Thank you for your example to me of keeping a current temple recommend, Mom. Crissy sent me some pictures from the surprise party. Looked like a blast. I'm glad it went off without a hitch! It's exciting to hear that the Ogden temple was rededicated this last week. Go to the temple often. Being in this mission has really made me appreciate how blessed we are in Utah to have so many temples nearby. The Saints in Newfoundland have to make great sacrifices and preparation to be able to go. Don't take those blessings for granted!
This week was filled with opportunities to learn and grow spiritually. We had a mission leadership council via Skype on Wednesday, a district meeting on Thursday, and the Newfoundland District Conference on Saturday and Sunday. President Leavitt and one of his counselors came to St. John's and his other counselor went to Corner Brook. Using Skype we were able to connect both ends of the island for our district conference. Pretty neat. The focus of the district conference was the work of salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
With all of the talks and messages this week, I spent some time reflecting on my personal vision as a missionary. I had some highs and lows this week and the Spirit was able to teach me and lift me through all of it. Coming up on my year mark, it's humbling, to say the least, to reflect back on what I have accomplished the past year. Being away for a year from home, I sometimes feel very distant from my loved ones back home and wonder if what I am doing here really matters. I finally asked for a priesthood blessing this last week (after ignoring the prompting for a few days...) and my Heavenly Father gave me the peace and reminders that I needed. I have been reflecting on phrases from that blessing. I know that He hears and answers my prayers and knows the concerns and worries of my heart. I am grateful that I can ask and that He will answer, in His own time, in His own way. Aligning my will with His will is a process. It's something that I am still working on. I am grateful that He allows me to choose my path, and I know that following His light is the only way to travel this life safely. It doesn't mean that it won't be hard, but it does mean that it will be worth it. A lot of times that Light is just enough to illuminate my next step, but it is powerful enough to cast out the darkness, however dense it may seem.
Thank you for your love and sacrifice and prayers. This is the Lord's work and I am grateful to be an instrument in His hands.
Sister Maren Renda