Thursday, September 23, 2010

5 Years

So, I realized that I have been home from my mission for 5 years this week. The mission was one of the hardest and greatest experiences of my life. It definitely changed me. It was a period of growth for me that I could never forget. As a tender mercy on Monday I met some new people at FHE and 2 of the girls had served in the California Los Angeles Mission. They gave me good news about members that I loved and people I taught. It was a happy anniversary for me. I love remembering the people as well as the lessons that I learned. There were so many.

These lessons have shaped my life since, and I am so grateful for the foundation that was laid for me in who I want to be. All of that happened on my misison. I learned of the reality of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and of the reality and truthfullness of the gospel. I KNOW the church is true. Nothing can ever make me deny it. I know people aren't perfect, but the gospel is. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who created a plan, allowed us our agency and provided his Only Begotten Son to be our Savior and Exemplar. I know that there is living prophet on the earth today. He leads and guides our church. I cannot wait to hear from him again next week during General Conference. I know the power of the Priesthood is real. It is the authority of God on earth. I know and have felt that power in my life. I know the Lord keeps his promises. I know miracles can happen. I know the Lord does not leave us without support, and does lend us the support of angels in our lives to help us when we've fallen down. I know that it is possible for families to be sealed together forever. I know that there are so many possibilities, if we but have faith in the lord Jesus Christ. I know the Book of Mormon is True. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God who gave his life so that we may understand the truth of the gospel and the plan of Salvation. I know we are not alone in this world. I know understanding is available if we search for it.I know that we can receive answers to our prayers. I know it and depend upon it. I know the importance of families and how much my own means to me. I know that we must keep moving forward, even when it feels like you can't go on one more day. I know that diligence and obedience leads to blessings, even if those blessings come later, they are worth every second of obedience. There were days I felt like quitting, and in reality, I had my agency and could have chosen to quit. Thankfully I had companions, and a mission president who were there to support me when I felt weak. I am so glad I didn't give up. Most importantly, I learned of love on my mission. I learned what it was like to put my heart out there everyday. As much as it would hurt to do so when people seemed to trample upon it, I was willing to give it anyway. I want all of this to continue with me on to eternity. I hope that I can continue to learn, and grow and understand more than what I do at this point. I hope to one day share that love in an eternal family. I hope to continue to share the gospel, and share it with those around me. What a blessing to serve the Lord! I haven't become much since that time, but I do know that I have grown since the mission, not at the rate as a missionary does, but I have grown. I do know that my testimony is deeper and more a part of me than ever before. I have been able to utilize the Atonement in my life and what a blessing! Words cannot describe the tender mercies that abound in my life. How grateful I am for the atonement. How grateful I am to be sealed to my family. How grateful I am to have an education, to live in this country and to be so blessed. I am grateful for my mission, even though it was hard. I am grateful for the truths abounding in my life. I am grateful for the Spirit which was able to testify to me of the truthfulness and lead me to where I need to be. I am so grateful for my blessings. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have. I am so grateful for everything that abounds in my life. I am not where I thought I would be when I returned home from my mission, but I am trying to get there. I know that everyone can know the truth if they but ask in humility, with a real desire and intent in acting upon the answers they receive. I could go on for pages and pages. I love this. I love my Heavenly Father and His Son. I love my family. I hope to continue to love for eternity.

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