Waiting to leave is almost harder than actually waiting to get my call.
Through the past couple months, especially since I got my call, Satan has been working overtime. I mean big time, like 24 hours a day doing anything he can do mess me up. I often feel like the war in heaven is happening inside of me. Satan is rooting for me to choose his plan of unhappiness, but then there is the Lord, asking and showing me how to follow his plan which leads to the ultimate joy. It's ironic that we're having to make this decision again; didn't we already choose the Savior's plan once, then why is it so dang hard sometimes to choose it here on earth?
I do know that going to the temple has been one of the greatest blessings in my life these past couple months. When you walk through the doors of the temple you leave reality behind. Instead of worry about earthly things, eternal aspects come into better focus. The lens of life is widened to allow me to see the bigger picture, and then life doesn't look quite as scary as it once did. It was so nice to be so close to the temple up at school, which allowed me to go frequently. I mean it was a 10 minute walk from my byu apartment... you can't get much closer than that. And luckily now that I'm home, the Oakland temple is only a short drive away.
To me, the temple is a break from Satan's influence. I cannot wait for the day when I be able to go through the temple to take out my own endowments. It's coming up shortly (May 1st!) and I know that when I make those covenants with my Father in Heaven, I will receive more of heaven's aid in overcoming the tests and trials of life.
I feel like every day that my departure date gets closer, Satan is more and more real and terrible in my life. I feel drained because of him and his temptations. But on the other hand though, I have felt heaven's aid in keeping me on the right path. It's like Satan is doing everything he can to get me to not go on a mission and the Lord is doing all he can to get me to go to New Mexico and teach the people there about the joy that comes from the gospel. It amazes me and is incredibly humbling that the Lord is that aware of what I need. Whether it's a random person on campus stopping to say hi, a friend showing up at my doorstop, or a small miracle, I can see the Lord's hand in my life. In those moments, the veil seems so thin, and for a split second, I get a feeling of what it'll be to be back in our Lord's presence. Those small glimpses into heaven give me more motivation to not let anything get in the way of returning home to my Father one day. I want to receive the "endless life and happiness" promised to the faithful in Mosiah 16:11.
I know that we need to turn to the Lord for strength in all things. With him, we have no need to fear because he is the conqueror of all. Like in Psalms 23:4,
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me".
When we choose the Lord's side, we will be blessed beyond our limited capacities. We will have the strength, the courage, and the faith to get through life. The Lord doesn't want us to fail, he wants to return home. The Lord doesn't want to disqualify us, he wants to qualify us for all that he has. The Lord doesn't cast us aside, he takes us in his arms and comforts us.
We are infinitely more to our Lord than we could ever imagine.