It's hard to sum up all that this mission has meant to me these last two years. It has been a rollercoaster ride for certain, but it has been the ride of my life. I can't express how much the Lord has changed not only my life, but so many lives through this service. It's amazing what He can do with your life as you give it fully to Him. It has been absolutely worth it and then some. I would say that an experience I had this last week was what really sums up why I've loved being a missionary:
I was on an exchange with another elder in his area when I was told we would be going to a family who just days before had had their father been hit and killed by a car. He was perfectly healthy and had many years of life ahead of him. What also was cool about this was that the daughter and her husband who live in our area just happened to be there as well. As can be very well understood, they were still shaken up by the loss of their father and husband. As we listened to them share memories of the man and relate to us how good of a person he was I felt strongly impressed to share with them my testimony of the plan of salvation and a scripture that is in my patriarchal blessing. I shared with them the experiences of losing a brother and sister and having to learn for myself where they are now. I testified with all of my heart with tears in my eyes of the love of a Heavenly Father who gave His son that death will have no final sting. I know without a doubt that we will see our loved ones again and that they are busy doing much good in the spirit world. How blessed we are to have such incredible knowledge. How fortunate were they to know this too! That though we will miss them, we will be reunited through the power of priesthood ordinances and the redemptive power of the Savior. How incredible it was to be able to be the Lord's hands in this family's life. I know for certain that they were the sole reason that I was called to work in their area that day. The highlight of this experience was after the wife had expressed that she always wanted to serve a couples mission with her deceased husband as we were getting up to leave. It seemed that words came out of my mouth promising her as one of the Lord's servants that she will have that opportunity in the world of spirits after living out the Father's plan for her in mortality. How dearly I will miss these simple, but incredible experiences that happen more often than not as a representative of Him who sent me.
I testify to you that the Savior lives! He loves us more than you could ever imagine. His hand is always outstretched to you. Go to Him. He will heal you and make something of your life that is unique and beautiful. This is His church. He has given us a legacy of apostles and prophets to this day to lead and guide us home to our loving Heavenly Father. I know that this same father knows us all by name, all our heartaches, and difficulties of this life. He will guide you and help you. Trust in Him and go to Him in prayer. He always listens. This I solemnly bare my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Thank you so much to everyone for the great love, support, and prayers that have been sent on my behalf. I couldn't have made it this far was it not for such wonderful family and friends. I hope and pray that my service has benefited you in some way as well. I look forward to seeing you all very soon!
(p.s Thanks a million to Aunt Bertha and Grandma Jeri for the letters that arrived here this past week. Love ya tons!)
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: - 2 Timothy 4:7
Saying goodbye to the Osbournes
Gonna miss these guys, hahaha