Monday, November 17, 2014
A Soul Stretching Opportunity
Well I sit here at this computer crying. One of the few times that I have these past few days. Things are hitting me, finally. Like right now in this moment. You are all saying, see you in a few days, and man I couldn't be more excited to see your faces! I think about it and I get butterflies and am so excited. And then I get reallllly sad at other moments at the thought of leaving and not being here any more. I also feel really strange, I won't lie, I have changed. A lot. Things are not going to be the same, and I am trying to deal with that too. Man, I just cannot even put into words all the emotions I am feeling. And we just got out of the "how to get a job" workshop for returning missionaries. That was not interesting at all. I am not ready for all that yet! But I hope that you can all just bear with me as this is a super emotional, exhilarating, and happy time for me and all of us.
This past week was good and odd. A week full of "lasts." My last Zone Training Meeting, my last weekly planning, my last lesson, my last everything! Hard to accept at times but mostly didnt even feel real. But it was super sweet that the San Jose ward put on a fun surprise Family Home Evening for me. Good times playing, "Do you love your neighbor?" And Sunday I traveled to the mission home alone with all my bags and then I got to stop by San Pablo and see the members and Masangkay Family one more time! So sweet, they are doing really well. The work was good this week. It is amazing to see how much everything has improved since day one. I will miss speaking Tagalog on the daily. I will miss teaching in these humble homes the restored gospel. I will miss stopping people on the street or talking to people traveling on Jeeps to tell them our good news as representatives of Jesus Christ. I will miss being engulfed in the spirit every moment of every day. I will miss all the amazing friends I have made here in the mission. I will miss the time to study the scriptures. I will miss the ward weather and sweet rain of the Philippines. I will miss eating rice every day and some delicious ulam. I will miss our recent converts. I will miss the members. I will miss the feelings of joy when you see the light of Christ touch someone. I will even miss the moments of hardship with rejection and struggles with finding. I will miss falling at my knees at night practically falling asleep in my prayers of true effort and tiredness. I will miss feeling the enabling power of the atonement carry me from appointment to appointment. I will miss my companions always supporting me and being there. But I will overall miss this sacred calling and the time to dedicate myself to serving the Lord.
I can however say, the lessons I have learned here and molded, shaped, and prepared me for everything there is to come. As hard as it is to face the fact, my time is up, I know God always has a divine plan and I am ready to align my will with His. I am ready to apply all the lessons and chose to make my life the way God would have it be lived. Words cannot describe the gratitude in my heart that I received that personal revelation in October 2012 that I needed to serve a mission and that I was called to the work in the Philippines San Pablo Mission. This is the place I needed to come to. I have seen the fruits I was meant to bear and I have felt the hand of Lord guiding me this whole time. I will be a forever missionary. Even when the moment comes that I hand this nametag to Mom and Dad, I will continue to be an active participant of Hastening the Work of Salvation. I will be faithful to the end. Even though after 18 months, I am tired as heck, I am not finished. I have experienced the atonement in my life and not letting others feel that in their lives would be turning my back on everything I have done up until this point. Man, I probably sound like such a cheeseball. But what can I say is that I mean all of this with my whole heart. At this point, I can't make any changes to the book I have written, but I can promise that I will continue to write it and make every chapter better and better.
I know that this is Christ's true church upon the earth. This is the chosen way to us to return to His presence and the presence of our Father. I know that a living prophet receives revelation and guides us today. I know that Book of Mormon is the Word of God and has blessed me in numerous ways from the lessons I have learned and shared with others. Overall, I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know He suffered for my sins and for the World. I know that through Him we can overcome the natural man and become more like. I can truly say, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."
With that said, I can confidently say that the time has come, and I AM SO STINKIN EXCITED TO SEE YOU ALL THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Man 18 months sure flew, but it feels like I haven't seen you all in forever! I have missed you all dearly and I thank you all for the support and love over that past year and a half. Now let us come together, move forward with faith, and be HAPPY! I love you all.
See you real soon,
2 Timothy 4:7