Well....I'm feeling...kind of like Ammon in the scripture above. "I cannot say the smallest part which I feel."
I guess I'm glad that I opened my heart just enough to listen to that little voice that told me "Go. Don't worry about where you'll go or what you'll do. Just trust me." I'll admit that I was scared, that I shed a lot of tears... but I'll be forever grateful that I was just humble enough, courageous enough, and faithful enough to take this leap of faith... And it wasn't a lot. Just eighteen months of service. In fact the "sacrifices" I made, the "hardships" I went through...though they were real, so real, they were nothing compared to what I got in return....
As I look back at my mission I am just filled with wonder. He was with me the whole time. I took a step into the darkness and He led me from one majestic place to another.. places more beautiful than I could imagine, He introduced me amazing people, and He taught me about who I am, and who I can become.
I see so much more clearly now. Things that were blurry before have suddenly come into focus, brilliant focus. And that is because I know Him, the way, the truth and the light.
I don't know what lies ahead for me...but the beautiful thing about the gospel of Jesus Christ is that we don't have to be scared. He's already shown us the path, we just have to follow Him. It's is so simple. And when we put our lives in His hands, every day is an adventure, an opportunity to learn and grow and serve. We can learn from our mistakes and plan for our future. Every chapter can be better and more brilliant than the one before. That is the gospel. That today can be better than yesterday...eternal progression, you know? And it is all possible because of one who loved us so much "He laid down His life for his friends." Let us share this love. It's all that really matters.
Anyways, this last week was full of joys and challenges, just like anyother week on the mission. I'm tired...my back hurts, even my toes hurt. But there were miracles everyday. Like a member hoping we would call her, just to have us randomly show up at her house. Or Anastasia coming to church and thinking tithing and the temple was "chouette." Or our new friend Nuria coming to all three hours of church and just loving it... Or the opportunity I had to give another talk and play my violin one last time. It was a beautiful end to a beautiful journey. But it's not over. It's the beginning. My brother Bradley shared this quote with me a few months ago, it's the last paragraph in the last book in the Chronicles of Narnia...changed my life, no big deal:
"And as He (Aslan) spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion, but the things which began to happen after that were so GREAT and BEAUTIFUL that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the REAL STORY. All their life in this world and their adventures in Narnia (the mission) had only been the cover and the title page. Now at last they were beginning CHAPTER ONE of the GREAT STORY which no one on earth has read, which goes on forever; in which every chapter is better than the one before." - C.S. Lewis
And although it will break my heart to leave all of this behind, I know that even greater things are ahead, on and on for eternity. "
This is the truth. I know that Heavenly Father lives and loves us and I am so grateful that I had the amazing privledge to serve Him as a missionary. I'd encourage any of you who haven't served to do so! It will change everything.
Love you all! See you soon!!