Monday, November 18, 2013

Love ya'll more than words can express

Dear Mom, (and of course the rest of the family)

So this week's miracle story actually comes from the Philippians. The couple that we live with, the Hunts, had served a mission in the Philippians before serving here in Tennessee. They are always telling us stories and how much they love the people there. 
One morning, Sister Hunt asked us to have a special prayer in our hearts for the Philippine people because they had just gone under a huge hurricane that was bigger than hurricane katrina. (I'm sure ya'll may have heard about the hurricane) Their hearts were aching for the people. They told us that only 20 of the 21 missions had been heard from. And their only source of contact was by phone, which were obviously out of service. We began praying.
Then on Tuesday, we had a mission zone conference. Before it began, President Irion got up to update us on the Philippians. Monday night, all of the missionaries from the 20 missions were safe. However the mission president from the 21st mission had contacted all of his missionaries except for one companionship. In this companionship, there was an elder who was scheduled to return home to Utah in just 4 days. President Irion became emotional as he talked about putting himself in that mission president's shoes, wondering where his two missionaries were.  He set out and walked for 3 days to the city where the missionaries were assigned to serve. then President gratefully explained that as of this morning (the morning of our zone conference) the companionship was found and they were safe. 
This story touched all of us as we really began to feel the spirit testifying to us that the Lord truly takes care of his missionaries. There was not one missionary lost in that hurricane. What a marvelous work we are a part of!

I am so grateful for this wonderful journey I have been on as I have served the Lord in his field of Tennessee. This week has been up and down as it randomly hits me that the mission is coming to a close. It's crazy because this is the life I've become accustomed to: dedicating all my time to the Lord. However, I know for a fact that the Lord is aware of our circumstances and our life. He knows where we need to be and when we need to be there. He needs me here for a few more days and then my call will be returning home to good ol' Rexburg. Returning to all of you, my family, as a newly refined representative of Christ, with a new determination to serve Him to the end. 
I love all of you incrediously. (I hope I used that word correctly..)
I look forward to seeing ya'll soon! 
Know that I love ya'll and know that I KNOW this Gospel is TRUE. It is the best news that we have been called to share and I am happy to do it. I will forever be grateful that Heavenly Father never gave up on me as I kept rejecting the idea of serving a mission as I was going throughout highschool and into college. He lovingly kept encouraging me until the time was right. This has been the best time of my life, for my life and for the life of others. I'm excited to share who i've become with ya'll. I love this Gospel and I love the Lord.

love always,
your daughter,
Sister Valerie Preston