May 10, 2022




McKenna Bagwell

The end

This is probably my final email. Next week will be a little too hectic to write. Its been a good ride and I'm ready to come home. Im gonna miss so many people and I'll definitely have mission fomo but its a good time to come see what yall are up to back home.

We decided to go out with a bang and have had a pretty successful few weeks. We currently have 3 solid and progressing friends. Potentially a fourth but we wont know for sure until Thursday. We've handed out a total of 17 Books of Mormon this transfer and the bulk of it has been within these last two weeks. We had 5 friends in church last Sunday and with the elders friends combined we had a total of 9 here in Tampere. Our invites to do service have sky rocketed and this week we are struggling to find time for all of the people we want to meet with.

I had a really good last interview with my mission president. We're good friends.

We got to go on splits down in Espoo and I was able to have dinner with a friend that got baptized while I was serving in Vaasa. She is the sweetest lady.

So here is the part where I wrap this all up but thats kind of hard to do with 18 months worth of time.

I loved my mission. It was really hard. More than not I struggled with feeling like I was doing what God wanted but I've learned that God cares about our efforts. Our lives are a series of opportunities. They come and go like a conveyer belt. We get to choose which ones to take and which ones to let pass by. I have had my fair share of pass bys as a missionary and as guilty as I have felt about that I've learned that God doesnt hate us for missing the opportunities He sends our way. His work goes forward whether we do it or not. Someone will be the tool He needs. His hope is that we will take the opportunity to grow and learn and be filled with the light of what we take off that conveyer belt. When we miss it, we still learn what we needed to, its just a longer less enjoyable journey. God is trying to make this life enjoyable for us, we only have to take the opportunities He gives us. He is a loving Father. I have learned that throughout my time as a missionary, as I have seen others through His eyes and felt the strong desire for them to realize that one mistake is not the end. Neither is 2 or 3 or 47. Repentance is a gift and a happy one too. A gift we get to use every second of every day if we want to. There is never an end to the amount of times we will be forgiven in this life. As long as we still have a heart that wants to change we are in a good place. I have loved getting to read The Book of Mormon with new eyes as a set apart servant of the Lord. I have loved being able to notice that everytime it says that God is about to destroy a group of people it is because they are "ripe for destruction" or "ripe in wickedness" The people God takes from this life are the ones that are done changing. The ones that have given up on wanting to change. Sometimes we give up trying and we need His strength to help us get back up but that is different from not wanting to change. If we have even the tiniest hope for redemption, the tiniest bit of faith in our Savior Jesus Christ and what He did for us all, the tiniest desire to believe that He is real, we are headed in the right direction. Life is not a straight path of perfect steps on a tightrope. The gospel is a tightrope in that it is simple and straightforward but we cant do it alone. We have the master acrobat who has walked this rope a million times for each of us individually. As we fall He grabs our hand. We only truly fall when we dont do our part to reach back for help. He is walking with us. You are expected to fall, we all are but you are not expected to hit the floor. The safest reenforcement is in place, reach towards Him.

I guess what Im trying to say is that I hope and pray that none of you will ever truly give up. That none of you will ever let Him leave your heart. He stands at a door without a handle and He is knocking. He wants you to let Him help you. He wont ever walk away. What person who loves you enough to die for you and before that suffer unbelievable pain for you and when it was all said and done live again so that you too could concur death, what kind of person who would do that for you would then leave you helpless when it was your turn to travel through this wilderness called life. I hope you never question His love for you because that would be silly. He has not for one second thought anything else about you other than that you are full of potential for greatness, you only need His help to fine tune your abilities. This body and mortality is a whole new beast even for those of us who have been on the earth for a long time.

Kind of related and kind of not my mission presidents wife taught us something a while ago. She said God didnt create emotions to be bad. Nothing God has ever created is in its pure form bad. There is a time and purpose for all emotions and we just have to learn to control them with His help.

Anyways (because there was one point in my time as a professional emailer that I said anyways after every rant and we have to keep up with tradition for this super sappy last email) I really hope you guys have been able to learn as much as I have from these emails. It has been my outlet for thought in the last little chapter of my life. Im really grateful for all the support that I have recieved from you guys back at home and I hope that you all know how much I love you. And I hope you have picked up on the indisputable fact that God loves you more. His love is a perfect love. A love we dont have to fight for. An attention we dont have to fight for. That love is simply there because we are children of God. All of us. I am a child of God and so are you. He knows you by name because He wants to, no one is forcing Him to be in your life.

Here's to the end of a chapter. I love you and God loves you more

Sisar Johnson

P.s. My homecoming talk will be on May 22 at 11 Arizona time. If any of you want the address or the link to the broadcast send me an email.


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