Saturday, November 8, 2014

{Who He is to me}

This morning I was trying to think of what the happiest day in my life have been.  I have had many of these days in my life and had many especially on my mission, but as I thought about it it was easy to remember a specific day that I had on my mission.  It was the day that one of my investigators was baptized.  I knew and know that I served a mission, in Los Angeles, to meet this woman.  She changed my life and I got to be a part of her changing her life as well.  It was a long 8 months before she was baptized due to circumstances, but the day she was baptized was amazing.  I was overwhelmed with a confirmation that everything we had taught her was true, every tear shed in her behalf was worth it, every night riding our bikes up the huge hill was worth it.  She felt the Atonement of Jesus Christ heal her and change her.  Her heart changed every time we were at her house.  I had never planned on a mission but I am eternally grateful that I went and was able to have been changed because of the people I served. 
Some of the other things I thought of were the hard days that I have experienced and what I have learned from them.  When I was in high school it was hard.  Friends, dating, trying to figure out who I was, etc.  I struggled a lot with the death of my oldest brother who had passed away when I was 10.  It hit me like a ton of bricks my junior year.  There were months where I experienced pain and heartache from him loss.  It was like I finally understood fully what had happened and that I wasn't going to see my brother in this life again.  I began to open my scriptures during this period of time.  When I felt down, I prayed.  I had done these things before, but mostly because I was told to and was supposed to.  But, I did them that time because I needed help.  I didn't understand really how much help I would receive from that.  With time and diligence in reading, praying, and attending the temple, my heart felt full again.  I didn't feel so sad and filled with anguish.  I didn't feel angry.  I knew that I would be with my brother again.  In seminary during this time I recall a teacher explaining the Atonement.  He explained that as Christ was in the Garden of Gethsemane He felt our pain.  He felt it and that is how he understands us so well and understands the heartache we go through.  I never understood how Christ could feel my saddness until that moment.  This time ended up shaping me and preparing me to serve a mission.  It ended up giving me so much more than I had ever imagined.

So who is Christ to me?  On my mission I remember I had a transfer that was pretty rough.  I was feeling a bit discouraged about the work, I was in a super wealthy area and not many wanted to listen.  I didn't exactly get along with my companion super well.  I felt alone.  I would pray and wouldn't feel anything.  I was desperate to know that my Heavenly Father was there because I couldn't feel much.  I wanted to know that Christ's Atonement would give me strength.  A short amount of time went by like this.  I kept praying and fasting, I knew that I would get something soon.  I recall having dinner with a less active family and watching this video (Because of Him).  It was such a powerful experience.  I remember sitting there and thinking to myself, what I am feeling right now is so real.  I said to myself that there is no way I could ever doubt the existence of Christ after watching that video and feeling what I felt.  It was a feeling that is hard to explain but I remember it and I know it was real.  I felt that power and strength again that comes from the Atonement.  

He wants us to use It.  He wants His sacrifice to be one of the biggest parts of our life.  He wants us to see and recognize that through Him we can become who we want and achieve our deepest desires.  He wants us to be happy.  We can be happy through Him.  It doesn't come easy but through our efforts and work we can be joyful.  Through reading the scriptures and really desiring to learn about Him, prayer, temple worship, church attendance, and service.  I am going to plan so that I can put these things first in my life.  I think it is important to recognize that we are weak, but through Him we can be the people we have been sent here to do.  I share these experiences because they all come back to the strength and love that Christ gives us.  I hope that all of us can put these things first in our lives.  He loves us with an infinite love and accepts us for who we are.     

You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out 'No one understands. No one knows.' No human being perhaps knows.  But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore the burdens before we ever did.  David A. Bednar

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

. . .Home Bound. . .

