Sunday, February 26, 2017
I am a believer in promptings. Not just promptings from anyone or anything but promptings that shake you to such a degree that you know it is God speaking to you. There have been many times in my life that I have felt these type of promptings. Most of the time these shake you to the core type of promptings come when I am least expecting it. I remember the first time I received one of the type of promptings. It was New Years day of 2015. I read a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 88 within this chapter there is a particular scripture that changed my life. When I say that it changed my life I really mean that it changed everything for me. It was the first time where I remember so vividly that I knew what Heavenly Father required of me. I read verse 68 in this particular chapter; "Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will." That was the minute that I knew that the Lord needed me to serve a mission. This was the first time in my life where I felt that God was speaking so clearly and in such a distinct way that there was no way that I could deny the power of God. A short 4 months later I received the magical white envelope in the mail that would tell me where I would be serving for the next 18 months of my life. I opened that envelope and read out loud " Dear Sister Camilleri, you have been called to serve in the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission" At that moment I received another prompting that was very distinct. However, it was very different from the first prompting that I described. This time the prompting came as a feeling of peace. In that moment I knew that I needed to serve a mission but more importantly I knew that I was needed in the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission. The mission needed me but I also felt very clearly that I needed Vegas. There were people and experiences there that were going to change my life. A short two months later I found myself on a plane flying to Vegas. I was scared for what I was about to do. I knew I was making the right decision but I didn't really know what was ahead of me. This was the first time in my life where I truly felt like I was walking by faith. I've been walking by faith ever since that day and it has been one of the best experiences of my life. I served in the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission in various areas for 10 months. Those were some of the best ten months of my life; not because it was 10 months of bliss and ease but because in those 10 months I learned so much about myself, my Savior, my loving Heavenly Father and I learned of the importance of the gospel in my life. I needed it. There was no other way that I could possibly get the most out of this life than with the gospel. Six months into the mission I got sick. I spent about 5 months in the mission field consistently nauseous and consistently throwing up. In the field I visited doctors and received a diagnosis that I was hoping could be resolved so that one I could feel better but two so that I could be the missionary that I knew i needed to be. As time went on the medication that I was on was not being effective and there wasn't much that we could do about it. I either had to choose to work through the sickness and try my best or I had to choose to return home and receive more medical treatment. I am a fighter. Fighting through things is one of those gifts that I feel I was blessed with. So, I fought. I decided to stay in the mission and continue on with my mission with hopes that I would get better and the issue would go away. I fought for about 3 months. I did not want to go back home. I wanted to stay and there were many days and nights where I was on my knees or where I was in a constant conversation with Heavenly Father pleading for Him to let me stay and to continue to fight and overcome. I wanted it so badly. As time went on things got worse. One day I was having a really hard day with this illness and I started feel like it was not fair to me, God or my companion for me to stay in the missionary field anymore especially since I could not work the way that I knew I needed to. I pondered this thought for awhile without praying about it. I tend to be one of those really ponder and think about the decision and try to come to some conclusion before I take it to Heavenly Father. That is exactly what I did. I knew that I was at a crossroads in my life. I had to make a decision and it was only a decision that I could make. No one could make it for me. It was at this time that I received another one of those shake you to the core type of promptings. I knelt in prayer on a Saturday morning feeling more nauseous than I had ever felt and in tears. I took my decision to the Lord and I received a very clear prompting that I was making the right decision. I was going home. Often times the Lord requires us to do hard things sometimes even things that we don't want to do. We have to do these things so that we can grow. I again found myself feeling like I was taking a step into the darkness and like I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I felt like I was walking by faith. It is one of those bittersweet feelings. I found joy in the fact that I was following what Heavenly Father had planned for me and that I was being as faithful as I could but I also found sadness in the thought of returning home and leaving the missionary field. I felt complete when I was serving the Lord. Heartwarming happiness became real and I finally felt like I understood what happiness was. In some ways I felt like my happiness was being taken away from me because I was leaving the field and I was going to have to take my tag off. As I made this decision I also found another prompting of peace a long the way. I know that in those 10 months that I served the Lord and the people of Las Vegas that I did