I couldn't tell you all these things in person, it would have been a tear fest!
So for that reason, I decided to write you this "letter."
First of all...you know that I love you! You have been such a joy to me!
I feel like you are my girl... I feel like you are a part of my family...one of my kids.
You and I have shared some long talks together, and we have shed tears together.
What a pleasure it has been for me to watch you grow into a beautiful, kind, thoughtful,
God loving, woman. Never did I doubt that you would be anything else.
I love your testimony!
I love your love for those around you!
I love that you have allowed me to be a part of your life.
What a beautiful experience it was for us to join with your special family to welcome
you home from your mission. There really is nothing better in the whole world
than that of welcoming home a missionary who has served faithfully.
It was a very special day!
I am not sure that I have ever thanked you sufficiently for the beautiful gift
you brought to me all the way from your mission. You know that my father served his
mission to Peru. I heard about it all through my life. I saw pictures, listened to stories.
I knew that he loved Peru and had a great desire to return there some day.
I don't think he knew how he would go back...he just knew that it was #1 on his bucket list ;)
He never got that chance.
When he passed away in October that was one of the thoughts that made me
really sad, that he had never returned to his beloved Peru. I never told anyone how I felt.
I just kept it in my heart. And then you arrived at my house with a pretty gift bag...
As I opened the gift, I quickly realized what you had brought for me...
a beautiful Peruvian Nativity.
The moment I saw it, I wanted to burst into tears...
but I held it together so I didn't look like a crazy lady!
Chelsea, I knew in that moment that the nativity not only represented you
and your faithful service in Peru...It represented my Dad.
He knew that I love and collect nativity sets,
it was his way of letting me know that he was close by.
And he was able to do that though you.
After you left, I sat down and cried. I said a little prayer of gratitude for you.
That you could be an instrument to help me feel close to my Dad at such a sad time for me.
I have enjoyed that nativity set more than you will even know!
Even now I have it where I can see it everyday. It has brought me so much peace and joy.
It continues to be a reminder of a beautiful young lady that I love very much,
but also a reminder of a father, who wanted to let his daughter know...
he wasn't really that far away!
I love you Chelsea!