Monday, August 31, 2015

Lonnie's last post from the field

Yes, I am excited that my Lulabelle is coming home on Thursday, but like Lonnie, I have a pit in my stomach whenever I think of her mission coming to an end.  She has had some incredible experiences!  I owe so much to President Kai Hintze and Sister Diane Hintze.  They took such good care of my daughter.  I never worried.  And when Chuck died, they helped her through so she was able to stay on her mission.  I couldn't have asked for a better mission president for my girl!

Here is her last post:

I have been thinking a lot this past week about this moment. It's still too hard to believe that it's actually here. .....I don't even know what to say. But as I was studying on Saturday morning, I read one of my favoritest chapters ever in the Book of Mormon--Alma 26. It's become even more meaningful now that I have served these past 18 1/2 months here in El Salvador and Belize.

To start off, I must say as Ammon said, "I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." "My joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God." This mission has truly brought me the greatest joy I could have possibly imagined. Every night I went to bed thinking, "It's been the best day ever. How can it get any better?" And the next night I found myself saying the same thing. Well....maybe not every night I went to bed like that, but those nights that weren't I could probably count on one hand. 

Like Ammon said, "many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise His name forever." My mission has been a mission of daily miracles--in the lives of others, but also in mine. 

I don't have too much time today, and I would have loved to have said so much more, but many times (like it says in verse 27), the Lord told me "Go amongst thy brethren, los Salvadore├▒os (or the Belizeans :) ), and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." And I saw that time and time again. The Lord has lifted me up in the most difficult times. I have seen His hand in everything. 

I have gone, traveling from cement house to houses of lamina, relying...not upon the mercies of the world alone, but upon the mercies of God. We have taught God's children EVERYWHERE--in their streets, upon their hills, next to rivers, on the ground, sitting upon walls, outside of churches (or bars), and even in the graveyard. We have been rejected, cast out, mocked, and spit upon. I have not yet been stoned or bound with strong cords and cast into prison, buuuuut I suppose there are a few days left for that to occur.... haha Just kidding! (NOT in my plans for the last moments!) We have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul. And oh how rewarding it has been! 

A friend of mine told me before the mission to always remember what it said in my call letter--"Greater happiness and blessings than you have ever experienced await you as you prayerfully serve in this labor of love among His children." I did not understand that until now. I have learned that God loves His children as I have felt that love for those whom I have served. "God is mindful of every people. Whatsover land they may be in, yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels are over all the earth." (v. 37)

This mission has been (and will forever be) my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. I feel so blessed to have been privileged to serve amongst these humble and loving Christ-like people of the blessed countries of Belize and El Salvador. I will miss them dearly, but my heart will forever remain in this part of the world. Know that you're in my prayers daily and always remember that because of Him, everything is possible. 

My mission will always be with me. "This is my joy, and my great thanksgiving├▒ yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever." It has and will forever shape the rest of my life! And I will forever thank my Father in Heaven for giving me the chance to serve here and to keep serving in my next area of the mission.....

I love this gospel. I love the Restored truth we have on the earth today. I love our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson who guides us all on the earth today. I love my Savior and the chance I've had to be a representative of Him for this past year and a half. I know He lives and He loves us. As we turn to Him, miracles happen. In our lives and the lives of others. Don't ever let a day go by without finding out how God wants you to serve His children. Joshua 24:15--to truly feel God's love, you need to serve daily.

I love and pray for you all. Remember who you are and what you stand for! :)

Love Always,

Hermana McCulloch


With Hma Alsdorf and Mama Hintze
With Hma Alsdorf and Mama Juanita
With President Hintze
In front of the San Salvador El Salvador temple

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