It seems like this last week was a year long. So much has happened. I hope I am able to share my thoughts and feelings through this email about what is going on. I wasn't sure at first that I was going to share anything, because of my killer pride (haha), but I think I would rather everyone have all of the facts from me, so that there is no room for rumors or error of information. Though this is a hard email to write, I hope you all will understand.
I am being sent home.
My heart is broken, I cannot even think about leaving this place and these people and this spirit and this life. It hurts so much.
Most of you know that I have been having a lot of "health problems." Its been going on for quite some time now. In October, I finally decided to tell someone about it. Well... that just opened the flood gates. Apparently it was a bigger deal than I thought. Because of my past history with an eating disorder, they were really concerned with my stomach issues that I was having, (have been having since the MTC). I had to have an endoscopy test done, and blood work, etc. etc. But they came to the conclusion that it would be best for me and for my future and my body and my future family if I came home. I received this news on tuesday night. I cried and cried and cried. I don't even know how all of this happened, nor can I understand why.
President Cleveland has literally done everything in his power to keep me here, and I have done everything I can to stay. I've tried perscriptions and treatments and mom's voodoo stuff. I've tried counseling for anxiety and eating smaller more frequent meals. Nothing seems to work.
When I spoke with President and Dr. Dunn this week, they both felt very confident, that going home was what Heavenly Father wanted for me. When I spoke with them, I felt a calm come over me, and so I just said ok. But since then I just wish and wish I could go back in time and do something.. anything different so that I may stay. I know, I know, that is stinkin' thinkin', but I am struggling to accept that this is Heavenly Father's will.
I have to keep reminding myself of Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail... he did nothing wrong that landed him there. He prayed and he fasted and he was obedient and he worked hard, and yet he still found himself in a horrible and depressing situation. And just when he wanted to give up... Heavenly Father told him that all of these things will give him experience. I may not know for a long time why this is happening now, but I hope to be able to cheerfully submit, like Joseph Smith was asked to do, like Job was asked to do, like the savior did.
My studies this week have been incredible though, and I can honestly say I have never felt more of the saviors and heavenly fathers love for me. Yesterday as I took the sacrament, I pondered on what it really meant to me, and how it enabled me to rise from the ashes we create for ourselves. My heart was filled. All that matters is what Heavenly Father thinks about us. All that matters is that we do our best, give our all, run as far and as fast as we can. He promises us the strength as we do that, and to carry us when our legs become too weak. This morning I studied Grace. (again). It is one of my favorite things to study. I read in John 1:17-18. It says that from him came grace and truth. In the JST for that, it says from him came life and truth. It completely opened my eyes in seeing that GRACE = LIFE. How does grace equal life? well there are the obvious ways... Because of the savior's grace (his strength and power) we were given life, our bodies were created. Because of his grace we will receive our bodies again, in perfect form! Because of his grace we have the opportunity to live in the Celestial kingdom, in eternal families, in he presence of our loving heavenly Father. These are all wonderful, but seem distant and often unable to fully comprehend. But something that is so real, and so available to feel and see, is the grace that enables us to live our life here. No matter what we go through. No matter the mistakes that we make. No matter what depths we may sink to, or what twists and turns we may experience, it is the VERY REAL love that we can feel from our savior (grace), that gives us the ability to rise. I know it will take a lot of strength and faith to do this, and to go through this transition, but I know that His grace will be there. I can feel it now, as I type these words. It is available to every soul who will diligently seek it. That is the beauty of the Gospel. It is the hope that we need to overcome the depths and the shadows and the fears of this mortal life. That very love, and the power it brings, is the very essence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love being a missionary. I love learning about the savior, and feeling his love, and sharing it with others. I know that I will be fine, and that everything will be fine in time. I will never stop being a missionary. NEVER! It is too fun, and much to rewarding to stop.
The work goes on, no matter where I am.
I will be sent home on Monday December 1st. Luckily President Cleveland is allowing me to stay for the 3 baptisms we have this weekend on the 29th. :) I am so excited. The twins and Rosemary are being baptized. They are all sooo ready. :)
I love this gospel. It is so true.
I love you, each of you. Thank you for your prayers and your love.
I have no Brakes, I CANNOT and WILL NOT STOP!
Love Sister Cooley