Well, I have been home for a whole week and a half now.. well almost two weeks.  It pretty much all feels like a blur though.  I wanted to write a few reflections from the past two weeks of my life.
Being home is... weird, happy, exciting, super sad, tiring, confusing, adventurous, frustrating, and the list goes on.  My whole mission I never realized that it actually ends.  Even when I got to my last week I still felt like I had forever to be there.  To share what I know what is true.  To feel the Spirit testify and guide me.  To feel complete and utter joy.  To feel comfort when I didn't feel worthy of God's love.  To feel the love of the Savior.  To worry about ONE thing.. the eternal salvation of others.  To give other the absolute most joyful thing that I have ever experienced in my whole life.  There are so many things that I received from my mission, I feel as though I received much more than I gave.  I will forever tell others how much I love my mission.  It changed me and shaped me into the person I am today.  I have many weaknesses and know that there is still so much for me to learn.  My mission humbled me in ways I never thought possible.  It was incredibly hard.. man the hardest thing I've ever done up to this point in my life!  It was absolutely amazing.
The last two weeks of my mission were difficult.  It was the most anxious I have felt in my whole life.  I felt sad to know that my journey was going to be over.  I worried that I didn't do as good as I could have, I felt I could have worked so much harder.  I had a lot of doubts.  But I realized that those thoughts and feelings weren't from the Lord.  Why on earth would someone so loving want us to feel bad about ourselves?  I slowly felt more and more acceptance from the Lord.  I prayed to know in every pray, I fasted, and used the power of the priesthood.  Suddenly I felt at peace with going home, I knew that it was my time and that I really had worked hard and pushed to be a consecrated missionary.  I wanted to please the Lord and I know that is what counts.  The night before I left my companions dropped me off at the mission office.  It was really hard saying bye to them, I loved all my companions.  I felt so weird.  Well honestly, I didn't feel much.  I felt numb to everything.  I layed in bed that night and slept for about two hours.  I was in the city so I spent the night looking out my window staring at all the buildings, wondering how I could leave a place that I love and adore so much.  I love Los Angeles.  Not because it's LA and people think it's cool, but because the people there changed my life.  Anyway, I didn't sleep a wink and felt pretty sick to my stomach.  I thought of all that was about to come... I don't know how to talk to someone about normal life stuff, aka not talking about Jesus, I was about to start school, seeing my family, having to date (talk about scary stuff!!), etc.
It was the longest hour and a half flight.. yeah I'm pretty grateful LA and Utah are soo close.  I sat by some girls that were from Switzerland.  I was pretty bummed because I didn't think they spoke English.. but I talked to them anyway.  We started talking about the church and then this girl asked the golden question... what makes my Church different from the Catholic church?  I was so happy and know that my prayers had been answered.  I shared the Restoration with them.  I knew that everything I was saying was true.  I knew that it was the very last opportunity I would have as a set apart missionary to share that (believe me.. there are many more years of sharing it.. just without a tag) and it brought me so much joy.  The plane landed and it hit.  I was done, I wasn't in LA anymore.  I had to soon take off my badge.  I walked off the plane and stepped into the bathroom for a second to catch my breath.  The first person I saw was my dad, waiting at the top of the escalator, he couldn't wait at the bottom.  I hugged him and felt happy.  I hugged my mom and couldn't believe it.  I say my family and felt joy.  My family is my world and there they were... after a year and a half I saw them.  I was happy but melancholy at the same time.  Time came that I had to take off my tag with my Stake President.  That was the worst part.  I stared at my name tag in my lap and thought about all the mornings that I got ready and put that next to my heart.  I felt so bare without it.  I still move my hair to the right side to have my tag show.  I felt the mantle leave during that time there in his office.  If only I could explain what that felt like.
So here I am... getting used to living without a strict schedule, lots of lessons, and not being a missionary.  I have learned to tell people that I'm not working on "adjusting" but rather working on how to apply my mission to my life.  Yes, I'm working on not feeling so uncomfortable in lots of things, but mostly how to apply what I did for a year and a half to the rest of my life.  I have found the greatest peace and joy through a simple scripture study.  Through long and deep prayers with my Heavenly Father.  Through going to the temple.  It's interesting that the happiest moments I have had since I have been home are what I did on my mission.  That is what this life is about.  It is not the materialistic things.  It's not having the newest iPhone and the most "likes" on instagram.  In the end that literally does not matter.  I want everyone to know that does not matter in this life.  Stop caring what others think about you, how much money you aspire to have, likes and friends of Facebook, if you look in style or not.  It does not matter.  I can promise that.
This is what does matter- that we are continually strengthening our relationship with the most important person, our Father.  Our literal Father, He created us and we are His.  We must take that time out of our days to read the scriptures, pray, go to church, live worthy and go to the temple.. use that time for Him.  We have so many hours in the day, what holds us back?
I love my mission.  I love the things I learned and the incredible people I met.  I met people on my mission that I could not imagine living without.  People that are gaining eternal salvation because I served.  People that made me laugh harder than anyone as well as cry.  I will love my mission forever.  I will always love my Savior and my Father in Heaven.  I will never leave that path because I commit to continue with the small things.  I know this is real, I know that what we believe is true.  That God speaks through prophets, He desires that we know about Him and live the way He wants us to.  The Book of Mormon is real, the only way you'll know is if you sincerely open your heart and ask for the answers.  I will always be here to answer questions and share what I know.  I love my Savior more than anyone and I know that I am a daughter of my loving Father in Heaven.  He knows us by name and never forgets us, He is waiting for us.  I love this.  I know it is true without a doubt.  I know that everyone has the ability to know that for themselves as well.  I have forever changed through this.


