This past week has been absolutely wonderful!
It has been a week where so many things have happened that have felt like Heavenly Father telling me “My sweet daughter, I love you.”
There are no better feelings than these that I have so far experienced in my life.
I feel like the Lord knows my worries and is trying to show me that He is proud of me and that I served a good mission.
He answers me through sweet whispers of the Spirit and through feelings of calmness and peace, but also through other people. This week I have received so much love and joy because of those around me.
3 people this week accepted invitations to be baptized. Such an immense joy comes from that. My heart bursts with happiness as someone I love tells me that yes they do want to follow Christ’s example. And on top of that I get to be here and help them on that path! It is incredible! After each meeting where a baptismal date was accepted, Burdick nővér and I had to suppress shouts of joy as we laughed and hugged each other. It really is a different and more fulfilling kind of joy than that brought by temporal things. Ah my heart. I think it grew a few sizes this week! Just like the Grinch’s. (Sidenote: The Jim Carey version of The Grinch is one of my favourite movies of all time. Just saying.)
So I thought that those experiences were pretty great, and they were, but the Lord had even more in store for me this week.
On Sunday, I had one of the most joyful experiences of my life so far. When I arrived at church, I was surprised by a group of 7 people from my last area (Miskolc) who came to see me and surprise me! They got up very early in the morning, and spent the little money they have to buy train tickets to come visit me! I could barely contain myself!!!!!! 4 of the people who came had been baptized while I was there in Miskolc, another came back into activity while I was there, one got baptized after I left, and the 7th is getting baptized in a few weeks. I came to love those people so much while I was there, and had come to accept that maybe I would never see them again in this life. But they came to me! They came for me! They all had tears in their eyes as I took turns hugging every one of the girls and giving the most heartfelt handshakes to the men. I never wanted to let them go. They just kept hugging me and crying and saying wonderful things and telling me how much they love me. It was almost too much happy for one person! I told them that heaven will be like this; we’ll get to see the people we love who we haven’t seen in a long time and it will be such a joyful reunion.
I just felt so loved. So loved. I felt love for them and I felt their love for me. I felt Heavenly Father’s love and Christ’s love and the love of the Holy Ghost, and I felt love back for all of them.
I am so grateful they did that for me. I am so blessed that I got to be one of the tools the Lord used to bring those of His children closer to him. I got to feel a lot of happiness and joy and love because of the Lord’s choice to send me to Miskolc.
Then other members also told me how much they love me too. This morning I got one of the most kind and loving and uplifting emails from my baby brother and from my mission president.
The Lord is gathering together all these loving people around me and having them lift me up. He loves me so much!!!
There are even more such experiences that happened this week through which I felt the love of God.
These experiences have given me hope that I will have many such joyful reunions accompanied by expressions of love when I return home. I also feel that the Lord really is aware of me and watching over me and He will help me with my future as I move forward into the uncharted territories of my life. I need to trust Him and His timing and everything will work out for my benefit and for the benefit of those around me.
I have been asked to give a 10 minute talk next week in sacrament meeting at church and I get to pick the topic. I prayed last night and this morning to know what my topic should be and right now I think I will talk about lessons I have learned through my mission. It will give me an opportunity to look back and see how I have grown and also give me a very personal witness of the things I will share. I also hope to apply it to the members here and incorporate scriptures and teachings of modern prophets that touched me and helped me learn so that it can be a benefit to those who hear it. My topic might change, but right now that is what I am thinking. I have never given a 10 minute talk in Hungarian before. But I will never be more ready than now.
There are only about a million other things I wish I could write. But I will pick one before I close. I pick: nő nap. (“ő” is pronounced kind-of like the “u” in “pudding”. And “nap” rhymes with “drop”)
Nő nap is women’s day. This past Friday was women’s day. Right away you can tell it is a special day because everyone is carrying around flowers. (Remember how I said they carry their flowers upside down? Well they’re still at it. And I love it.) And really, a LOT of people had flowers. Women had flowers, and men had flowers because they were on their way to give it to a woman. So cute. Loved it! At the end of the day we had a program with a family we love, and the little 9 year old boy gives Burdick nővér and I each a little wrapped marshmallow and says “Boldog nő napot” (happy women’s day). It was so cute! Then his mom gave us each a box of chocolates! REeeaally yummy ones too. And then the boy and his sister each went into their rooms because they wanted to give us something else too, so they each give us a little rubbery figurine thingy from their collections. They are adorable. Isn’t that so sweet? After our lesson, which went really well, the girl did our hair and it was really fun. Sister Burdick was multitasking and playing a game with the boy as she was getting her hair done. It was so cute. It is such a blessing to have wonderful people let you into their lives and you grow in love for one another. I can’t get enough!
To finish off nő nap we went out to dinner with the Elders (who happened to be on splits) and it was a nice ending to a great day.
I know God loves all of His children. He has shown me this week so many times that reminded me of that love He has for me, and I know that I am no more important to Him than any of His other children. He loves us all equally and really wants to help us feel it. I know that the more I follow His guidance and the example of His son Jesus Christ, the more times I will feel their love for me and experience the blessings that come in response to being worthy of them. I would never trade back my mission for anything. It is the hardest thing I have done so far in my life, and the most rewarding and joyful thing as well. It is worth every tear, every rejection, and every stress and sadness to feel the joy that I have felt this week.
The Lord is in charge and He knows what He is doing.
I trust Him. I will always follow Him.
I send my most joy-filled salutations and wish equally amounts of heart-bursting happiness to touch your lives and the lives of those around you.
Love, Surányi nővér