exactly what was required of me. I know that the work that I performed was acceptable to the Lord. This taught me that it is possible to feel peace in times that are hard. Just because I was following the plan that Heavenly Father had for me does not mean that it was easy for me. Leaving the mission took a lot more faith than coming to the mission did and it was one of the hardest things that I had ever done. A short and long days later I found myself on a plane once again with the feeling of being scared creeping back in because I had no idea what I was getting myself into. When I got home I decided to fight once again. Doctors appointments came quickly and a proper diagnosis became clear within a couple of months. I began medication to help with the illness and I started to feel better for the most part. I didn't know what I was supposed to do next. I wanted to return the field but I knew that was not what Heavenly Father needed me to do. At that moment in time it was not in the cards and even though it was disappointing I again found myself walking by faith. I received another prompting that I needed to go to college. I was enrolled at BYU-Idaho and I decided that I would go there in the fall. It felt right and I knew that I needed to be there. While in Idaho I met amazing people and made amazing friends that have changed my life in more ways than I could explain. My experience at BYU-Idaho changed my life and I am so grateful for the time that I spent there. I needed it and I have a feeling that Idaho needed me too. Now, it was January of 2017 and I found myself in Idaho trying to figure out my next step. BYU-Idaho did not have the major that I wanted to study so I was trying hard to know where I needed to go in order to receive an education in that particular field of study. I had options and as I pondered them nothing was lining up. I didn't know what to do and I was frustrated. This is when the prompting repeatedly occurred to me that I needed to rethink the idea of returning to the mission field. I had been home for about 8 months at the time and even though the desire to go back had always remained with me I had always felt that it just wasn't what I needed to do. These promptings came as one of those shake you to the core type of promptings. It surprised me and I felt like it had totally come out of left field. I had been home for so long and felt like I was just starting to fully adjust again and life was good in Idaho. My friends and I were closer than ever and I knew that if I was going to try to return to the mission field that I was going to have to leave them and to sacrifice everything again. I had a whole lot of mixed emotions and trust me any one of them can testify to that. I could not deny the prompting that I received and I had made a promise earlier on in my life that I would try my hardest to follow what Heavenly Father needed from me. I did not want to go back on my mission. I did not want to sacrifice everything again. I did not want to return home to Washington where my spirituality severely was in trouble every time I came back. I did not want to lose everything that I felt like I had worked so hard for. Now a month later I have found myself back in Washington and working on the process of being able to return to the mission field. I don't know how I got here. Its been hard emotionally the past month. I have a lot of feelings but once again I have the prompting of peace that inspires me to continue to move forward and to continue to follow my Heavenly Father's will. Sometimes Heavenly Father asks us to do things that are hard and that we don't want to do but he does this so that we can grow. I am so grateful for the opportunities that I have to grow. There is peace in following Heavenly Father's plan even when things are hard. I don't know if I will be able to return to the mission field but I know that I need to try. This last week I received medical clearance to be able to return. My doctor feels confident in my ability to return and that is a huge blessing. Next week I will be turning in my approval letter along with a letter from myself to the missionary department stating why I want to return to the mission field and why I feel that I can. Two weeks later I should hopefully have an answer. I don't want is going to happen. I'm walking by faith and its is beautiful.
Monday, May 9, 2016
Hello Family and Friends!I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I had yesterday to skype myfamily and talk to them! It always feels so good to be able to seetheir faces and talk to them! I really do miss my family and friendsbut being away from home and serving a mission is so worth it! I justcan't believe that I only have 8 more months left. That is so crazy tome. Next thing you know I'll be home! There isn't really much to sayabout this week. Honestly it was probably one of the more not verygood weeks when it comes to the work. The family that I had talkedabout last week dropped us. It was the most heart wrenching experienceever. They said that they loved us and that they believed ineverything that we taught and testified of but that their wife/motherdoesn't want them to be taking lessons. They did say though that theywould stay in touch. I know it isn't the end for them. It was so sosad though! Ugh I just love them! Pretty much everyone one else thisweek that we planned to meet with cancelled on us. So even though weworked hard nothing to exciting happened this week. On Saturday we didanother sacrifice Saturday where we tracted all day. That was prettygood. It started raining towards the end and I finally got to wear mynorth face and it was the best thing ever. We also got to ride someelectric scooters and bikes. That was fun because we got to do somedance moves while we rode the electric scooter. It was so great! Hahaanyway that was pretty much my week! I hope all is well with all ofyou!
