Thursday, June 6, 2013

Our Final Post: Lessons We Have Learned From This Experience

McKenzie's roommate Caitlin's wedding reception:)
McKenzie's sister Maddie's graduation
I have known for quite awhile that we needed to do one last post here on the blog. McKenzie and I have been talking about it and we wanted to wrap things up and share some of the lessons we have learned through this process. We hope that this will be helpful for anyone else who may be going through something like this. Before we share the lessons we have learned I will just give a quick update on McKenzie.

She has been doing really well down in Provo. It's not perfect of course and she still has her days when she struggles with her headaches, but on the whole she is so much better. We continue to see the Lord's hand in her life in many different ways. Here are a few things that have happened recently:

1-One of the greatest things that has happened is that she received the calling of "ward mission leader" in her student ward. She was so excited. Her job is to help teach mission prep and also help prepare the sisters in her ward who are getting ready to serve missions. She also gets to help reactivate members. :) Perfect!!!

McKenzie & Sestra Compare in Arizona:)
2-The next amazing miracle that happened was that McKenzie's MTC companion Sestra Compare had to come back to the states for some oral surgery. They decided to fly her to Mesa, AZ, so that Elder Westergard (oral surgeon & senior missionary in the mission) could do the surgery.  Of course McKenzie booked a flight and went to see Sestra Compare. They had a very sweet reunion. It was a total surprise for Sestra Compare!!! Thanks so much to the Westergards who are so amazing and generous. :)

Here are the lessons that we have learned from McKenzie's mission experience so far:

1-You never know what the mission is that the Lord has planned for you. It may not be the one you think it is.
2-"Why" questions are not helpful and don't get answered. Instead ask "What" questions. ex. What  can I learn from this?
3-You have to work through a trial. You can't push it aside and move on, otherwise it will come back to hurt you over and over again.
4-The Lord loves each of us.
5-We see the Lord's hand in people all around us who help us and keep us moving forward.
6-Don't doubt that you have enough faith to be healed, but also remember that you have to have enough faith to not be healed. In other words you need to be able to go on even if you aren't healed and find what the Lord needs you to do.
7-Relying on the enabling power of the atonement can help to make all things turn out right. :)

 Here is a message from McKenzie:
Hello Everyone!!!

I don't think I can even begin to thank all of you. These last few months have been so uncontrollably emotional and I couldn't have made it without the texts, posts, conversations, calls, and emails of support I received.

Let me tell you, none of this was in my 5-year plan, but guess what I realized? The lessons that I've learned through all this have put my life into better perspective than I ever thought was possible.

Was I grateful for this trial when I was in the thick of it? Absolutely not, but I did learn to lean completely on the Atonement to help me through it. I will continue to lean on my Savior "in every thought, doubt[ing] not, fear[ing] not."

Did I pray as much as I told my investigators to on my mission? No. I learned the loneliness that comes with losing the spirit and how prayer really is the key to receiving revelation. I will never forsake that again.

Did I think Heavenly Father forgot about me for a little while? Yes. I learned how to find the hand of God in the details. Even the details of hard things.

I've learned that Heavenly Father loves each of us. I know He has a plan and that He wants nothing more than to help us. I know His son Jesus Christ suffered the Atonement to help us reach our full potential as children of God. I know that we are never too far, too lost, or too hurt to be healed by that everlasting gift.

I hope that my time as a missionary on this blog has helped you feel His love for you. I will never stop sharing that love as long as I live and I hope you won't either. We don't need to be set apart as missionaries to share the joy we have!

"Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations." D&C 115:5

I LOVE YOU ALL. Thank you again.

S Ljbavlju,

Some final words from Mom:
 I just want to thank all of you who have been so kind to McKenzie and our family. We couldn't have gone through this trial without each of you. Your love and support have been unbelievable. We have seen the Lord's hand through each of you.

Thanks again,

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