29 September 2010

I Shall Always Remember Kirtland With Fondness

Final moments in Kirtland.

Saturday, August 14, 2010 -
     I'm in the Cleveland Hopkins Airport.  Last night was tough; this morning was even tougher.  Had to say goodbye to all the sister's living in the Boynton Home with me.  President and Sister Sorensen came to pick me up at 8:45 a.m.  We had a nice ride to the airport.  President Soresen reminded me that if it's the Lord's will, he wants me back out here.  He said that if I was well enough to come back out, I would come back to this mission.  And truly, there's no better mission in the world.  Missions are the best.  I am so grateful for the time I have had here.  Such a sacred place. 
    I got a call from Elder and Sister Butterfield [Kirtland Site Director and his wife].  Sister Butterfield started to cry because we wouldn't be able to say goodbye.  Elder Butterfield got on the phone to tell me that he was proud of how hard I had been working the past week.  He said a lot of things that I really needed to hear, to leave Kirtland feeling that I had done my very best.
    I'm now on the plane leaving the Dallas airport, headed home!  Had a really neat experience with a girl waiting for the same flight.  We talked for awhile about Jesus Christ and our faith in Him.  She told me I had a heart that needed to be shared with the world.  She even accepted to have a visit from the missionaries!  Heavenly Father definitely gave me a tender mercy in meeting her.

  Maybe I did run down the stairs yelling, "I'M BACK!"
     Well, now here I am.  When I first arrived home, I was at complete peace in knowing that this was the Lord's will for me.  It's interesting that in the MTC I had to learn a lot about faith and the scripture, "No witness until after the trial of your faith..." kept playing in my head, proving to me that my Heavenly Father was preparing me for this moment.  So I had no worries.  If the Lord wanted me back out on the mission, He would provide a way.  And if not, there was other work for me to do!
     But those feelings didn't last forever.  I felt that I had received my answer that I was not to go back out on the mission so I called President Sorensen and told him to which he replied, "I know, Sister Hill.  Your heart wants to but your body won't allow it."  So true, President.  If only my heart and my body could get on the same page!  Anyways, I was totally fine, right?  Well, until last Saturday night during the General Relief Society Broadcast.  The closing hymn was "The Spirit of God" (written for the Kirtland Temple dedication, sung at the Kirtland Temple dedication).  Did I start weeping?  Why yes, I did.  For no reason other than I missed Kirtland so terribly.  The next day at church things such as missionary work and Kirtland were discussed in Sunday School.  Did I start crying uncontrollably?  You betchya.  I even got quizzed on events in the Kirtland Temple that I could not answer.  Did I go home and lay bed, crying, wondering why I had to come home so early before I could actually make a difference, before I could learn more about the sacred events in Kirtland?  Oh definitely.
     From the moment I stepped foot in Kirtland, OH my heart was filled with so much joy!  Every morning and night I was on my knees thanking my Father in Heaven for blessing me with the opportunity to serve in such holy land.  I even wondered some days what I did to receive such an enormous blessing.  So why did it have to end?  Will my body ever allow me to go back out?  Am I supposed to go back out?  Or was that it?  I really don't know.  But the Lord does!  And that is why I have renewed strength to put all my faith in Him.

This is how much I love Kirtland.
[In front of N.K. Whitney's home.]

     So thank you Roseville 6th Ward for welcoming me back with open arms.  Thank you Dr. Gary for doing your best to get my body working again. Thank you friends (especially Miss Neptune) for being so understanding, supportive, & not hesitating to pick up where we left off.  Thank you family for being the absolute greatest, letting me talking about the mission 24/7, & overall just dealing with Hurricane Nicole (oh wait, that's really happening right now?).  And thanks be to my Heavenly Father for all these experiences!  Because someday I will see how everything provided a way for something greater.
     I solemnly swear that I will post more often.  I will share things about Kirtland that I love and continue to update anyone who cares on the progression of my health.