From: Jessica McKay <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Angels and Memorials
Date: November 5, 2013 10:31:56 AM MST
Well this has been an eventful week. I’ll just go through it in a timeline.
Monday: We had a fun zone p-day in Liberal and played games at the church. Then I went to Ulysses for an exchange with the sisters there.
Tuesday: Exchanged in Ulysses and had some good experiences getting to know the sweet sister serving there. Sister Nash came and picked me up and we drove back to Liberal, changed our clothes, and went to the Young Adult Halloween Party we planned. Sister Hunter and I had a lot to do with the people there because we had handed out so many flyers that I had made. When we were planning with the YA committee, most of them said 14 or 15 tops, but Sister Hunter and I really though we should expect 30 or 35. We had over 40 people show up! It was amazing!
Sister Hunter and Sister Torres had gone to see Raychelle while I was on exchanges that day, but she didn’t answer and her door was locked. Her car was there and her light was on, but she didn’t answer the door. They tried calling, but her phone was out of minutes, so it said it was disconnected.
Wednesday: Sister Nash woke up feeling really sick, so we drove to the store and bought some gingerale to bring to her. On the way to her house, I asked Sister Hunter if she though Raychelle would be awake by now. She said she thought so, so we decided to drop by on our way back from Sister Nash’s. When we got to Raychelle’s house, the light was on and her car was still there, but she didn’t answer when we knocked. We tried to call her again, but the phone was disconnected. So I had a thought to try the door. It was unlocked, so we opened the door and called her name as we walked in. She was there in the living room, but she had passed away from a heart attack during the night. We called 911 and an ambulance came within 3 minutes. We also called Bro. Hartley, a member of the branch presidency who was close by, and he and his wife came over immediately. Sister Hunter and I were in shock, but were able to talk to the police and EMTs and tell the story. After we had told them all we could, they said we could go and we went to Sister Hartley’s and called our mission president. He said we could take all the time we needed, so we basically spent all morning and most of the afternoon at her house. Our district leader and his comp., Elders Skidmore and Farnsworth, came to see us to give us blessings and share an uplifting message. We received a lot of support from members of the branch and other missionaries during the whole thing. That day was very shocking, but the Lord really helped us through the whole thing. I saw Raychelle’s face when we found her and was pretty shocked, but the Lord blessed me to be able to see her in a different way. Because of His tender mercy, I saw her smiling and in the arms of someone who loves her.
Thursday: We got to attend the branch trunk or treat where over 250 people attended! It was incredible. Sister Hunter and I dressed up as eachother. And we won the “smartie award” for decorating our trunk with toilet paper…
Friday: We had our final district meeting of the transfer (and of our district leader’s mission) and our zone leaders and the APs were there as well. We ate lunch at “the burger place,” which is really just a trailer that makes hamburgers. It’s delicious. Then Sister Hunter and I got to take a dinner over to Raychelle’s daughters and family and they let us look at pictures of her with them. Only one of them knew that she was a member of the church before she died, so they were a little bit surprised when they found out. We were in a bit of an awkward situation, but could see them warming up to us and the idea the more time we spent with them.
Saturday: We dropped a card off with a picture of us and Raychelle at her baptism to her daughters. They were going through Raychelle’s home and organizing and cleaning things out. Raychelle collected angel figurines, and earlier that day I had told Sister Hunter that I really wanted one of her angels. When we got to her house, one of her daughters said, “Why don’t you take one of her angels?” So I took one that looked just like how I had imagined Raychelle after she passed away.
Sunday: Raychelle’s daughters asked if Pres. Willis could preside over the funeral service, which was beautiful. Sister Hunter and I both spoke and I was blessed to sing for it as well. I had felt like I should sing Amazing Grace, and then President Willis said that they wanted to play Amazing Grace, so I knew I was supposed to sing it. It was really special. We taught Jan and Sam that night. They’re doing good, but he wants to push his date back a ways, so keep them in your prayers.
Monday: We had the coolest zone conference in Dodge City with Elder Nash of the 70. I learned a lot of great things and we were all very spiritually uplifted and fed. By the time we got home that night (it was an all day conference), we were dead and went to bed at 9:30. Our district was looking gooooood at the conference because we all matched and didn’t even plan it!…ok maybe we planned a little bit…
My testimony of the plan of salvation has been deeply strengthened this week. I know Heavenly Father has a plan for his children. I know he deeply cared for Raychelle and has called her home to do a great work in the spirit world. I know that the Lord is mindful of each of us and that we will all be blessed as we come unto him. Raychelle was practically perfect when she died and can testify of her experience and influence many both here and behind the veil because of it.
If there is anyone that you feel distant from because of some disagreement or hurt feelings, please, please, please do all you can to mend those relationships. Family is too important to waste the precious time we have on this earth apart. We never know when we might slip into the spirit world, like Raychelle did. I feel like she knew in one way or another, and she prayed for each of her children and grandchildren daily. But some of her family did not realize how close her time was and really struggled with that. Heavenly Father wants the best for our families, both in this life, and in the life to come. To my family, I love you! Thank you for your influence and love in my life. I am so blessed and privileged to belong to a family that supports and cares about me like you do.