Did you read the latest "Liahona?" Do you know where I'm going with this?
Man I had so many hopes for Shibuya that have been dashed in my face. The one ray of sunlight from last transfer, my best friend, the woman I thought was going to be baptized before I went home, doesn't answer our phone calls anymore. My Brazilian friend is too busy to meet, I haven't taught in Portuguese since. At the same time, so many blessings have sprung up completely out of nowhere. Two weeks ago, the elders received a phone call from a woman who was married to a Mormon man ten years ago, woke up from a dream where she was sitting in a LDS church and wanted to take the lessons from the missionaries. The first day we met her we set a date for her baptism. How random is that? Do you know how many people I've talked to? And out of the hundreds, the one who is going to get baptized found ME. The thing is life isn't random. God has planned every jot and tittle out. He has millions of goals and plans for every single one of His children, just like any parent would. God planned to deliver Y. to me. He gave her that dream not one year after the divorce, not two, but NINE. He didn't even give her that dream while she was married to a Mormon man. He waited nine years and a few months so that I could be the one on the other side of the line. Why? Why didn't God nudge Y. in the right direction years ago, while she was still married? She could have been sealed to a good man and their kids. Wouldn't that have been better? Now, that she's single and her career is at it's height, God decides to send the missionaries? Why? Cue Adam S. Miller: "As the heavens are higher than the earth, God’s work in your life is bigger than the story you’d like that life to tell. His life is bigger than your plans, goals, or fears. To save your life, you’ll have to lay down your stories and, minute by minute, day by day, give your life back to him." You know what that reminds me of? How dedicated is my audience? Do you remember the email I wrote in my third transfer entitled "His House?" Cue C.S. Lewis: "Imagine yourself as a living house and God comes in to rebuild that house. At first perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently, He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of-throwing out a new wing here, putting on a extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace He intends to live in Himself." God has taught me a lot on my mission, but the biggest slap on the face I've ever received happened long before I entered the MTC and continues every day. When I opened that letter, when I read the words "Japan Tokyo Mission," the biggest impression hit me like: "I know you better than you know yourself. Trust me. This is it. This is the mission I have chosen for you." With a year behind me I can say with the utmost confidence that this mission is perfect for me, for my companions, and for every single person I've ever met while living here. It made no sense at the beginning, but now, towards the end, everything is in place. I know why I'm here, the reason changes every day with every new person I talk to. God has so much more planned for me. If it were up to me, I would have served a faithful mission speaking Spanish. God wanted me to learn two additional languages. I would have been the happiest camper if I would have stayed my whole mission in Koga. God sent me to an area where approximately 10 million people LIVE and that's not counting people stopping by for work or play. I have found that : God doth undertake To guide the future as he has the past. I just have all the confidence in the world that God will guide me from here on out just like He already has. All it took was a prayer and some study and He lead me to the beautiful land of Japan with the greatest friends on the planet. I know that no matter how important the decision, God will guide me to along the best path as long as I continue to pray and read His scriptures. I still have dreams. I would love to go home, continue modeling, take Miss America and then run for Senate. Imagine how many Books of Mormon I could give out backstage to Miss America. Imagine what the world would do if a Mormon was changing America. I have all the drive in the world to study, become a journalist, report national news, retire, and then become the next Oprah, interviewing celebrity after celebrity. I would adore to become a flight attendant, waste the rest of my life learning every language on the planet, and travel the world. This are huge dreams. But I know for a fact that my dad is reading this shaking his head muttering: "Sweetie! You can do so much more!" And I guarantee God's dream for me is bigger than mine and my dad's combined. Maybe I'll give birth to the next American president. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to be blessed by the highest office of the Melchizedek priesthood and be sealed to another person for eternity. That in itself, as unappealing as it is to me right at this moment, is a huge, unimaginable blessing. There are so many huge plans God has for us that could be the exact opposite of what our plans were. In the words of Robert Browning: "Grow old along with me The best is yet to be... Trust God See all Be not afraid." I'll see you soon, Sister Goldsberry