This has been such a hard week. I'm not gonna sugarcoat it because it doesn't need it. I don't want to glamorize how hard this past week has been. This has been the most challenging week yet on my mission. I'm glad it's over and a new week has begun.
My week has been hard because we've worked SO HARD to try and get members with us every hour. We've prayed, fasted, and called to get members out. We planned in advance and called and texted often to make sure that this would happen. Out of all the people we asked to come with us and agreed to come, only 3 were able to make it. That is really discouraging. We're working so hard to do what has been asked of us and everything is literally crumbling in our hands. It's the most sad thing to see and feel. It's been hard to not get mad or sad, and I'd felt that I'd been doing pretty good not feeling sad or mad.
I've spent a lot of time praying and studying in my spare time and that's help a lot. But I still feel like I failed in someway and I'm trying to figure out what I did wrong. I don't know, but it's been hard. The the other thing that made my week hard is my Grandma's death. I can't explain this enough: No matter the amount of preparing or bracing yourself you do for a death, it's still hard. I can FEEL her loss and I'm hurting because I can't be with my family at this time. I'm a little sad and mad because their lives are going on while I have to live mine like they don't exist... But they do. I'm completely cut off and there is nothing that I can really do to help them except pray. But I want to do more to help them! I wasn't ready for her to go. Who would have ever thought that my short time with her on Skype would be the last time I would see her in this life. I literally would not be here or be as hopeful as I am if I didn't have a knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. I don't know how people make it through life without that knowledge. I guess that's why I'm a missionary ;D
I got a letter from Elder Perry (yes, THE Elder Perry) on transfer day. When I read it I thought it was kinda weird. It wasn't bad but I didn't see the meaning of it. But after my Grandma's death this sweet letter brought me so much comfort.
It says: "Dear Sister Dunn, Leo Cornia and his wife are great friends of mine. They have done just what they should in this life of rearing a good family, taught them the joy of honest labor, and built a faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in their children and grandchildren that should be the envy of parents all over the world.
"Now as a granddaughter you have the obligation to carry on the same spirit. They have certainly given their family tree a rich source of nourishment for continued growth of the Cornia family.
"We wish you good blessings as you serve in the mission field. As I have traveled around, we see how valuable the sisters have been in this new effort of hastening the work. You have been called at the right time. With the background you have, the training and heritage which is yours I am sure that you will make a contribution that will endure like that of the Cornia's."
This is what I needed to not be depressed. I needed motivation to keep going and not get down. Yes I am mourning, but I'm not disabled or incapable of work. My family motivates me now. Even though I am separated from them and I feel cut off, I'm working hard to keep my sadness and anger at bay. There's no room for it here. I know that they are still ok and are moving on with this chapter of their lives. I need to as well.
In President Jenkins email to the mission for the week he wrote something that I really needed. He wrote: "Never lose hope (don't be afraid). Never give up or give in. You are stronger than you think. The power of the scriptures, of our personal righteousness, and of our faith and belief in the Savior, combined with the enabling power of the Atonement are sufficient for all our challenges, trials, heartaches, addictions, tendencies, and weaknesess. I promise you that this is true." I felt that a part of it was written specifically for me. I really needed because this is a difficult time in my life, but I want to be stronger from it. I don't want it to incapacitate me. I still have a lot of emotions going through me so fast that I have a hard time keeping up, but I have definitely felt heaven's help. I always feel Heavenly Father's and Jesus Christ's love for me and I can see the tender mercies that they are blessing me with. They know that I'm having a hard time and they are helping me.
I'm really hopeful for this coming week. I don't know what's coming or what's going to happen, but I'm hopeful. That's all I got right now; hope, Christ, and Heavenly Father. There's more I have, but these things are going to play a major role this week :)
Love, Sister Dunn
(PS. You have no idea how many hugs I got on Sunday! I hadn't made it too public that Grandma had passed away but people were just giving me hugs right and left. Then when they found out I felt like I was at Niagara "hugs" )