Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Letter #72 Ready or not...

My loved ones.
So I am sad to say that this is the last time I will be writing you as Sister Shauntel Forte and it is all super bitter sweet. I would like to thank good ol' Nelly Furtado for her words, "why do all good things come to an end"? This song seriously has been on constantly replay in my head and I cannot stop it! I can't believe that my time has come. My bags are almost packed. I'm almost ready to go. But am I? I have been in a constant battle with myself the whole past week and I just cannot control my emotions! My hourglass is down to the last few grains and I cannot slow any of them down anymore.
Some of my favorite sisters with cute Sister Ford :)
Like I said, this week has by far been the most emotional week of my entire mission and I think I can official self-declare myself as bi-polar with all of these overwhelming mix of emotions--Feelings of joy, feelings of sorrow, feelings of anxiousness. You name it. I have felt it! I have heard even from the very beginning of my mission that this is how I would feel at the end of my mission, but I had trouble believing it. Now I am seriously living exactly what "they" always said! It does not feel real in the slightest, but ready or not, HERE I COME BABY!!!!!! 

Most of the sisters in our mission!
Tonight we are having a "farewell" for all of the departing missionaries here in Fier, but with me it is all a bit different because I am finishing my mission. I am expecting to shed a few tears, but I am going to try my best to keep it all together. Gosh mom! What did you do to me?! haha. I definitely am becoming more and more like you each day! 

My wonderful companion, who is literally my best friend, mind you, gave me some comforting counsel from one of her buddies that just recently finished his mission as well. He said, "I hate endings. I hate change. Yet without the two the Gospel really has no purpose in our life." This is a true statement. As much as I hate change. As much as I hate endings. I am more sure now than I have been that the Gospel is just a constant cycle of change and endings. This is how we grow! Through change, we are put in a situation where the Lord tests who we really are and our true character. I know that this wonderful chapter of my life has to have an ending eventually so I can truly grow and see how much I have changed throughout this experience.
Me and the gorgeous Sister Schofield!
 She is my lover from Macedonia ;) 
Best exchange ever this week!
I can't find all of the words to explain the overflowing joy I am feeling at this time, but I just want to testify that I know the decision of serving a mission was the absolute best decision I could have ever made in my life. Having the experience to work right along-side the Lord and find His elect sheep has been the most incomparable privilege that is available in this life. I am sure of it. The most beautiful thing of this entire experience is that before my mission, I believed. Now I know. I know for a surety, that everything I had believed growing up in the church is all true. It is more of a reality than we can even come to comprehend. I know the Lord lives. I know He loves me and loves all of His children. I know that it is through Him that we are made alive. It is through Him that we are made free. And it is through Him that we will all live again. I know that His church has been restored to the earth and if we abide by His precepts, we will find eternal happiness. This is my testimony and I leave it with you until that lovely day comes when I will wrap my arms around all of you!!!!! I think it is appropriate to say that I say all of these things in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
love your love,
for the last time,

Sister Forte<3