This is an essay that was included in the last Bakersfield Mission newsletter Savannah received before heading home. They included an essay from an elder who had just arrived in the mission field and from Savannah who was getting ready to leave.
Hermana Blau arrived in the Bakersfield Mission February 15, 2016.
As I have neared the close of my mission, I have been given plenty of opportunities to look back on my time here and how I have changed. When I first got off the plane at the Bakersfield Airport, I had no idea that I was in for 18 months of learning and growing. I had never experienced an afternoon of walking in scorching heat, and I had no idea how to speak to random people who I had never met before. I was more than a little bit overwhelmed. I have experienced some of the greatest spiritual moments of my entire life as I have taught people who are now friends. I have also faced moments of trial where I have questioned what I was doing on a mission and if I would ever be able to be a good missionary. I feel that the mission is a roller-coaster of emotions, but through it all, I have had my faith strengthened. I learned that it is actually possible for a human being to survive walking on days when it is more that 115 degrees outside. I learned that even if you cannot fully speak to people, all people speak the language of the Spirit. I have prayed harder than I ever had in my entire life and seen real answers come from those prayers. I have felt joy as I have seen investigators who I have been working with for weeks finally come to church or finally start keeping commitments and making changes in their lives. More than anything, I have learned to apply the counsel found in Proverbs 3:5-6:
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.