(From Mom: For all the Peeps that follow the Blog, Erin is coming home tonight to have her arm taken care of by doctors here. We are excited and sad at the same time. It is in the Lords hands on what is to be done about her arm. It has given her great pain and suffering for the last 6 months. She has blessed the lives of MANY, MANY people there in Peachtree City, Georgia. They have been blessed to have her as well. She has many experiences and has made many friends. She is one tough Young Lady. )
Erin: I'm on!!!
Mom: Are you EXCITED?????????
Erin: Nervous........ I started to sob at the mission home last night. Prez gave me a blessing.
Mom: Well I am ExCiTeD.......soooooooo much.
Erin: Can we have a girls night????? I want to watch Catching Fire.... Haha. Did you sleep at all last night?
Mom: I didn't sleep very good. No movies tonight. You will be dead on your feet. We are two hours later then you. So our 10:00 will be 12:00 to you. Midnight and you won't be awake.
Erin: Holy smokes.... I don't think I've slept hardly at all this whole week. Bishop Corbridge had me speak in sacrament yesterday.... and I got a ton of kisses and hugs from everyone in the ward. They'll all miss me a ton.
Mom: I bet you did a fabulous job. You will be missed by Peachtree City. Who is taking you to the airport today?
Erin: I even said the prayer. A lot of the guys in the ward were hugging me because they didn't care about the rules. So many people said they feel like they are losing a daughter.
The office elders.... elders Schenck and Smith, they're in my district.
Mom: Good....someone to carry the luggage. You will miss your mission.
Erin: Ya, me and President and Sister Harding were all crying last night. They don't understand why either of why I need to go home. They said that I'm the best missionary the Georgia Atlanta Mission has ever had and that I have made the biggest impact on everyone here.
Mom: I bet they are very sad that you are leaving. I hope that you can get your arm fixed up. Remember that you have done more than most missionaries do in two years. You did it in 8 months.
Erin: Ya, that's what everyone keeps telling me. I think I love my mission so much because I feel like I'm helping people. And people keep telling me how much of a good influence I am.
Mom: You have helped a ton of people and brought people to the knowledge of the Gospel. Make sure you take pictures of you leaving the airport in Atlanta.
Erin: I'm going all by myself....scary. This is only my second time in an airport and the first one was with 50 of us, so I just followed everyone else. haha. Everyone here kind of snickers at me because this will be my 2 airplane ride in my life (everyone here works for Delta, so they always fly on the weekends to exotic places)My Easter was fantabulous. I prayed and spoke in sacrament, got a ton of pictures with ward members. We ate at the Wade's house and the Corbridges were there too. It was like a whole ward activity in their back yard and it was nice to say good bye to everyone. Tender mercy. The Harding's said they let me have Easter here because they knew without a doubt that that is what I would want.... they were right. It was so nice to see everyone. We then spend a couple hours with President and talked about a ton of things. We said goodbye and I got a blessing from him. It was a great day...I just got on another computer, but I have to go.... I LOVE YOU MORE THAN PANCAKES LOVE SYRUP!!! I'LL SEE YOU TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Letter from Erin to her President as she says her goodbyes.....)
Ahoy there President!!
In all honesty, thank you for what you've done for me... especially for last night. You truly are an inspiration to me and my biggest hero. I think if Jesus had a best friend, it would probably be you. Haha. You're amazing.
To answer your question..... I won't be here to find these family members, but I would tell others to Never Give Up. God has a plan for each of us and he is very aware of our lost family members. He has called us (the search and rescue) to find them and bring them the knowledge of this incredible gospel. I was talking with a sister in the mission and she was telling me how she's afraid to invite people to baptism because she doesn't believe anyone is prepared. She said that she's waiting for an incredible miracle to happen and someone to show up and ask if they can be baptized. Although, that would be absolutely stunning, odds are.... that's not going to happen., I tried to explain to her that the only way she's going to be placed on the path of someone who is prepared is if she exercises her faith and invites EVERYONE. That's the only way God will allow us to find those people. If we don't invite, we're lazy. I don't think God wants to put His children in the hands of people who are lazy. (I didn't say it as harsh as I am now, I said it with a lot of love, but you get the idea). She agreed and committed to invite at least one person each day to follow Jesus Christ. I'm not sure if she's done that because I haven't talked to her in a while, but I think I got the message across clearly. I told her to never give up and to never let Satan let her think that nobody is prepared. I told her how millions of people are being prepared each day and God's plan is perfect and how people won't even change unless they're first invited to do so. I think she now understands the importance of inviting.
I wish so badly that I could stay here because there is TONS of work to be done, and I like being a part of it and knowing that I tried to do something to help our Heavenly Father. This week has been extremely emotional. I know that God will take care of me. Even if my plans aren't His plans, everything will work out. Thanks so much for your love and support President. Even though we're not related at all, I feel like you love me like a daughter, and that has brought so much comport... thank you. I love you a ton!
Love Forever and for Always,
Sister Erin Echols