We love having the opportunity of spending a day with the
missionaries that are returning home after completely a
successful mission. It is a day of excitement, and great
appreciation for the many blessings that have been given
and the opportunity to truly be a disciple of Christ.
I don't know how many people read this blog, but it has an email from every week of Katee's mission. I just wanted to thank all of you who have supported her in any way. As a mom, it gives me such great comfort to know how truly loved she is. I know there have been many prayers on her behalf, not only here but also from the wonderful people of Washington. She has made so many life long friends that she will never forget. She went to Washington a scared, shy young girl and is returning with honor as a grown woman with such a strong testimony. It amazes me to see her growth over the past 18 months. It will be a bit of a transition for her to be home, but I know she is excited to be home and start her life. She loves the people of Washington so much and I am sure she will be back to visit. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary mom of two great missionaries. Our family has been so blessed over the last 18 months, it is hard to express those feelings. Thank you all again for the love and support you have given to our family.
Wow, I can't even believe this is my last email home. I won't lie as I sit here writing and after I read all your emails I am a complete mess. I was doing soooo good too! I haven't cried in like 24 hours. But anyway... Well I feel like I have so much to say but so little to say because I will see you on Wednesday! So here we go.... On Friday I had an amazing experience. All of the departing missionaries got together in Tacoma to spend the day with President and Sister Weaver. It was amazing. And so my companion had to go on an exchange! So guess who we arranged that with? Thats right... Chronister and Baylon... Pretty much it made my day cuz I got to see Chronister and talk to her. It was great. Then all of the departing missionaries were off to the Temple. As I walked into the chapel the spirit was so strong. I sat down and grabbed the bible. I opened up to Joshua 1:9. This scripture means everything to me... Most of you know that it is the reason I came on a mission. So I opened it up and read it again, and I knew that what it said was STILL true. "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage... be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with thee, withersoever thou goest." I love this scripture so much. Then we went and did a session. It was so great and just what I needed.
After the session I was the first missionary to walk into the celestial room. I was greeted by Sister Weaver, who took me in her arms and probably hugged me for a straight 30 seconds. Then I was able to sit by myself, and turn my mission over to the Lord. It was hard... I waited for probably 20 minutes because I wasn't ready to do it. But I knew that it was time... I told my Heavenly Father that I had given it everything I could. And I asked him if he would accept the work that I had done. I felt comfort and peace and knew that he had accepted it... Also a few weeks ago I was reading some old letters. One I read was from Heather Gardner that she wrote before I entered the MTC... at the very end of her letter it said, "I hope you find what you are looking for." That statement hit me like a ton of bricks, and as I was sitting in the celestial room, the spirit whispered to me.... "You found what you were looking for." This made me so happy, and I knew that everything that I came to Washington to do was complete. I found what I wanted, and that was happiness. And I am so grateful for that.
After the Temple we got Jamba Juice and saw a little bit of Seattle. Then it was back to the mission home for a nice steak dinner. Then a meeting with Pres, and Sister Weaver... pretty much the marriage and babies talk... And then a great Testimony Meeting... After our companions came back and I got to chill with Chronister for a little bit! It was awesome! T hen we headed back to Silverdale and got home really late.
Sunday was a great day! Matt Leach gave an awesome talk in church! I said the closing prayer and as I walked to the front of the chapel we both got huge grins on our faces... It was way cool to meet him, and he said that Colton is his best friend. We are having dinner with them tomorrow night before I leave Wednesday....
Well everyone... I am so excited to see you on Wednesday.... I want you all to know what I know because I was given the opportunity to serve a mission. Because of my mission I know that The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only true Gospel on the earth today. I know that it is the same church that Christ set up when he was on the earth. I know that Joseph Smith saw our Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ.... I know that he was called to restore the true Gospel back to the earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that it truly is another testament of Jesus Christ... I know this because I feel closer to my Savior every time I read it... I know that we have a living prophet today. I know that my Savior Lives and loves me so much. I feel him everyday... I know that He is with me forever and as long as I am worthy he will always be with me... I am sooo grateful to my Heavenly Father for giving me the opportunity to serve him in Washington for the past year and a half. It has changed my life and I will NEVER be the same! I love you all so much! I can't wait to see you! It will be like Heaven! Have a great 2 days! Love you all!
Wow it was so good to talk to so many of you yesterday and to see your cute faces! Thank you to modern technology! It was so awesome to be able to talk to Colton. Wow has he grown up. I can't even believe it. He's not a little boy anymore. Its pretty amazing to see how he has changed in such a short period of time. Whoever marries him is one lucky girl!
So this past week has been good. We have been working so hard, and its still so hard because people just keep bailing on us. We found some people to teach a couple of weeks ago and we got a return appointment with them but this past week when we went back they were driving away. It was such a bummer. And I feel really bad for Sister Jensen because she has been in more fruitful areas on her mission. So coming to Silverdale is a big change for her. But we continue to work hard and I know that if we do so the Lord will bless us. While knocking on doors this week we had a funny thing happen. I knocked on the door and all the sudden someone on the other side knocked back. haha. I just started laughing and when he opened the door I just looked at him and said, "well that's never happened to me before." haha. I thought it was pretty funny.
