It's my last week ever as a missionary! It's really bittersweet. When I could finally count all the days I had left on two hands is when it got real. From that point on, I haven't felt as trunky as I previously had been. I'm enjoying my time and finishing strong, like I have for the past year.
It's so typical for missionaries to bear their testimony in their last email ever, but Preach My Gospel says, "Bear testimony several times in each lesson, not just at the end." Over the course of my mission, I've shared experiences and my testimony often so the need to do it all at the end isn't necessary.
I've always felt like the true value of one's mission shows in the life that follows it. If my mission is the pinnacle of my spiritual growth or the most joyful time of my life then I did something wrong! There is a talk by Elder Bednar where he expresses his frustrations with people who always say, "my pioneer ancestors this" or "on my mission that". He says he asks the question, "that's great your ancestors crossed the plains and that's great you baptized hundreds on you mission, BUT, what are you doing now?" It's not enough to have done; you have to be doing. The whole purpose of life is for us to become more than we now are. Where you're at is important but not nearly as important as where you're heading. It's better to be on the bottom looking up than on the top looking down.
Hopefully I haven't sounded too preachy over the course of my mission. I try to be real with people we teach and just tell them how it is. This has helped me in my life and I'm sure it'll help you! I don't think my transition home will be as hard as others because I've been myself for two years. That's the best way to be a missionary is to be yourself.
One thing that frustrates me SO much when people say it is, "that's just the way I am." Yeah, some things we can't change like physical abnormalities, mental disorders, things that happened in the past or how others treat us. But, because of Jesus Christ we can change our perspective on how we view things we can't change AND change the things we can change. I've heard this excuse (or a variation of it) a billion times on my mission and every single time I want to very firmly tell the person they can do better. I catch myself doing it sometimes and then I reevaluate where I'm at. The whole point of Christ's sacrifice is so we don't have to be the way we are.
I'm as ready as I'll ever be to go home. It will take some time to adjust but I'm used to that. There will be a bunch of new stuff but that's cool too. I've learned that it's good to care but bad to worry. Worrying doesn't get you anywhere. Faith and fear can't exist in the same mind! Every time I catch myself fearing about the future I put my mental foot down and think about my faith. That's the thing I'm going to rely on as I journey back into the real world. I know God has my back when I put him first.
I guess this email did sort of turn into my testimony! Whatever!
I'M GOING HOME!!!