Monday, November 28, 2016

final email say what...? is this real life? i think it is... :*(

So a quick run down of this past crazy week. Monday we were up at 5:30 and played ball hockey with the elders. Tuesday the whole district woke up sore from playing ball hockey on Monday! Wednesday was district meeting in Fredericton, let’s just say 10 min hockey break anyone? Yup that's right! Then we played afterwards during our lunch break! Then a member took us out to eat… what an adventure… Thursday was pretty legit! We went and served food at the Catholic church! Every year they put on a thanksgiving meal for the community! So we were there and the news reporter was interviewing the deacon when he comes over and is like hey Elders and Sisters do you want to answer a few questions for the reporter?! So needless to say we were on the news. It was legit.. Well our interview wasn’t but our faces were! Ill upload the link and it starts at the 4 min mark!
It was pretty legit eh?! Anyways… onto my final words of life… na just the past 18 months of my life...
The day I got my mission call was one of the happiest days of my life. As I sat there waiting for the mailman to come day after day, it finally came… I waited and waited to open it. They day finally came, I held in my hands the next 18ish months of my life. As I opened my call in front of that intimate group and attempted to conceal the whole of the letter so as to read one line at a time, I couldn’t prevent my eyes from sneaking a glance down to the words, “Canada Halifax Mission.” In that unforgettable moment I could have never have foreseen or comprehended the eternity-altering experience that lay ahead.
No missionary who hugs her family goodbye has any real clue of what she is getting herself into. No amount of Preach My Gospel preparation can prepare the heart and mind for the soul-stretching months that lay ahead as you walk away from your loved ones into a bright, yet foggy destiny. I will never forget going to the airport to come to Canada. The Spirit whispered, “You will blink and you will be coming back to greet your family again.” I have blinked and in a few short days I will be greeting my family again.
An airport- what an insignificant, commonplace thing to constitute that bookends of this glorious mission. It may be easy to imagine I’ve simply spent 18 months in Canada, but i can assure you that the girl that left that day is not the same one that is coming back.
Where once I went relatively blindly into my mission experience, I now return having actually experienced it. It’s no longer a vague destination on a call letter but it’s a place and a people and an era that is embroidered into every fabric of my soul. I could have never supposed when i started off from my homeland to a far away unknown, that God would have granted me such great blessings (Alma 26:1).
My mission as challenged me to the very core-body, mind and spirit. I’ve been rejected so much that it doesn’t even make me flinch. I’ve spent so many days without things that it’s no longer a disappointment, just a norm. I’ve seen people in deep despair and have hit my knees in sorrow, too. But amidst it all I have become deeply acquainted with my dear Savior and felt incomprehensible joy.
My greatest joy has come from seeing the miracle of changed-hearts touched, sins repented of, branches reignited, and eyes illuminated with the light of the knowledge of Christ. Satisfaction has come as I have seen investigators open the Book of Mormon for the first time or kneel in fervent prayer, less actives remember the Spirit they once felt and enter the meeting house once again, and members step closer to their eternal potentials and give selfless service. I have been inspired by the faith of consecrated leaders who sacrifice everything for the cause of Christ. I have been moved by investigators who step forward to be baptized despite persecutions from family and friends. And I have seen the Atonement work miracles inside of me, too.
The lesson that encompasses all other lessons I have learned on my mission is love. My imperfect and often prideful heart has been softened by the infinite love of Jesus Christ. Amidst pleading for, studying for, weeping for, sweating for, and sacrificing for these amazing people I have tasted just a sliver of what the Savior felt on His mission culminating with the most infinite act of love- the Atonement.
If charity really is the pure love of Christ then charity is, at the core, the Atonement. Therefore, none of us will quite be able to accomplish having true charity, but the closest thing we can get to that true charity-the Atonement- is sacrificing for God’s children. It is the only through sacrifice that we can attempt to become like Him.
The Canadian people have taught me to truly love and give freely, for instead of strangers they are my brothers and sisters. They, in their greatest need and poverty, have given so wholeheartedly to me, who never deserved such sacrifice. But no eternal or abiding love ever came without sacrifice. Because I have given these months to them they have become my family. Even in meeting for the first thim, you call old women your grandmother and middle-aged women your mother. I haven’t just been loving strangers here-they have become ever so dear to me.
The tenderest feelings of  my heart are wrapped up in these people in what my mission has done to me. As I come home I can’t help but cry to the Lord, “My mission has meant everything to me, yet after all of this refinement I am still so imperfect.” I am sure a similar cry will be said at the end of our lives, “My live has meant everything to me, yet after all of this I am still so imperfect.” I am grateful for a Saviour that makes up for my greatest imperfections. I may have come to end of my full-time mission but this is only the beginning of my lifelong discipleship and dedication to Christ.
For the past 18 months I have walked, talked, ate, slept, and breathed missionary work and I can honestly say I have lost myself in the work. I don’t quite know who I was before mission or who I will be post-mission but I do know that in losing all the “extras” I have gone exploring in the deeper, eternal parts of my divine identity and have discovered something beautiful. I may have a small identity crisis awaiting me at home but this will only lead to even more self-discover. Eternity is on the up and up and “death” is but my next great adventure.
I truly am so grateful for everything that I have learned for all of the love and support that I have gotten from my friends and family everywhere! This is going to be a hard adjustment but totally worth it in the long run!
Well the next time I talk to y’all in person! My homecoming talk will be on the 11th at 2:30 at the monad building! So… yea…. Adios!



No comments:

Post a Comment