Up to this point our blog entries have been written by Ron, with just a little 'editing' here and there from
myself. I've been wanting to take some time and share a couple things that I've learned while serving our
mission here in Gainesville.
First of all my testimony of the gospel has strengthened and grown so much. I have the absolute sure
knowledge that we were called here to do exactly what we were needed to be doing at this time. I've
gotten better at relying on the guidance of the Holy Ghost in all areas of my life. I've learned to really
appreciate knowing that I/we are making a significant contribution in helping spread the gospel, as well
as helping provide opportunities for brothers and sisters that are searching for information on their ancestors.
The information we are making accessible is vital in order to do the saving ordinances necessary for their
eternal exaltation. It's a great feeling to be spending hours every day engaged in such an important aspect
of the Lord's gospel.
We certainly have been blessed to be working here in the Jacksonville Florida Mission, most specifically
in Gainesville. This area is beautiful, the weather marvelous (well-most of the time!!!-a little miserable in
the summer!!!), the people loving and kind and the Church members supportive and generous. We have been blessed to have had Andrew, Annette, Ryan, Josh, Leah, Jamie, Allison, Charlotte, Melissa, Makai, Claire, Finn, Jason, Staysee, Kaden, Kamren, Kailee, Ron's mother Ethel, and also Ron's brother Tom along with his wife Glenda visit us while we've been serving. Another brother of Ron's-Randy, traveled to Florida and we were happy to be able to spend an evening catching up with him. We've gotten to know outstanding senior missionaries and loved being able to spend fun times with all of them. It's been a continuous cycle, of course, of couples coming and going and serving the Lord in such a variety of assignments here in our mission. I believe there's been as many as 15 or 16 couples serving at any one time here and they've all been wonderful. Then of course there are the young Elders and Sisters, some 200+
of them and they are outstanding. They are strong, smart and brave. Their enthusiasm seems to never lag,
even when their work is slow and disappointing at times. They know the Book of Mormon unbelievably well, and are bold and full of the Lord's spirit as they search for people to share the gospel with. They never cease
to amaze me and I always feel blessed to just spend time with any of them. We often have had them come
for meals and have enjoyed sharing teaching opportunities with them. We have visited with many of them
in their apartments, and it's always been our honor to associate in any way with everyone one of them.
I truly consider them the cream of the crop-they are the best! And our Mission President and Sister Craig
also were the best! I cannot say enough about the wonderful people we've been able to associate with.
So, now as our mission comes to a close very soon, my heart is full of gratitude and love for my Heavenly
Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. We have been so blessed throughout our entire life and this chapter has
been a highlight for sure.! I will treasure the memories we've made this past 18 months forever.