Hello Everyone! This week was GREAT! Let me start off my saying thatit rained three different days this week! Along with some hail it wasso great! However that was not the best part of the week! Rememberwhen i totally sunburned on side of my body? IT WAS WORTH IT! The daywhen I burned my left side of my body basically it was because we werestanding in the same spot for two hours talking to someone on thestreet that we had basically tracted into. It was great. Well it justso happens that we got in contact with him again this week and we hadthe best lesson ever! He wanted his kids to be there (all 6 of them).It was so good. We taught the restoration lesson and the spirit was soso so strong! At the end of the lesson the father When we asked him ifhe believed that Joseph Smith was a prophet he looked at us and saidyes I do. I really do. Ahhhh the best words to ever come out ofsomeone's mouth ever! Then we asked all the kids how they felt andthey said we are curious. We want to know more! The second best thingto come out of someone's mouth! So we left that lesson spirituallycharged but also with 6 new investigators that we have the amazingopportunity to help the, understand the importance of Heavenly Fatherin their life and help them come closer to him. I feel so blessed.Then it rained and hailed at the end of the lesson and it was a doubleblessing!The next day we had the opportunity to meet with Elder Jeffrey R.Holland and President Robbins. That was an amazing experience. Beingin the presence of an apostle and hearing him testify of thetruthfulness of the gospel is something that I will never forget. Thespirit was so strong and so good there. He talked about a lot ofthings. The highlight for me was when he was talking about the waythat Christ taught when he was here and he talked about how Christ metpeople at the level that they were at and took them to where theyneeded to be. (John 3 & 4) I loved that so much. I believe that notonly applies to teaching but it also applies to every single personthat ever lives. Christ will meet us where we are at and he will carryus to where we need to be but it will only be if we let him. Anotherthing that Elder Holland spoke about was about being finishers. Hesaid that the blue ribbon does not come at the beginning of the race.It does not come at the middle of the race. It comes at the end of therace. Heavenly Father wants to give you your blue ribbon but you haveto finish the race. Then he went on talking about not giving up and itwas the best thing ever.The next day I was reading in Ether 3 where it tells the story of theBrother of Jared. This chapter really stood out to me and in adifferent way than it normally does. Usually I recognize that theBrother of Jared had this immense amount of faith which is very veryvery true but I noticed this time that the Brother of Jared does hispart first and then the Lord does his. He makes stones, he follows thecommandment to pray, he exercises faith in the Lords miracles and thenthe Lord shows himself to the brother of Jared and he lights thestones. I really loved studying that. It just goes to show that wehave to do our part and then The Lord will do his. In the moment thatwe don't believe the Lord is nearby helping us is the moment that heis carrying us to where we need to be.
Hello my dear family and friends!This week was another pretty good week! This week I realized thatpondering the gospel and reassessing where you are at and how tobecome better is pretty awesome and it brings you so much closer toHeavenly Father! Since I'm a missionary I ponder these things a lotmore and yesterday I realized that it has been a huge blessing. It'sreally awesome cause I feel like I am communing with Heavenly Fatherconstantly. We basically goes like we converse in my mind and then hetells me things I need to do better then I say but why and he answersand I obey. It's funny how being obedient is so essential for us butit is like the hardest thing to do ever. This week with our new StlSister van Uitert we talked about obeying with a willingness of heart.If we are trying to be obedient and our heart isn't in it then we arenot going to be able to succeed because we won't understand the pointbehind it. Anyway I just think it's interesting how importantobedience is. After all it is the first law of Heaven.This week we made some solid progress. We found two new investigators.For the most part they seem pretty interested and ready to hear thegospel. I really hope that they do. This gospel is so important foreverybody! Seriously everybody needs it in their lives. We decided totry a different Tracting approach this time because we didn't feellike what we were doing with pass along cards was getting us anywhereso we decided to tract with our scriptures and at every door to saythat we wanted to share a scripture with them and then we applied itto them personally and talked about who we were. That was a more funway of Tracting. More people were down to hear a simple scripture andit gave us the opportunity to invite the spirit and testify to them.It was really cool. This coming week we are doing another sacrificeSaturday where we are Tracting and street contacting all day. Thatwill be fun! The missionary program in our ward is also planning afamily history event where people can come and learn how to do familyhistory and use the church tools. I'm excited for the event to happen.We all felt really strongly that we needed to do something with familyhistory to help bring people into the church building and to feel thespirit. I'm really hoping that it will go the way that we want it too.I can already tell you that the highlight of this week is going to begetting to hear Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder Lynn G. Robbinsspeak to us on Friday. I am so excited to hear them both speak andgive us guidance on how to be better missionaries and a bettermission. I cannot wait.The members here are really starting to warm up to us and missionarywork is becoming more prevalent in the ward. It has been such ablessing! I'm starting to really love this area. It has taken 3transfers but the people are really great.Anyway I love you all! Life is good in the field!
Monday, April 18, 2016
Hello Everybody! This week was a pretty great week! I think that Sister Kent and I got more done this week than I have ever in this area. It was really great! I loved it! Sister Kent and I are pretty different but when it comes to missionary work she is a hard worker and I am really really grateful for that. Also e found out this week that Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is coming to our mission! I AM SO STOKED! It am so grateful for the opportunity to hear from an apostle especially one of my favorite apostles. There was definitely a lot of miracles that we saw this week. I want to talk specifically about an awesome experience that we had both yesterday and today. Yesterday we were at the dreaded 8 o'clock hour. I wasn't really sure who we needed to see. But all through yesterday I kept getting this thought to visit this less active in the ward. Now we had visited her multiple times and she always refused to let us in. But I followed the prompting and we went to go see her. To my surprise she answered the door and she was in tears. She welcomed us in and told us everything that was going on and talked about she needs to come back to church and get her life back together. I feel so grateful for the spirit that directed me to where we needed to be. She received a priesthood blessing today. It was really powerful and she felt so at peace and ready to take on everything that is coming her way. It was really awesome and it was really a moment for me that helped my testimony grow so much because i know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers and especially our diligence. Our area has been slow but I really needed yesterday and it was so great. Miracles really are happening all around us. I love it and this week has really shown me that. I really love this work and am so grateful to be able to be a missionary. I love you all. Always remember that God is always in the details!
