Dir gehört mein Herz für immer

Hallo meine geliebte Familie und Freunde,

I apologize for not having written earlier. Things have been quite hectic on my end of things. Some of you may or may not be aware of this already, but I am home. As I write I pray that you will feel the same spirit I felt as everything has been occurring in my life. I know at some points you will feel it stronger than others, you will think "why am I getting emotional?" well, you are not. That is the Spirit of God telling you what I am sharing is true. Remember and hold onto that.

I should probably start by clarifying that I am perfectly healthy. If you have been following my mission, you will know that I love my mission. I do not think I have ever loved something and a people more than I have met throughout these past 15 months. That has not changed and will always be in my heart. That being said, as weeks continued to go by in Neubrandenburg I could not help but feel uneasiness. I could not understand it because I love Sister Jensen and I love Neubrandenburg so much. I thought I would give it a couple of weeks and once I would be adjusted to the changes this feeling would go away. It did not. I could not take it any more and I was frustrated and tired that I was feeling the way I was when I have always given my mission my all and have never felt this way before. I said a heartfelt prayer before beginning my personal study and asked God to enlighten me with understanding. Within minutes, maybe even seconds, of studying a distinct still small voice came into my thoughts and prompted me that I needed to come home.

In all honesty, I was crushed. I kept trying to push it away because I could not understand why God would guide me to my mission only to tell me to come home before I was finished. As I continued to study, ponder, and pray about this decision I would need to make, my fears of coming home early would be eased by peace and comfort in knowing that things would be alright. That did not mean, however, that my fears went completely away. Those weeks trying to identify if this really was the voice of God that I heard or not were challenging and emotional for me. At one point I completely planned on staying until May and decided to ignore my prompting. I was quickly chastened for trying to make that decision as I read the words of Elder Holland,
"We must be confident in our first promptings. Sometimes we rationalize; we wonder if we are feeling a spiritual impression or if it is just our own thoughts. When we begin to second-guess, even third-guess, our feelings—and we all have—we are dismissing the Spirit; we are questioning divine counsel. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that if you will listen to the first promptings, you will get it right nine times out of ten" (Let the Holy Spirit Guide)
I was terrified, but God was being pretty clear with me. I received a priesthood blessing of counsel too and he was pretty clear with me then too. Those two things gave me enough to be steadfast on acting on my prompting to come home.

Well, if you are a healthy missionary believe me when I say it is quite challenging to come home on a prompting. I do not think I have ever spoken on more phone calls in that one week than I have in my entire life. In the end, my mission president and I decided to submit a request to the apostles who had initially assigned me to my mission call through revelation asking for me to be approved to come home and finish the remaining three months of my mission as an area service missionary. At this point, I personally thought I was insane; but, I acted on what God had asked me to do, and I knew he would take care of the rest. And he did. I was approved to come home and they asked me to do so on the 7th.

I do not think I have ever cried as much as I have throughout this entire experience. Everything just happened so fast, and what kept me going was the peace I felt as me coming home continued to progress to a reality. As Sister Jensen and I continued to work through it all we saw the heavens open for us, and that was a testimony to me that this decision was right. And as we prayed to find the person we still had not found, we were guided to her and in that moment I knew I had fulfilled my purpose.

Last Thursday was very emotional. I said goodbye to some of my best friends and a country I never thought I would love as much as I do. I thank all of the missionaries I have worked with and my mission president and his wife for making this journey a spiritually uplifting and memorable one. I have learned so much from you and will continue to apply it all throughout my life.

Being dropped off at the airport

I thought I would cry more on the plane, but I did not. As the plane departed from Berlin all I felt was peace and joy, and I knew I would be getting straight to work for the next three months. This is where God needs me.

Seeing my family through the customs gates was unreal. I never thought the day would come when I would see them again. I know I was only gone for 15 months, but it felt like 15 years.

Reunited 15 months later

Since being home for a little over a week now, I am slowly understanding why I need to be here. My first weekend home was a testimony to me that God is using me to answer the prayers of his children.  The main testimony of this was something my mom shared with me in the car as we were going home from the airport. I have received permission from her to share this with you. 

After it was approved for me to come home, my mom received results from her colon screening. My mom has two tumors at the end of her colon and will be needing surgery soon. We do not know yet if she has cancer. We will be receiving those results within the coming week. As I sat in the car trying not to cry and allow myself to shut down, my mom shared with me her testimony of God being aware of all of his children's needs and how wonderful it is to be living proof of this. 

It has taken me a while, but I know God has a plan and he places us where he needs us to be of good to those around us. This past week has been really difficult for me, but it is getting better. Again, I am sorry for not having updated anyone about this, I just really needed to settle in a bit and find my place.

Like I mentioned before, I was approved to come home and finish the remainder of my mission as a service missionary in the Washington DC area. I have no clue what that means; I am learning more about it every day. This program is new, and I am the first service missionary in my area so things are still being set up and organized. I do not want to spoil it too much or else I will not have anything to write about on Monday, but know that it has been fun so far while waiting for my assignment. 

Sister Quintana is not done just yet, I still have three months left! I know this is God's work and glory and I know he loves us all and is aware of our needs. 

Bis bald,
Sister Quintana 

I served for a period of 15 months within the Germany Berlin Mission and have enjoyed every bit of it
Ich liebe Deutschland