|Sister J and I eating a fancy dinner at my ward mission leader's house. He and his wife are amazing!|
Wow! Before my mission, a year and a half seemed so looong, but now I realize how incredibly short it is! I can't believe it's been a year since I have started this journey! One year ago I ate at Kneaders with my family (which I couldn't taste because I was so nervous!) and then through a ton of tears I was dropped off at the MTC. There was so much excitement and wonder and terror, haha. I had no idea what to expect!! And now I have been out for a year. I AM NOT TRUNKY, but just the thought of going home and not being a missionary seems so...awkward? Foreign? Scary?
Reflecting on my time as a missionary has brought so many thoughts to my mind. The culture shock coming here is something I will NEVER forget! But now I am used to almost all of it. It doesn't seem weird anymore to always sit on the floor, bow to everyone, sleep on a mat, wake up at , get my bum patted by random old ladies (haha), walk up and talk to strangers, ride crazy buses, always take my shoes off in homes, always wait for the older person on the phone to hang up first...haha. I think going back to the USA is gonna be culture shock all over again!!
But even above the culture's influence on my life is the people's influence on my life. My life will NEVER be the same because of the incredible people I have met throughout this experience...companions, ward members, LAs, Investigators, mission leaders, MTC teachers and speakers, random nice people on the street, random really NOT nice people on the street...they've all influenced me. They've all helped me grow and reflect on who I am and who I want to become.
My mission has pushed me out of my comfort zone EVERY SINGLE DAY, in so many ways! I have learned that I can do things that are scary, that it is okay to mess up. I always thought that missionaries were perfect and always had the strongest testimonies...I have learned that missionaries struggle, too! We all always need strengthening. I have also learned that God knows us, He hears our prayers, He is the Master Plan Maker. God is so good! SO merciful, kind, and thoughtful. He is a part of everyone's lives, whether or not we realize it. We are all part of His perfect plan. And He NEVER forgets His children. He is the one in charge! So trust Him!
I have also learned more about Jesus Christ, our perfect Older Brother. I have been rejected, yelled at, felt so alone, felt so nervous, I have wondered how I am gonna make it -- and none of that even compares to what the Savior went through. BUT...because those trials seem significant to me, Christ chose to suffer right along side of me so that He could understand-- so that He could be my comforting friend in my time of need. And He's done that for every single person. That is a a lot of love!! He's a hero-- He is THE hero! He is valiant, loving, forgiving, strong, brave, calm, powerful, humble. He never gives up and He never gives in . He is the ultimate Champion. He has over come all. Because of Him, we can overcome anything, too. We already know who the winner, the victor of the battle is. We know the end results. So we just have to follow Him! He is the happy life, the loving life, the hopeful life.
I hope these last six months don't go by too fast. I love being a missionary. I am not ready to take off my name badge any time soon I hope to make these last 6 months the best yet. My goal is to follow the Adjusting to Missionary Life's advice and, "Consciously offer (my) mission as a gift of thanks to the Savior" Here is to finishing strongest!
|I will be cashing in on this in 6 months, Seth! I just got this this week, even though you sent it in June!|