The weather has been so nice the past couple of days. Like it hit 75! We are just loving it and hoping that it lasts for just a couple more days. Lets see... Its hard to know what to write about because I just talked to you guys yesterday. Um...
I have had a lot of mixed emotions over the past couple of days. And especially the night that, that appointment canceled on us. Sister Chronister called me that night to get an address and we were able to talk for a little bit which was really good. I really needed it. So I was telling her all about the day, and it was really weird because I was in tears and I just said, "I have seen so many disappointments and had so many hard days on my mission and I don't wanna leave it." She paused and was like, "did you just hear what you said? No one would ever say that." And I thought about it and I thought... no it is so true... I wouldn't trade any of the past year and a half of my life for the world. I wouldn't trade it for anything because it has changed me for the better, and because of it I have come to know and love my Savior so much! I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to serve my Heavenly Father. It has been the most amazing thing in the world. The feelings that I have felt will never be forgotten. But I also know that it is time for me to move on, and to start on the next thing that the Lord has planned for me. So I am excited to come home and start that. And I know that whatever it is Heavenly Father will help me.
I know that the Gospel is true! I know it with all of my heart. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and he cares about us. I know that a young boy went into a grove of trees and offered up the most sincere prayer, and he was answered. And I know that he was called of God to restore the true Gospel back to the earth. I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. It is His church and how lucky are we that we get to be apart of it? We are so blessed!
Anyway... I think that's about it. Oh President Weaver called me last night, and I have my final interview with him tomorrow morning and then I get to spend the day with them on Friday. So it will be great. We get to go to the Temple and everything. So I'll be at the Temple on Friday... if anyone wants to go too that would be cool. I love you all so much and hope you have an amazing week! Next week will be the last email! :) Love you all!
Okay so it is very interesting that Colton emailed a lot today about prayer because that's what I was going to focus on... coincidence? I think not. :) So anyway.... this week has been pretty good. The beginning of the week was great. A sister that I knew... Sister Mills came back to visit the mission, so we got to have dinner with her... that was awesome! She helped prep me for home life, haha. Then Tuesday was probably the best day ever! And the worst haha. So we had a zone conference and SISTER CHRONISTER was there! We had this huge reunion and sat by each other the whole time lol. Yes we are pathetic but we miss each other! So there was a seventy here.. Elder Gavarrett. So honestly it was hard to focus cuz the meeting was almost five hours long and we got one ten minute break. So pretty much I talked to Chronister the whole time, and we caught up and then we just wrote notes haha, yes I know very irreverent but... what do ya do? So that was great! Then we had lunch and then it was time to say good bye again... THAT SUCKED! I won't lie I teared up a little lol. Chronister told me to suck it up haha. I love her.
So this past week I was struggling with my mission coming to an end. And Chronister told me that I needed to tell Heavenly Father. Its funny how we can go out and preach these things to everyone but then we have to be reminded to do it our self. So I did what she said. The other night I went into the bathroom and knelt down, and offered a prayer to my Heavenly Father. Asking him to give me something that would help me. The next day there were three things that Heavenly Father showed me. One was that we had a really good zone meeting and it really lifted my spirits. The second thing was I was talking to Sister Finnegan and she compared going home to going home to our Heavenly home and being reunited with all of our loved ones. She said that getting off that plane will be like Heaven. I thought long about that. And I just cried as she said it. I know that it will be tough to leave my mission but that reunion in two weeks is going to taste like Heaven... and I can't wait to taste it! The third thing that Heavenly Father gave me was one of the YSA girls Anna was at the church and I was able to talk to her for awhile and it was way cool. I have come to love these people so much!
Well in other news... today May 7th is Matt's one year mark! How crazy is that? I can't believe it. Also yesterday in church Mariah who was just baptized got up and bore her testimony and said how much I had helped her... it was way cool. I also bore my testimony cuz it was my last testimony meeting. And then Elder Finnegan gets up and says "I'd like to give a shout out to Sister Balmforth." He then went on to tell me how grateful he was for me and so on... yeah I was in tears all day haha. It was amazing and the spirit was so strong.
I am so grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers our prayers. I know with all my heart that he lives and loves all of us. I know that he knows us better than we know ourselves! Isn't that amazing!? I am thankful for my Savior. I know that he loves us and that he has felt everything that we go through. He is our Redeemer and our friend.
I took a present to the Leache's house today cuz they are gonna see colton! I'm so excited! Anyway... I love you all so much! I miss you and can't wait to see you! It will be just like Heaven!
Katee is currentley serving in the Washington, Tacoma Mission, her mom and sister update this blog.
She loves to get letters. Her current address is:
Sister Katee Balmforth
Washington, Tacoma Mission
1201 NW Tahoe Ln. #204 Silverdale, WA