Ah my dear loved ones,
Has this week been a joy? YES! Has it dealt with a lot of growth? YES! I love being a missionary, I love the people we get to meet and love. I have become close with so many people.
And that is why this week it was so hard to receive a certain phone call. It was on Thursday after our glorious exchange with the La Jolla Sisters, (I'll talk about that soon. IT WAS AWESOME!!!) and we were teaching an amazing recent convert, Westin. We were trying to continue with the lesson, but this person kept on calling and calling. The spirit told me to pick up the phone. I looked and it was my favorite Australian! As soon as I got on the phone and heard Sister Purcell's voice, I knew something was wrong. So Westin allowed us to step outside and I asked her what was going on. She then went on to tell me that our dearly beloved friend and loved one, Stacey English, had passed away. What a shock to me, I instantly broke down. We cried and cried. But my lovely former companion told me we needed to continue on. She told me I had a lesson to teach and she had service to perform. But after she hung up I could only just sit there and cry and cry and cry. Sister Stirland was a saint. And I'm so glad I was at a lesson with Westin when I received the news because those hugs (from the females of course) were heaven sent. I think I cried even more. One of them even looked me in the eye, and I knew they were speaking from our loving Heavenly Father, telling me that everything was going to get better. And it did. But of course not right away. In the midst of my many tears I decided very quickly that I needed a blessing and that it needed to be from our loving Bishop, Bishop Tengberg. And I don't think it was a coincidence that that same night we were going to the Temple with Mia for the first time. I wouldn't of wanted to of been in another place.
It's amazing how Heavenly Father helped me remain happy and truly joyful when Mia was in the Temple. I love her so much and it filled my heart with joy that she was there. But not just her, Stacey as well. As soon as I sat down with the Bishop and my companion for the blessing and he asked me what was going on. I just couldn't hold it in. During the blessing Heavenly Father told me that the pain will always be there. It always will be but it will be overcome with joy. And it has. I have found joy that Heavenly Father would allow me to teach such a wonderful daughter of God like her, that he would allow me to strengthen my testimony in the gospel and especially the priesthood during the teaching process. Stacey is a miracle. I want all of you to know that. She is a miracle. And even though I will miss her dearly, just as it said in the blessing that I received, that my reunion with her will be joyous. I know she physically is perfect, that she is happy and that she is at home. I couldn't explain it better then The Book of Mormon itself: