An hour and a half ago, I was released as a missionary. My stake president, President Carter, said the words... and I bawled like I sometimes do! It was one of those rare occasions when I lost my breath and I couldn't make eye contact with a single soul because I was feeling so many things inside.
President Carter didn't tell me to take off my name tag... So an hour and a half later, I am still wearing my missionary tag. He called me "Sister Wall" and then corrected himself, saying, "You are Ariel now." It sounds "so drama," but my heart was heavy heavy heavy. I kept expecting him to tell me that it was time to remove my tag, but he never did. I think that he left it up to me because he knew this would have to be my decision. I will take off my missionary tag when I go to bed and in the morning, I won't put it back on.
I.love.you... from the bottom of my goofy heart, I so so love you all. You have all helped me to grow and to love and to overcome. I am grateful for your testimonies of the Savior. I am grateful for your patience and gentle corrections. Thank you all for inviting me to Come unto Christ.
This morning, I was praying that I could have one last missionary experience with my missionary tag. On my first flight heading home, I sat in the middle of two men. On the left, by the window, was a convert to the Church. I spoke to him, concluded that he was an active member, gave him missionary advice, and turned to my right. For the next hour and a half, I spoke with a non-member. Let me remind you of the Lord's precise awareness of each of us. He knows me. He knows what I need. This man opened up his life to me. Just like Preach My Gospel says, each thing he said outlined a principle of the Gospel. I could almost step outside myself and watch the conversation unfolding. I spoke to him about the Book of Mormon, telling him stories related to his experiences. I asked him how he felt he has grown from his past as an alcoholic. What he said inspired me that the Lord is preparing everyone everywhere. Even on a tiny little plane on its way to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Lord sat me beside a man whose heart was an open vessel for the Spirit to enter. He told me that he feels like he is open and receptive to light. I shared with him Moroni's testimony that everything which inviteth and enticeth us to be good comes from God. I literally opened up my copy of the Book of Mormon and read scripture after scripture aloud with him. I asked him if I could share my favorite book with him, my copy of the Book of Mormon. He said he would be honored. I wrote a note and my testimony and left my email address. He promised to write me. He told me that he could feel my light and he knew that I was sincere. He promised me that he would read the Book of Mormon.
I love the gospel. I will forever and always be a missionary because that is where my heart is. There is an overwhelming amount of significance in the missionary tag...but as I rode home in the backseat of my parent's van, crying into my knees, I heard a Sacred voice, whispering to me, "Peace, be still." I am in a difficult place, facing new and difficult things, but I KNOW, my dear sisters, my beloved best friends, that the Lord is with me. He is in your areas, he is with your companions... He is with you. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
As I strive to rely on the peace he gives me, remember that everybody needs some encouragement. I need your friendship. I love you all so much and I pray that you will stay in touch always.
All my love,
Sister Ariel Wall
|Bro and Sis Johnson|
|Matt, Mom, Me and Sis Summerhays!|
|Sis Willis and Elder Simon, the new AP!|
|My zone leaders|
|Departing dinner with Zeinee|
|Crying at the airport with mom|
|Still crying.. with Sis Young|
|No name tag....|