Today is transfer day! I will be staying in the Eldorado Highlands
Ward where I have been for the last two transfers and I will be
getting a new companion! Her name is Sister Kent! I don't know to much
about her other than she was Sister Hayes (current companion) Mtc
companion. They got along really well so I'm hoping that everything
will be good and we will be able to do a lot of work done this
transfer in our ward. Sister Hayes is getting transferred to another
area. The missionary work in the ward Has been a little slow but I'm
excited that I get to be here for at least another transfer because I
think I will finally be able to give it everything that I have. I
haven't been able to everything that I want to do in this area due
some health problems and other things going on but I feel like this
new transfer will bring a lot of miracles in our area as we work hard
and work diligently. God really does provide a way for us and I know
that if we do our part than he will do his! I'm excited and I'm ready
for this change!
This week was a pretty slow week. However this week we were going to
visit this part member family and we have been trying to get into
their house forever. Seriously I think we have knocked on their door
more times than I can count. (Exaggeration since I can count fairly
high) so one day we decided that we should go try them again and my
thought was like what is the point cause they are never home
anyway...but then a miracle happened. They were home. They let us in
and were really awesome people. Not only did we get into their house
and were able to meet them but it was also the only time that week
that they were both going to be home at the same time (crazy Vegas
work schedule). It was awesome and I am so grateful that Heavenly
Father blessed us with that awesome opportunity. They even signed up
to have us over for dinner! So cool.
We also spent Wednesday doing some service for a woman named Carol.
She has a hoarding problem. That was exciting. She also accused me of
stealing money and her rings. Lol. Anyway Carol holds a very special
place in my heart. She is such a sweet and kindhearted lately who is
struggling. I just want to help her so bad but man their are many
emotional issues that come with her hoarding. I've realized a lot
lately that I really enjoy working with people that are trying their
hardest to overcome their addictions. I'm not sure why but I love it
and it inspires me to gain greater strength. I just want them all to
know that the atonement of Jesus Christ can heal them. I just find it
completely and utterly miraculous for someone to overcome something so
huge and so hard. I love it.
Nothing else to exciting happened this week. We had a relief society
activity where a Brother in our ward who is from Hawaii sang a song
with the ukulele. There was a verse in the song that said "So pick up
your feet and walk to the beat because life is beautiful". I don't
know why that stood out to me so much but life really is beautiful. I
won't lie this last transfer has been so hard for me and a lot of the
time I have failed to take a step back and just be grateful but if
their is one thing that I have learned it would be that God always
prepares a way for things to be done and life really is a beautiful
experience. So put a smile on that face and enjoy it!
Hello! Sorry this email is coming a bit late! Our zone went bowling today and then to lunch so we didn't have much time for anything this morning! It was a good week! We again saw many small miracles! It was cool! This week we went to go try and contact a potential investigator but the one we were looking for was never home. Seriously like never. However one day we just tried to visit him again and he wasn't home again but his mom was! We talked to her for a little bit and she is very open to learning about the Christ. We scheduled a time to meet with her on Friday. That was an awesome lesson. I felt the spirit so strong in this lesson. I had just gotten done talking about the great apostasy and asked her if she had any questions. Then she goes on to talk about how she has always wondered why there were so many churches and that she has been looking for an answer for a long time. She just doesn't get how if we all believe in one God and the same God then why can't we all be a part of the same church. That led perfectly into us talking about Joseph Smith and how he had the same question and that God does answer prayers. It was really cool and then after I was done talking she said "oh yes I'm going to do that" it was really cool! That was probably a main highlight of the week. Another awesome highlight of the week was the General Women's Session of conference. It was so good! They talked all about serving one another and recognizing the love that God has for us. They also talked a lot about how this work and God needs strong valiant women who aren't afraid to speak and stand up for the truth. I really loved it and I'm so exited for General Conference next week! I cannot wait! Easter was good too! Probably not the most productive day but I loved the spirit of Easter. We also sang in our wards choir. That was awesome. I have really come to enjoy singing in the choir with the ward members. It's brings such a good spirit to the meeting! I did really miss everybody though yesterday probably more than any other day. Weird. Anyway God is good! He loves us all! I love you!