Wow. So, I’ve been home for a week. The biggest adventure of my life thus far has come to a close.
It’s been a lot to process. A lot of emotions, way too many tears, my face hurting from smiling so much... so much gratitude.
Gratitude for my family, my #1 supports— gratitude for all of you, my companions, for the beautiful country of Texas (hehe), the missionaries who became some of my dearest friends, the members and people I had the opportunity to teach who changed my life... gratitude for every single day I got to be His called and set apart servant.
12 transfers. 10 companions. 18 months.
Here’s what it all taught me:
Transfer #1: Praying, with real intent, is one of the hardest things to achieve; complete humility and submission to whatever Heavenly Father has in store for you. The, “<i>But if not,” </i>mentality. But when we do pray intending to do His will, no matter what it may be, we WILL see miracles.
Transfer #2: The love you show other people DOES affect them, and helps them see what Heavenly Father sees in them. I saw this not only in how I treated others, but in the way that I was treated by those surrounding me. Charity, the pure love of Christ, changed my life.
Transfer #3: JUST BECAUSE PEOPLE AREN’T PERFECT, OR DON’T DO THINGS THE WAY YOU THINK THEY SHOULD BE DONE, <i>DOES NOT MEAN</i> THEY AREN’T WORTHY OF LOVE OR RESPECT.
Transfer #4: God is patient with us. He gets that we can’t be perfect, that we will mess up, and make mistakes. He gets that. Other people will limit you and what you can become, but God will NEVER do that. Other people are mortal, and they see you in a way that is limiting— they only see where you have been, and where you are now, not where you’re going. God sees the end from the beginning, the beginning from the end. He sees you in a way that denotes progression and improvement, so when He judges you, He is simply saying that you’re not quite there. He’ll help you get where you need to go, if you let Him.
Transfer #5: Communicate how you feel. Analyze how you feel. Don’t run from feelings, don’t pretend you’re okay. <i>Love people who are hurting</i>. If I wasn’t one to do those things before, I was after that transfer.
Transfer #6: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Don’t force yourself to do things you aren’t ready to do just because the people around you are already there. “... for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength.” Mosiah 4:27 Understand that this will be the case for others around you, too.
Transfer #7: Laughter heals the soul.
Transfer #8: “ 27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” If you humble yourself, and have faith in the Lord’s ability to help you become better, He WILL show you your weaknesses; He will show you where you need to improve. And that will really hurt, and it won’t be a pleasant experience, but when we CHOOSE to see our weaknesses, and decide we want to change them, our humility will enable the atoning power of Jesus Christ to come into our lives and make us something new.
Transfer #9: The refining process is real— the change the Lord will wrought in each of those who are willing, is a real thing. Those things you don’t like, the things that aren’t in alignment with who Christ is, can be changed. The Atonement of Jesus Christ WORKS.
Transfer #10: Friends who uplift you, enlighten you, and support you, are important. You’ll know when you’re finally being treated right, because that feeling is incomparable to anything else. It’s a lovely feeling to have true friends.
Transfer #11: When you have the Lord with you, you can overcome anything you are determined enough to overcome. Whether that’s a sprained ankle or being trapped in your apartment for two months... you can conquer that.
Transfer #12: God is real. He is so real. He is there. He is everywhere around us. Mosiah 4:9, “ Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.” That knowledge really helps me understand that I CAN let go of those things that worry me. I can let go of the pain and the concern, because it’s all in His hands.
Transfer HOME: There are SO many things that are NOT how I imagined they would be coming home. So many things that I thought would have happened, that didn’t. Things that have happened that I didn’t expect (thank you Miss Corona). But I do know that one day, I will understand. D&C 58:3 (a recent favorite verse of mine) “Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.” IMPORTANT PART: “<i>for the present time”. </i>One day, we will understand all of those things that just don’t make sense right now. He won’t keep us in the dark longer than necessary. And WOW has it been great being back with family. I don’t have words for what it felt like being back in my house, with my cute family, and my dog. It was so surreal, and there are still moments where it still feels that way. But even though saying goodbye to my mission has been so hard, I am SO thankful to have these guys with me. I couldn’t do it without them. Every day was worth it.
I love you all so much. Thank you for every email, every sweet comment on posts that I made. I couldn’t have done it without the support of those who love me.
And lastly, I thank my Heavenly Father for every day. Every day, which I will forever consider a blessing, and a privilege.