ‘other person’ is Jesus.” Bahaha. I love her.
Brother S is still smoking. But! He came to church again. It’ll click one day.
Working with Brother S has really made me appreciate the counsel found in the Word of Wisdom. Addictions really do remove our agency. We become slaves to that habit or substance. It’s so sad! The good thing is that hope is not lost. There is a way to overcome addictions through the atonement. It does require a lot of effort on our part, but then the saviour makes up the rest. http://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages/the-savior-wants-to-forgive
C is a media referral. She requested a Bible from mormon.org and she is prepared to hear the gospel!
The Elder’s Quorum President’s friend is doing very well. He finally started to read the Book of Mormon! He said to us in our last meeting, “I’m very sad that Sister Davidson won’t be here to see my baptism, but maybe Sister Arnold.” 😀
When we arrived at church this week, Brother S was already there. Then, one by one, our other investigators started to file in. We tripled the Standards of Excellence this week. 😀 Talk about going out with a bang. I feel confident that I’ve left this area better than I found it.
2 John 1:12
“Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.”
I suppose I’ll close with a bit of testimony. Thank you everyone who has supported me throughout this time! It’s been a wonderful adventure. A time I certainly will reflect upon for the rest of my life.
President Clayton asked me to write a letter about what my mission has meant to me. This is what I said:
What has my mission meant to me? Where do I even begin…
Lesson number one learned out here in the field was definitely humility. I can’t believe how upset I was to be coming to this mission! I have absolutely gained a love for the people in Ontario. I feel so blessed to have served a large majority of my mission in the GTA. City life is the life for me! One of the many benefits of serving in the city is the diversity. It’s incredible! I’ve worked with Sikhs, muslims, buddhists, atheists, and a variety of christians. It has really helped strengthen my testimony that we truly are all brothers and sisters. No matter what corner of the world we come from, God created us all. Living in such a diverse place has also helped strengthen my testimony that the apostasy absolutely, 100% happened. No doubt about it. Not only the great apostasy, but many apostasies. There’s so much confusion in the world! It’s been a blessing to help people become less confused. In the process, God’s plan has become clearer to me as well.
The church is true! If I haven’t learned anything else in the last 18 months, I at least now know with a certainty that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the one true church, or as Jynx would say, “Jesus’ chosen group.”
God’s timing is so perfect. I could have left for the MTC on my 19th birthday in June, but I felt uneasy about that. When my mom suggested that I do another semester at school and then leave, I felt instant peace. Coming in to the field, I knew that I’d get a new mission president in 6 months. In my setting apart blessing, my stake president blessed me that I’d develop a good relationship with my mission president and his wife, and that would be a source of strength for me. I never saw President Scott too often out in the Oshawa zone. He helped me a ton those first six months, but I always felt like that blessing referred to President & Sister Clayton, even more I met them. I’ve definitely seen the fulfillment of that blessing! The Claytons have been a wonderful example to me of how I want to live my life. I’ve learned so much from them! President has really helped me understand what it means to be a full-purpose missionary. Because of the emphasis on the whole work of salvation, and always being a missionary, I feel like I’m more prepared to go back to Edmonton and continue to build the kingdom there. I, and every other member of this church, need to always be missionaries!
Ultimately, I think the biggest lessons I’ve learned is about consecration. I’ve spent 18 months of my life trying to understand what it means to be a “consecrated” missionary. Now I feel like I have a deeper understanding of what it truly means to be consecrated. At that start, I thought that consecration meant only ever thinking about proselyting. I always heard missionaries talking about the “altar of sacrifice” and what other things they can give up or stop doing in order to become more “consecrated.” I think it was Bishop Causse that gave the talk about the difference between sacrifice and consecration at a mission presidents’ seminar. Consecration is the higher law. Bishop Causse said, “[Jesus] consecrated everything – His strengths, His talents, His capacities- to accomplish the mission with which He had been entrusted. The law of consecration requires that we too dedicate ourselves to the Lord’s sacred work- that we willingly give our time, talents, strength, and all that we possess toward building the kingdom of God on the earth.” The dictionary definition of consecration (according to the 10lbs dictionary in our apartment) is, “To devote solemnly to a purpose.” So I’ve learned that consecration really means that you devote your whole self to your purpose in missionary work- which is to invite everyone to come unto Christ. Everything you do, and everything you are helps move the work forward in your area. It means utilizing your talents and your interests to help others come unto Christ. If you like to play basketball, organize a ward sports night. If you like to sing, go sing at the hospital. If you like to draw, go draw the first vision on the sidewalk in the park. Consecration does not mean giving up things you enjoy. God called ME, Brooklyn Davidson, on a mission, and he wanted me to consecrate my talents and interests unto Him, not put them in a box and leave them at home. The Lord doesn’t want a bunch of robotic missionaries. Consecration means to not hold anything back from God.
Consecration means progression, not perfection. We will never achieve full consecration in this life. And that’s okay. We’re not supposed to. “Latter-Day Saints keep on trying.”
So now that I can say with confidence that I have become a consecrated missionary, I’m going to lose my name tag pretty soon. I’ve spent 18 months of my life trying to focus all of my thoughts on the Saviour and missionary work, and now I’m going to be allowed to think about other things! My box up on the shelf with a pretty green and gold bow is about to be opened, and I’ll have to think about school and all sorts of other life decisions.
So now I need to make the transition between becoming a consecrated missionary to becoming a consecrated disciple of Jesus Christ.
Luckily, I think they’re really the same thing.
Consecration is devoting solemnly to a purpose. My purpose as a disciple of Christ is still and always will be to invite others to come unto Him. I will still “conduct [myself] at all times in such a way that everyone who sees [me] will recognize [me] as a representative of Jesus Christ (WHB p.8).
So when I’m out grocery shopping, I’m shopping as a disciple of Christ. When I’m at work, I’m working to support myself or my future family, and I’ll work with integrity, because that’s what Christ would do. When I’m cleaning my house, it’s so I can feel the spirit stronger. When I’m in my bed having a nap, I’m napping because I need a break and the scriptures say that “it is not requisite that man should run faster than he has strength.” Everything I do and everything I am should be to allow myself and others to come closer to Christ.
There are no fence sitters in the Celestial Kingdom.
That is what my mission has taught me. I will always be a missionary. I will continue to consecrate myself to Christ. Daily scripture study is something that we just do; it shouldn’t even be a question. My mission has meant everything to me, and that’s because it’s helped me figure out my relationship with Christ and how I can continue to improve it throughout my life. It has helped me understand my role in the hastening of the work in these last days. I feel like I am better equipped with the tools and knowledge I need in order to build the kingdom for the rest of my life because of what I’ve learned here in the Canada Toronto Mission.
I’ve grown a lot, and I’ve changed for the better. But I’m still myself. I am still Brooklyn Davidson. I’ve been Brooklyn Davidson for the past 18 months, and it’s still Brooklyn Davidson who will walk off a plane in a couple of hours. I’ve been bent, broken, and molded into a better version of me. The molding process of consecration will continue on for eternity. So, I’m not too afraid to take off my name tag. I’ve worn it with honour and with pride. I’m sad, because I’ve loved every second of being a full-time missionary! But my time here is up- the Lord has other places I need to be and other things I need to do in order to progress. My personality has not changed. My likes and dislikes have not changed (I’ll have you know, I tried REALLY hard to learn to like eggs out here in the field. I just can’t do it). I’ll still be the same person, the only difference is, I’ll be wearing pants. 🙂
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!
Love you all 🙂