Buna familia mea si prietenii mei!
Well, this past week has definitely been a blur. I can honestly say that I am going to miss this district so much...Sora Robinson, Sora Lee, Elder Miner, Elder Seegmiller, Sora Schow, and I all had the best time serving together. I really felt like we were a family.
Which makes saying goodbye so hard...
But, these three sisters are some of the greatest I've ever served around. I'm so grateful for their examples, their kindness and their goodness. Each of them has shown me a better way to live and I am so grateful to know them!
Philippians 3 - Apprehend
Earlier this week I was reading in the scriptures, contemplating the closing of my mission and I remembered a talk by Elder Holland titled "Remember Lot's Wife." If you've never heard of it, please go look it up and read it! It's the perfect advice for any period of transitions in our lives. Philippians 3 is Paul's conversion story and what it means to him. He talks about his previous wealth, standing in the Jewish community, reputation, etc, but calls all of it dung when compared to who he has become and what he's doing in the service of Christ. Paul's comments on moving forward:
"I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which Christ apprehended me."
I love the word "apprehend." It has two meanings:
- To arrest (someone)
- To understand or perceive
When I read this verse, I thought about the fact that Paul was apprehended by Christ in the sense that he was arrested from his former life and given a second chance to become someone else; someone better. I love that Paul says that he will "apprehend that for which Christ apprehended [him]." Meaning that his life is dedicated to understanding or perceiving why God apprehended or arrested (or in a better sense saved) him from his old life and gave him a second chance.
For me, this is profound.
I was definitely given a second chance through my mission. My mission has been the most amazing experience. It taught me what it means to change - that successful people always change, but their principles never do. The next few verses in Philippians 3 read:
"...This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark."
This is so cool! Paul knows that the future holds so much goodness and light and opportunity and counsels us not to look back to days now gone nor to yearn vainly for yesterday. As a soon-to-be RM, this quote from Elder Holland is bringing me home:
"We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives."
I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have had to serve here in Romania and Moldova. The time I have spent here is absolutely unforgettable. I have truly, truly loved my mission.
Thank you all for following me on this fantastic adventure. Please know that I love you and am grateful for your prayers and words of encouragement. See you in America!
Sora Madison Michael Savoie