Monday, August 11, 2014

She's coming HOME!

A mi querida familia... [To my dear family] - 
I am so humbled.  Like the scriptures say, "humbled to the dust of the earth," haha.  This week has been a week of reflection and preparations.  I truly feel and know that I am being prepared to leave my mission.  Leaving a mission is so much more difficult than coming to the mission.  When you come, things are much more expected.  You know more or less the schedule, what we do as missionaries, the walking, the talking, etc.  But going home is different.  I really have no idea what to expect.  Sure, I have an idea, but in reality I don't.  I am excited though, I feel okay with it.

The last few weeks have been a battle with myself to know and to actually feel that the Lord is pleased with my works.  I have felt so unsure about it, it seemed as though all of the mistakes I have made as a missionary were coming to mind!  I have prayed so hard to be able to feel accepted by Him.  Harder than ever, and so fervently.  I had a wonderful experience last night.  It was sacred, but I felt it.  Over the last two weeks, I have felt more and more okay with going home.  Finally, accepting that this comes to an end.  I still don't feel 100%...but I feel okay with it and I know I will when I get on that plane.  As I was praying last night, I was talking with my Father, going over my mission.  I thought to myself, I am not perfect.  He does not expect me to be perfect.  I felt the sweetest sense of peace in my heart.  I have made mistakes.  But it is okay.  I have worked so hard.  I have pushed with everything I have.  I have wet my pillow due to the agency of others.  I have had companions that needed extra help.  I have taught and helped others know who their Savior is.  I have a lot of wrinkles and some extra pounds of rice, beans, carne and tortillas...and that's okay!  I have done it.  I still have a couple days left and I am so excited to use these days.  I have loved my mission more than anything I have loved before.  The Lord has blessed me in ways that I never thought were possible!  The friendships I have made here will last for the eternities.  I have changed.  I have watched my investigators change.  Less actives, etc.

The other day I was in my studies.  I haven't had a million baptisms and at times I have wondered if I did something wrong.  Then I remember how special are the baptisms that I have had.  I read in D&C 18.  It says, 'how great is your joy in bringing just one soul to Christ.'  That doesn't say by having just one says bringing a soul to Christ.  I have worked with less actives, members, potential Elders and Sisters, companions, etc.  I have tried to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord.  The people I have been able to work with, have touched my life and brought me closer to Christ...that is amazing.
I never thought I would serve a full time mission, but oh, how eternally grateful I will be for serving one.  I know that I needed to be here.  I absolutely love my Savior and all He has done for me.  I have felt many times in my heart as I have shared the first vision, that it really happened.  It has touched my heart over and over again.  I have felt the room go quiet as I share it.  I know it happened.  I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and that Jesus Christ worked through him to restore the Church.  I have read the Book of Mormon in some of the most difficult times of my mission. It is what healed my heart.  I just know it is true.  I feel it so deeply and there is no way I could feel this much joy from nothing.
Thank you for supporting me!  I am so happy!  I am excited for the future because I know who I am and where I am going!  I love my Savior.  I love my Heavenly Father so much.  I love you, and all those who have supported me!!  I feel so at peace in the moment and just grateful for this opportunity.  The biggest word that I think of is that I am just grateful.  Thank you so much.  I will see you very soon!  I love you.
With much love,  Hermana Michelle Warner
Dear Dad,
My heart is so full, daddy.  So full of many emotions.  Just love and pure joy.  I have loved serving the Lord.  This has been an amazing experience.  
I will see you soon, I cannot wait to hug you and share with you in person how special my mission is to me.  
I will do everything I can to make the next couple days the most spiritual.  
Thank you for your love and all you do for me, I have felt your faith-filled prayers.  I love you.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Farewell to the CLAM

Departing Missionary Dinner and Testimony Meeting at the Mission Home, with President and Sister Weidman
Temple Day for departing missionaries outside of the Los Angeles Temple

