Mission Week 80
BONJOUR MA FAMILLE ET MES AMIS!!!!
And seriously, just like THAT, I am writing my last email on my mission!! Where has the time gone?!! Does anyone else feel like it was just a blink of an eye?!!! What a wonderful, crazy, lifechanging 18 months it has been…THANK YOU, all of you, for the support over the last 18 months!! It means so much, and I am so grateful I got to share my mission with all of you!!!!
Okay, before the sappy stuff, this week has been wonderful!!! Every moment is wonderful when you are in the service of the Lord 🙂 We have been teaching lots of lessons, which is nice!!! The nice thing about going home or having a transfer is EVERYONE accepts you because they want to see you before you leave!! So we have been busy busy BUSY!!! I just love these people so much 🙂 I love their culture, I love their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, I love serving them!!! 🙂
This past Saturday we were able to witness the baptism of a little boy in our ward named Angelo!! It wasn’t a convert baptism because he is 8 years old, but it was still thanks to LOTS of effort on our part…His parents are not super active in the church so we have been pushing and helping them plan his baptism before he turns 9 (at 9 he becomes a convert and has to take the missionary lessons before getting baptized)…It was so wonderful because Angelo has a super SUPER strong testimony of the gospel, and he is only 8 years old!!! He has been waiting for months to be baptized, and finally we were able to see it happen!! He bore his testimony in front of everyone after his baptism, and he shared with us how he prayed to know if the church was true and how he felt a warmth in his heart afterwards. He said that was his answer, he knew it was the holy ghost!! That was all he needed!! And he is right!! The spirit speaks warmly and softly to our heart…but sometimes we as adults wait for this HUGE revelation and we miss out on the quiet promptings of the spirit telling us all along that it is true!!
Sunday we had our awesome ami Vanina and her daughter come to church!!! Which was great because as you know Vanina has been up and down in her spiritual progression!! But they came to church, they participated in the classes, and now lots of members are starting to talk to them, so they have friends at church!! Also Madeline, who is 18, told us she started saying her prayers every night!! It is a small progression, but so wonderful because we know it is the result of countless efforts on our part to help them progress!!! 🙂
After church on Sunday some of the members made traditional food for us from New Caledonia and we ate with them!! It was so good, but SAD because the members stood up and thanked me for my service here…I felt like I was at my funeral!!! But it was so great because Vanina and Madeline ate with us, and some recent converts, so it was a great way for them to meet knew people!!!
Other than that, it has just been goodbyes goodbyes goodbyes!! Our members and our amis have been spoiling us rotten and we are eating like crazy, so if I come home fifty pounds heavier, you will know why!!!
Voila tout le monde!!! There are so many things I want to say to express my feelings of these 18 months I have had on my mission. They truly have been the most beautiful months of my life, and I am so so soooo GRATEFUL that I have had this opportunity in my life. I know without a doubt that New Caledonia was where I was meant to serve. I have seen miracles. I have seen the hand of the Lord working in my life and in the lives of others…but what I have seen the most is the LOVE that Heavenly Father has for His children, and the JOY that comes when we serve God. These 18 months have not always been easy!! There have been times of pretty big trials and it has been hard!! BUT, during all these tough times, the Lord was right there next to me. He was guiding me, He was comforting me. I have felt the healing and enabling power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. I can speak french, only thanks to the divine aid of my Heavenly Father. I have seen people that I have grown to LOVE, I mean truly truly LOVE, enter into the waters of baptism and start on the covenant pathway to eternal life. I have seen people I LOVE return to church after years of inactivity. I have seen the spirit of the Lord work through me as I testify of the things I know to be true. I have seen the spirit touch the hearts of the people I teach. And I have felt joy, pure and wonderful JOY in serving my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have felt the JOY that comes from having a testimony of this gospel.
My family and friends, I know I know that this church is true. It is God’s church restored in these latter days. It contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, all that we must do to be saved, with our families, and live forever one day in the presence of God in a state of never ending happiness. I know that Chirst lives. He is my Savior and my Redeemer. He suffered for me, He lived and died of me, and He rose the third day for ME, so that I can obtain these blessings my Heavenly Father has in store for me. I know the Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that through him, the church of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth. I know that The Book of Mormon is the word of God, that it was translated by Joseph Smith through and only through the power of God. I know that a prophet, Thomas S Monson, leads and guides this church today through revelation of Jesus Christ. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that these things are true. The spirit has testified it to my heart every day over these last 18 months. And this brings endless joy to my heart.
I rejoice in my Lord, and how great He is, for it is through HIM that I have received this testimony. It is through Him that I have seen success in this work. Without Him, I am nothing. With Him, I can do all things!!
My family and friends, thank you, AGAIN for all that you have done for me!! I love you all so much, and I am looking forward to seeing you all so so soon!!
L’evangile est ma joie. Je sais que c’est vrai.
My wish for you, my friends, is to have all this happiness that I have found. This gospel is for everyone. God loves you, and He is waiting to guide you home!!!
I love my Caledonie. I cannot express my love enough for this country. My heart is here. I love these people. I love my mission. It has changed my life for good.
I love you all my family and friends.
See you next week!!!!
LOVE LOVE LOVE,
Soeur Karlee Vogel 🙂
My comp et moi
Other fun goodbyes wooohooo
Last district photo
Christiana and her crazy kids
OKAY LOVE YOU ALL, next time you see this face, it will be in person!!!
Soeur Vogel 🙂