Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mission Accomplished

Dear Family, 

Well, this is it. All that was running through my mind when we left Chonna and Hernie's house at 8:00pm last night was..."It's Over." And the tears started. I can't even believe it. I had a good little interview with President earlier, and right now I am waiting for our Departure Meeting to start in the mission office. Some of the missionaries' parents are here to pick them up. It's weird. haha. 

On Thursday, Kitkit was baptized...WOOOOOO!!! And she was confirmed yesterday. (I'll have to tell you the story of the traveling baptismal pants.) The highlight for me, other than BAPTISM was the talk that Sister Robelyn gave. She was so prepared and it was amazing. 

Elna is now officially called as the Gospel Principles class teacher, and Robelyn was sustained and set apart as the Assistant Family History consultant. Progress!!!!! Those callings are seriously PERFECT for them. I am so excited for them to continue to grow in the gospel. 

Friday, we had a way sick Halloween party with the Branch. Sister Ribelin and Sister Haun headed up the preparations, everyone pitched in, and it was a huge success. Lots of investigators and Less actives attended, too! 

This Saturday (on Grandma Allred's birthday), the Salde's will be baptized...Rosemarie, Francis, and Geraldine. We've been going crazy getting them ready...but that's just what needs to happen when THEY ARE SO PREPARED!!! Talk about golden... 

It has not been easy to say goodbye. I've been holding it mostly together. Filipinos are the SWEETEST people...they've given me some sweet little gifts that mean so much because of the love behind it. And so many hugs. I love them so much. I will miss this soooooo much. It still doesn't seem real. Sister Domingo's not taking it easy either. I woke up early to finish packing...and when she woke up she was crying. She keeps telling me not to go. :( 

Hmmm...Last words... Pressure. :) My time as a sister missionary in the Philippines Iloilo Mission has been AMAZING. I know without a doubt that this work is the Lord's work. It doesn't always go as expected, but it goes exactly as He wants it. I feel like I had a testimony before, but now it has been anchored and I have a direction. My mission has set me on the Lord's course. I have met and served and been served by so many beautiful people in the last 18 months. I cannot even begin to express the happiness my mission has brought to me. True happiness...because my life is centered in Christ. Happiness that comes because of obedience to the commandments and unconditional love for the Lord and His children. The lessons I have learned here will carry me throughout all eternity. It is not easy. But nothing easy was ever worth it. "Salvation is not a cheap experience." 

I love you all. I will be eternally grateful for this mission experience. I know it is just a springboard for great things to come. Most of all, I know He lives! Halong! 

Love, Sister Cassandra Winward

Sister Cassie Winward
Philippines Iloilo Mission
May 2013 to November 2014

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