Monday, August 4, 2014


Hello hello!
If only you could know what is going through my head right now.  This feeling is so unreal.  I could say over and over again, that I am going to be home next week but it still doesn't do anything.  It doesn't seem real.  I still feel and think that I have all the time in the world!  I LOVE my mission.  I love who I have become and recognize that I still have so much to become.  I was thinking the other day about my first few transfers.  Wowzers!  I must admit that I was a bit the same time overwhelmed with gratitude that Heavenly Father has helped me so much to change.  To recognize my weaknesses and be patient.  To love others.  To find the best in everything!  To read the scriptures, say meaningful prayers, feel the Spirit, seek and receive revelation.  Most important, to put Him and my Savior Jesus Christ above everything else in this life and world.  I can promise that They will be the center of my life.  It will be difficult at times, I imagine you and others have felt that struggle, but I will do it.  I have learned and felt where the Gospel of Jesus Christ fits in my life.  I love this.  I love it so much!!  We were contacting this week and I stopped for a second and just took in what I feel.  I felt JOY.  That joy only comes from sharing the Gospel.  If others understood how good it felt to just do it, they would do it so much more often.  We need to stop being so scared of what others will say.  If we are scared it shows where our faith really is......

This week Jennifer got baptized!  We didn't really do anything, it was the previous Sister's baptism, but it was amazing.  She is someone very special.  And so prepared.  After she had changed, she was talking to us and said that she just felt good.  She had been talking to her mom the morning of and her mom was asking her how she knew that this really was right.  She said after, that she couldn't deny it, she just knew it was right.  She felt it when she went under.  She knew she was making the right decision.  It was a testimony builder for me to see how strongly the Spirit had testified to her.  I pondered on it last night and just felt it in my heart so strong, this is true.  I will never doubt that feeling I had. 
My heart is so full.  These words have no way of explaining it.  My heart is joyful.  I know that this is true.  I know that our Heavenly Father loves us so much.  He has given us this Gospel to build upon and be the people we need to to return to Him.  I was reading this morning in Alma 34.  It reminded me a lot about how this is the time to prepare to meet our Maker.  He loves us and I testify that He really does.  I testify that He desires for us to return and live with Him.  I have felt it over and over and over again.  I know it's true.
I love you and will never be able to thank you enough for your love and support.  I still have a week and a half!  I have time to WORK!  I love you.
Love,  Sister Warner

I love you.  I love you with a love that I will never be able to explain.  I am incredibly grateful for my mission and how much it has taught me to love.  How it has taught me how precious families are and that we have an eternal family.  There is nothing more comforting than that....our family is eternal.  I am feeling really bittersweet.  I am sad to have this be ending, but I know that I have worked, learned, and grown immensely.  Any advice for a poor sister missionary?
Thank you for your support, it means the world to me.  I love you!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

"We will miss you..."

HELLO!  Wow, this week was great.  It was crazy, exhausting, emotional, funny, FUN, full of work, and just JOY.  I am tired.... we wake up at 6:00 a.m. and sometimes I think my eyes are going to fall out.  The area is great.  it covers where I served in Torrance (English ward), but in Spanish.  And it's about 3x the size of Torrance.  So it's a wealthy area, but wonderful.  We have some really special people here.  The ward is great, very warm and friendly.  Our ward mission leader is amazing and full of love.  I didn't get to meet a lot of members, but things are so good.

Michelle ran into her sweet friend, Hannah, (from Utah) at the Los Angeles Temple!

Hermana Warner with Fernando (one of her converts) and his family with a cake they gave her, that says, "we will miss you."
Hna Warner with 92-year old Abulita (one of her converts) and her daugther 
We have the sweetest investigator named Jennifer.  She is a former from about a year ago.  The sisters called her and started teaching her.  Yesterday, we went to the Visitors Center with her.  It was such a sweet, spiritual experience that we had with her.  She said that when she pulled up and got out of the car, she felt tears fill her eyes and that all of it just felt right.  She felt like she was getting ready to do the right thing.  It's amazing to see how the Lord prepares those about us.  We talked about families and temples and were able to walk around the temple with her.  The Spirit was so strong and everything worked so well.  I loved it! The sisters had a baptism last week and he got confirmed yesterday.  The sisters in this area did some amazing work last transfer!
I love our trio!!  Honestly, I wasn't excited about being in a trio but it has been so much fun! We all get along really well.  I am so, SO grateful that I get to be with Sister Wright before I go home.  I love her so much. My other companion is Sister Jarman!  She has been out almost six months and is from Arizona.  I feel really bad for her because she will be sending home TWO missionaries!  I hope she lives through it....
Hermana Warner, Hermana Jarman, and Hermana Wright

