Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sitting on the Southern Most Tip of the United States, dangling my feet over the edge:
New Address:
Sister Macey Lane Smith
  1500 S. Beretania Street, Ste 416

I am leaving the Big Island and I'm not quite sure how to say it,
but I will miss this place and the people here.

The past few nights it has been hard to fall asleep.
My mind is filled with what these 3 transfers have held.
Good examples, clear warnings, and the thing that hits me most:

The eternal friends I have been able to meet and make here. 

So much has happened with my companion.
We were put together in a less than ideal way and I felt like there was so much to overcome. Selfish thoughts filled my mind with all the ways that SHE should change. What went wrong. Always blaming. But then my heart changed.

I love her now! 
I really appreciate the way she plays with kids when we teach lessons, how she scoops them up and acts surprised at any thing they show her. And I feel for her family situation. I understand where she is coming from. We both eat miso soup together and talk about the gospel and the best part is I really thought it might not be possible! 

But here we are. He brought me to it and then through it!

Then there are the blessed members!
I could fill volumes with what I appreciate about them...
My best good friend who is 7 and wears pink keds with high white socks to church and shows me how to hula dance. 

The kindest older Japanese lady who spends all day cooking for our dinners and wears long pearls with her Aloha print dresses. 
Brother B who practices playing the organ on Tuesday nights and is always so welcoming on Sunday mornings with a hymn book and a hand shake. 

There is a Hawaiian word for it: 
It means to take someone in, to bring them up as your children.

They are all so nurturing.
I feel like I am leaving something serious behind here.
But I'm glad for the knowledge that this is not all.

In Hilo, there have been many moments of spiritual wrestles and I've faced hard things.
There were times that I wanted to get transferred, to have a new companion.
And when they didn't come I felt frustrated. 
But I knew it was because there was more to learn, that I hadn't won the fight or learned the lesson.
And then I did!
What a sweet peace it brought, to find myself on the other side, stronger and truer for having gone through it.

Yesterday sacrament was very sentimental.
Sitting in the back row I could see all of the people I have come to love so much.
We were singing a hymn.
My neck felt itchy with all the leis and my heart felt full. 
I looked around to see if everyone was there and I saw a Sister who has become like a second mother to me.
She has helped me and supported me through the trials of this great work.
And we have rejoiced together.

As we saw one another, we gave a knowing look and a smile.
My eyes filled with tears as I felt the rush of this moment. 
I let myself be all right there and it felt like it all slipped into slow motion.
I looked down and thought 
"I am here. 
All here. 
And I have fought a good fight in this area. 
He has carried me through."

As the meeting began, I reached for my scriptures, worn and full.
I found a verse that matched the moment perfectly:

"Behold, He changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word." 

I believe that He had to let me go through it.
And I am so grateful that He did because I got to go through it with Him.
With God, our trials are never really ours.
He is so good!

Sister Smith

                                                                       An excerpt from earlier in August:

 I have crossed this line, maybe recently I realized, where I could not retreat to the same person I was. There is no going back. There is going home (and I so look forward to it) but there is no going back. We have seen too much and worked too hard to turn back to the people we left as. And that is a good feeling! I have improved, I have grown! And I am just now starting to see it. Somehow, through the teachings and the Atonement of Christ, I feel like I am living the realist version of my life. That is really something! So I just have to remind myself, when I hear the soggy phrases like "time flies" and "missions are such a fraction of your life" that they are true! First. And then, so sweetly, that I have been blessed with this time to lean on the Lord, to find certainty in the struggle, and to count it all joy! Sometimes the most fundamental things escape us, you know? Like the fact that I have been living here for one trip around the sun and that I am not who I was in the best ways. I have fortified the good and (with any luck) trained some of the unruly traits I had before. I just have to breathe it in and remember. Anyway... All this to say things are so sunny on this side of the world and the Lord is still, always looking out.