Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's a Wonderful Life

My Dear Family and Friends,

It's been several weeks since I have written and I am writing to you now as I sit in front of my fireplace and Christmas tree in good old South Jordan, Utah. I would like to take a minute to explain some of the things that happened during the month and why I am home for Christmas.

Like all missionaries, I experienced all the joys and sorrows of being a new missionary. I struggled with learning Portuguese and adjusting to a new culture but also loved the many new and happy experiences I was having. I loved my companion, my branch, and the people I had the opportunity to teach. However, despite all of the joy I felt from sharing the gospel, I began to recognize that rather than becoming more comfortable with missionary life, I was becoming increasingly anxious. I tried my best to continue working, hoping that the anxiousness would go away. However, about a month ago I took a turn for the worse and recognized that I was suffering from a major depression. The following  weeks turned out to be some of the most difficult weeks of my life as I struggled to cope with overwhelming amounts of sadness, loneliness, and all other feelings and symptoms associated with major depression. As I counseled with my mission president, parents, stake president, and mission doctors, we unitedly came to the conclusion that in order to heal and receive the treatment I needed, I would need to return home. This was an extremely difficult decision to make, and it was very hard to leave the people and country I have grown to love so much in the past 5 months. I never imagined needing to return home early from my mission, but the tremendous peace I have felt in relation to this decision have helped me know with a certainty that this is where I need to be and where the Lord wants me to be. I have been honorably released and will be spending the next while healing and beginning the next chapter in my life. I know that there will be ups and downs and to be patient with the process of overcoming depression and understanding the things that have taken place.

While this has proven to be one of the greatest trials I have experienced, I have seen God's hand work miracles in my life and know that He was there to lift me in my darkest hours. I have a firm testimony that Heavenly Father is keenly aware of each of His children and has a plan for every one of them. I am so grateful for the knowledge of our loving Savior Jesus Christ who knows us perfectly and will be with us in every moment. I am so grateful for my loving mission president, my wonderful companion Sister Smyth, and my incredible family and friends for all they have done to help me and show me so much love and support. It has been incredibly difficult, but I am now aware more than ever of the many blessings God has given me. It truly is a wonderful life.

Com amor,


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Bom Dia Alegria Minha Famíla!!!!

That's right folks, we had transfers this week bet Sister Smyth and I are back at it again for another transfer!!! We were so surprised because I was just sure that one of us was leaving but no sirree!! We are so beyond pleased and had a great week filled with a lot of hard work! It was one of those weeks where you knock a lot of doors, appointments fall through, and investigators drop you, but we are still as happy as can be and are doing our best to find people ready to hear the gospel! The gift of tongues is kicking in and I am understanding more and more! I hit a milestone in my book this week where I was able to have a full converstation on the phone without needing to hand it over to Sister Smyth. Hallelujah! On top of that we were blessed with such nice weather! It was so warm and sunny all week! But I think it will start raining again tomorrow, good think I finally got a good umbrella!! 

We had two great lessons with Bruna this week and she is doing wonderfully! We went over on Monday to give her pictures of her baptism and to talk about her baptism and confirmation. It was such a great little lesson and she just talked about how much of a difference she felt after recieving the Holy Ghost. And then she was talking about how much her life has changed in the last 6 weeks and how grateful she was for the gospel. We talked about the temple and family history and she is so excited to start looking for her ancestors! 

This week I read the talk that President Nelson gave in conference about joy and loved it!! He said "When the focus of our lives is on God's plan of salvation and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening-or not happening-in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy. We can feel it at Christmastime when we sing "Joy to the world, the Lord is come." And we can feel it all year found." And then he quotes Psalms 16:11which says that "In His presence is a fulness of joy." I know that this is true! Christ is the source of all joy and happiness. It is when we have lives centered on Him, that we truly find the peace and joy in our lives that all of us desire. I know that the more we learn about Christ and the closer we are to Him, the happier we will be and the more joy we will feel. Our lives won't be perfect, but we will have the perspective that we need to joyfully keep pressing forward. How grateful I am for this gospel and the opportunity I have to share this joyful message of hope and peace! 

That's all for this week folks! I hope you have a great Halloween and a great start to November! 

Com amor,

Sister Morey