My mission.  I have reflected over and over and over again on it.  I can't believe it is so close to returning home.  Literally though, I still feel like I have forever.  I had had to do some kind reminders to myself that I will be going home in two weeks.  And it will be okay.  My mission, like any mission, has been a rollarcoaster.  It has been filled with love and joy.  I only have the best of things to say about my mission.  I have learned where the Gospel of Jesus Crhist must fit in my life.  I have learned that my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are put above all else.  I have lived that and I have felt it.  It is AMAZING.  I will always, always put THEM first.  I know without a single doubt, that this is the Church that Christ established. I don't think I could say that before, I believed it, and now I know.  It is a love that we will never fully understand.  He rejoices shen we come unto Him.  He feels absolute joy when a sinner comes back to Him and remembers Him. It is beautiful.  We are all loved by Him.  I LOVE this Gospel.  I love you both more than words....
Hermana Warner
She knows her mom likes gnomes!
Dear Dad,
We are great!  We're in a trio and the other sister is Sister Jarman, the sweetest girl ever.  We have all gotten along so well.  I have been having some struggles this week actually - about coming home.  I didn't realize it was as soon as it was :(  I needed to just take a second and realize that I really am going home.  It makes me SO sad, but so happy at the same time.  It's so weird daddy.  I don't want to, but I do.  I have been worrying to know if the Lord is pleased with my efforts.  I fasted for a confirmation from Him... I know I will get it.  Time is going by really fast. How was your talk? I love you....

Release letter from President and Sister Weidman:
Dear Brother and Sister Warner,

On 15 August 2014, Sister Michelle Lynn Warner will be given an honorable release from the California, Los Angeles Mission.

Sister Weidman and I love Sister Warner.  You can be very pleased with the contribution that she has made while serving in the California, Los Angeles Mission. She has blessed the lives of many; including those who have accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a result of her efforts and those she has helped to return to activity within the Lord's kingdom.  Her name will be remembered for generations to come among many.  She has grown in her testimony of the Savior and in her ability to work with people. We also have been deeply touched by her service in the mission, and we trust you were greatly blessed through her labor.

Sister Warner will be part of our lives forever.  Sister Weidman and I are grateful for all she has done to help the Lord hasten the work of salvation.  We feel that she and her colleagues have a rendezvous with destiny.  Our prayer is that she will grow in faith and good works as she continues to serve our Heavenly Father.  Sister Weidman joins me in wishing you and Sister Warner the best. 


David N. Weidman, President
Californa, Los Angeles Mission

Monday, July 21, 2014

Last transfer and companions again!!

Hello hello!
A member sent us this picture of Hermana Warner speaking at the Missionary Farewell Devotional!
Jackie, Sister Warner and Joseph at the Devotional
This week was full!  It was great and just a happy week.  Nothing too spectacular happened in the area.  Okay lies....we had some really cool miracles.  So we do this really wonderful thing called weekly planning -  I believe I have told you about it before.  If there is one thing that I might not miss about my mission, it would be weekly planning.  But we set goals for the week, this last week we were talking about our new investigator goals.  We decided to set our goal much higher than we have the last couple weeks and ended up getting 11 NEW investigators!!!  We were able to find families and saw so many miracles with it.  It really showed me that the higher we raise our goals, the harder we work, and the more Heavenly Father will bless us. It is a pretty cool cycle!!  I feel so blessed to be here.  I have been thinking about that a lot lately.
We went to the temple this week with Pres and Sister Weidman.  I love the temple so much, it brings so much revelation. It was a super special session.  I went with a few questions and really feel like I got the answers.  I had a really special talk with Sister Landon in the Celestial Room, it answered alot of my prayers. The temple is so special, I hope that as members we don't take worshipping at the temple for granted.  It's so sacred.
We had the departing missionary fireside last night!  It was SO awesome!  It was an incredible feeling to see so many of the people that I worked with. I felt so incredibly humble last night.  I felt that, because my Father in Heavenly has allowed me to be here.  He has made me an instrument in His hands to me to help these people.  Abuelita was there too :)!!!!  I was super happy about that.  Jackie and Joe were there and brought the flowers.  I got to see amazing people.  (Sis Landon is coming back here the 30th of August and I may come with her...)  I have reflected so much on my mission lately, I will share more next week, when I have more time....
I don't have time left, so I will tell you about transfers.  Oh, and we got your package and sister Diaz was sooo grateful!! As was I, thank you so much!  But tranfsers...hold on to your seat... no seriously, you will be in shock when you hear this.  Next transfer, I will be going to a ward called Harbor 3rd with SISTER WRIGHT and another sister named Sister Jarmin!!!  I texted President to make sure it was true!! It will be so good and we will see miracles!!
Okay I love you so much have a good week!  I'm still expecting your experiences...! I am feeling awkward, but giving it ALL I HAVE the next few weeks!  I love you soooo much! P.S. I brought my cord but it isn't working!
Love, Sister Warner