Monday, December 15, 2014

I'm Forever in HIS Debt - GOODBYE COLORADO - December 15, 2014


Well, this is it. It is my last email as Hermana Mangum. It is strange. It doesn't feel real. I got up this morning and it just feels like any other day. It truly hasn't hit me that my mission is over. I don't think it will until I am out of Colorado and at home. But, let me tell you what has happened this week! :)

On Wednesday we had a Progressive Dinner with the Relief Society. I had never been to a progressive dinner before, it was fun! Sister Benson was in charge of preparing all of the dinners by herself. And so she asked us to help her out :) It was so fun!! We went over in the morning and got all of the meals prepared! I love Sis. Benson! She is so wonderful :) Then that night we went to the dinner. We kinda ended up at the reject dinner... Everyone canceled for one house and so they asked the missionaries to fill in. I am so glad they did !!!! We ate with Sister Hochstien and one other Sister. Sister Hochstien was just the cutest ever!! I didn't really know her before. She not only is just straight-up beautiful, but she just glows with the spirit. She served a mission in the Netherlands. She told us some crazy stories about companions, etc. And how she came home and didn't get married until she was 27 and she ended up converting her husband to the church. They have the cutest story of how the met!! And they have only been married about 7 years and he has already served in the Bishopric and is now Executive Clerk. They are just an amazing family!! And it was SO clear to me how much her serving a mission has blessed her life, strengthened her testimony, and how much she is a better wife and mom from serving!! It was so clear how much better off Sis. H is for having served and I just got overwhelmed with joy for having made the same decision and to have come out here to Colorado and served a mission!!!! I AM SO GRATEFUL!!!!!

On Thursday we had our Mission Christmas Devotional :) It was so great!!! TONS of musical numbers!! I even participated in one!! All of the STL's and ZL's and AP's of the Loveland, Longmont and Boulder Zones sang :) It was awesome! And then... I had to give my departing testimony! I can't believe that day came... I think it went well :) And I didn't cry! #proudmoment 

On Friday we went over to the Monreal’s house for a lesson and they surprised us with a HUGE dinner!!!!!! It was a feast!!! SOOO yummy :) And they they surprised us again with Christmas presents!! They gave us each a purse and a scarf, hat and gloves. SOOOO nice!!! It meant so much and I just love their family!!! :)

After we headed to the Pearl Street Mall and sang Christmas Carols with 6 other missionaries from my zone. It started out kinda rough... Luckily Sis. Heintz is in our zone because that girl can sing! So she helped A LOT! Quickly we got a rhythm going and it was awesome!! 2 other missionaries went around passing out the He Is The Gift pass-along cards to people walking down the street and then we also had a white board set up asking people what their favorite Christmas gift has been. People would go up and write down their answers. This one lady came over and started singing with us for over an hour. She just stood in front of us as we were singing and sang back to us. We later found out that she is actually a less-active member of the church. Her parents were in the MOTAB and so she had grown up singing all of the Christmas Hymns and just loved listening to us. She then told us that her sister is going through a nasty divorce right now with her husband, who was a bishop, and now decided he is done with marriage, and the sister had just had surgery that morning. Wow! So she asked us to sing a hymn for her sister. We sang Be Still My Soul, and she recorded it and sent it to her sister :) It was really cool!!!

On Saturday and Sunday we said LOTS of goodbye's… and on Sunday we gave talks in Sacrament Meeting. They went well :) All 4 of us missionaries spoke and so we decided to talk about He Is The Gift. One talked about Discovering, another about Embracing, I talked about Sharing, and Ally talked about the Blessings of the Gift. 
Later on Sunday evening I got some really sad news. I got a phone call from Hermana Stratford, telling me that Elsa had passed away that morning at 2:00am. I was so sad to hear this! I love Elsa Hernandez more than anything in the world. She has blessed my life in SO many ways!! I am so grateful I was able to attend her baptism. She is a beautiful woman with a strong testimony and faith. I feel so honored to have been the one to have found her and taught her and introduce her to the gospel. I know she is going to be the BEST missionary on the other side :) I am so sad she is gone, 50 years old is far too young, but oh how grateful I am to know she is no longer in pain and that she can have peace. Elsa, I love you! I thank you for your wonderful example and the light that you have been to me. :)

Well family, these last 18 months have truly been better than I could have imagined! I am so grateful to have served a mission! My life has been so richly blessed!!! My testimony has been strengthened so much. I have felt and experienced so much joy! My heart truly is full!! I hope you all know that I have a firm testimony of the Gospel. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I had the pleasure to finish reading it again today :) What a perfect way to end my mission! I know that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon and that he was a prophet and that he restored the fullness of the gospel on the earth today. I know that we have a modern day prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. I love him so much. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I know he died for us and that because of Him EVERYTHING is possible! I know He lives! I know He loves us! I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is truly and simply the ONLY way to have true, full, and eternal happiness and joy. I know all of these things are true. 

I love you all so much!! And I will see you very very soon :) Thank you for all of your support and love you have given and shown me. You have no idea how much it has meant. Lennon, I am so proud of you and all of your hard work! Keep it up girl!! 

With much LOVE,

Hermana Mangum


1. Gourgouris Family
2. The Croppers (she is a convert of Ben Roush's and now is in the Boulder ward!! How cool is that?!?)
3. Sister Bench and her Mom, June.
4. A sad/hard goodbye to the girls Bead for Life
5. Check out their Christmas Tree
6. Radhika at Gurkhis (her restaurant)
7. Rebekah and Johah!! I LOVE THEM!!!!!
8. Beautiful Bensons :)
9. Nissa and her boys
10. The wonderful Davis'
11. It was Adolfo's 15th so we built him a Coca Cola Birthday Tree :)

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