So this is it. The last one. First of all where has the time gone?! Right now I’m sat in an airport in Cagliari waiting to head to Rome. And thought I’d write one last time.
This mission has been that most incredible experience of my life to date. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel to my Father in Heaven and Saviour, Jesus Christ for this wonderful blessing to serve, to learn, to love, and to discover. Sure it’s been one of the most difficult heart breaking 18 months, but it’s been the best 18 months and I wouldn’t change anything for the world.
Throughout this time I’ve come to know my Saviour more perfectly and intimately as I’ve tried to love as he did, and do the things he did. In his service you experience, to some degree, the things he experienced. The pain, and the joy. The rejection, and the love. Studying about his life and his teachings, testifying of Him daily helped Him to come alive in my life. I know He lives and loves each and everyone of us. I know Him.
To be honest, I had a lot of expectations for my last transfer, and especially my last week in the mission. And it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I thought I’d see a tonne of great and grand miracles, but that was not the case. We worked hard to get a baptism, but as the weeks passed we realised that it wouldn’t be possible for this transfer, and we worked hard to get at least a new investigator, we came so close but no. And yesterday morning I was somewhat annoyed with Heavenly Father for not blessing me for what I wanted, and what I worked for. But like every prideful person, I was chastised. Heavenly Father was telling me that just because I was finishing my mission, it didn’t qualify me for special treatment. I had a week as missionary, full of rejection, laughter, some one who I love telling me that visiting her was doing nothing and she could do it all by herself, and tender moments and memory making with other loved ones. Just as Christ’s last week was bittersweet, so was mine. I’m not comparing myself to Him because He is unique and perfect, and I am quite obviously not perfect, but it’s funny how in His ministry you can relate to Him that much more. I was truly privileged for another week to live like He did, and to try once more to be like Him.
Yesterday I was asked to talk to the youth Sunday school class about why I came on a mission. Some of you don’t know the story so I’ll tell you as it’s the reason I’m here at the end. Back when the age changed for sister missionaries, a lot of people told me to serve a mission, and I hate being told what to do, so I was determined not to go. It didn’t sit well with me, but I pushed the nagging thoughts aside because I had my life planned out and a mission was not part of that plan. Then God has a way of getting his way, and my plan started of unravel. But still I was determined not to go, nor pray about it because I knew what the answer would be. Then at 16 I was at EFY and my counsellor told us that this week would be a good week to get a response to a question that was on our mind. I knew exactly what I needed to pray about. It came down to the time I needed to get on my knees and 2 scriptures came to mind. When I opened to the first scripture:
“Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach–repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children.” Moroni 8:10
It was obvious that I needed to go and teach repentance and baptise those who want to be with their families forever. But I was curious as to why a second scripture came to mind.
“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.” Moroni 10:32
I knew I needed to go because I wanted to be like Christ, and I could not deny His influence in my life, not couldn’t I deny the power of God. I had to tell people about Him, and couldn’t keep the testimony I’d developed to myself. Since then I’ve had nothing but confirmations that this is what He needed me to do. And so I went. And I’ve been nothing but blessed for it. The trials I’ve experienced and the mistakes I’ve made have all helped me to become the person and missionary He needed me to be. The Refiner’s fire is a true blessing, even if we don’t realise it immediately.
Everything we go through is for our experience, and ultimately for our good.
I know without a doubt that this is the only true church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. He lives, and He guides us through his prophet Thomas S. Monson. The plan of our loving Heavenly Father is perfect and glorious. Trust in Him and you shall not fall. And and leave with you these things for the last time as a missionary, a set apart representative of our Lord and Saviour, even Jesus the Christ, amen.
For the last time, Sorella Maja Tacchi