My dear Illia,
Congratulations on your mission call to Denver North!
First, let me just say, I love you so so so much. Second, woohoo! Denver! And third, you know that I sometimes have a hard time expressing myself when so much passion fuels my words. So I am writing this. (Also, I am more eloquent writing than when I stutter.)
Illia, I am so incredibly proud of you and your decision to serve a mission. I just want to let you know that I love this Gospel so much. We've never really sat down a lot to talk about it, (at least, I don't remember telling you) but I want to tell you about a spiritual experience I had this past winter/spring.
Back before Easter, I experienced the horrid unfeelingness, yet perpetual sadness, of depression. After some pivotal news, I was pushed from being relatively normal to depressed, I forced an emotional barrier to surround myself. Nothing was getting through and I was not going to let petty emotions get to me. And it worked for a little bit. But when it came crumbling down, and it broke a couple times, several people witnessed many emotions at once from me. What they got mainly, though, was my sadness and a subtle anger. I hated everything and I disliked everyone.
One Sunday, my Relief Society president came up to me and asked me how I was doing. I hate public crying, but I did it. I burst into tears in front of several people, one who literally took a step back and said, "Whoa." My RS president took me to the bathroom and held me as I cried and as I told her everything. In the midst of it, she asked me if I had faith. I said that I thought I did. She told me that I needed to have faith that Heavenly Father had a plan. I scoffed internally. I wanted things fixed now. I didn't want to go through this.
But I was feeling crummy, so I took her advice and I asked for a Priesthood blessing from my home teachers. And it was...nice. (This is in no way a reflection of my home teachers at that time, but I think more of a push for more faith on my part because I am a lazy person.) But I didn't feel "fixed" and so I continued to feel the darkness of depression.
Then, a good friend came in town. That was the most beautiful Easter ever, Illia. He offered me a priesthood blessing. And at first, I said no. I thought that I already got a blessing. It just needed the time to settle in, or whatever. But the more I thought about it, the more something inside nagged at me to ask for one. I needed to exercise my faith and ask for another blessing.