My heart is full, I've cried way too much already, and I feel like I've just been way too blessed.
I can't believe that this day is finally here - the day I honestly thought would never come. I remember laying in my bed the first night in the CCM and thinking "wow, this is going to be FOREVER". And it was, and it is, but at the same time it's not. The past 18 months have flown by in the blink of an eye. But I think the "forever" of my mission is going to be it's impact on the rest of eternity . . . because that's going to be forever.
I am so humbled and feel so blessed to have been able to serve my Savior for the past 18 months. These have been the hardest and the best months of my life. Here are some of my favorite things from my mission:
1. Number 1 favorite thing is seeing children of our Heavenly Father enter into the waters of baptism. Not because "wahooo we got another number for members of the church," but because of what it means . . . it means they're getting the chance to go home. They enter into that water and I think "yes, now they're going to know true JOY." And then seeing the light that radiates from their eyes as they come up from the water, clean of any sin, that's priceless.
2. I've loved learning how to LOVE. I love the Mexican people and their culture. I love them because they are Heavenly Father's children. I love them because they're kind. I love them because they're full of faith in the Savior. I love them because they've loved and served me.
3. Hablaring Espanol has been sweet. That's pretty cool to realize that the Lord has the ability to help you do anything - including learning another language! (and, while sleeping, teaching lessons in the middle of the night in Spanish is pretty cool I guess too . . . ask any of my companions. They're all witnesses to my midnight teaching!)
4. The food I guess would just have to be a HUGE bonus. Heavenly Father loves me so He sent me to a mission with killer comida (except menudo.... we all know I'm not going to miss that).
5. I've learned to rely on the Savior and His Atonement. I've learned to LOVE Him.
While being on a mission, I have come to know my Savior on a personal level that I don't think I could have even imagined before my mission. The Atonement, or His sacrifice, is something that has become so real to me. It's not just something that you read about in the scriptures or something that they preach about on Sundays. It's real. It's powerful. It can change lives. It's changed mine. I know that He is my Savior. I know He died for me, and guaranteed me my salvation if I would just do my part. We can be forgiven of sins. We've never wandered too far from His love and His care. With Him, there's no such thing as too broken, too many chances, or too long gone. I love the Lord. He gave Himself for me. He loves me so even my imperfections don't stop Him from reaching out to me. He sacrificed so I could make it home to Father.
It's been an honor to serve along side of Him for a year and a half.
His name has been written next to mine on a name tag for the past 18 months. My name is written in the marks of the nail prints in His hands for eternity because of what He did so long ago and so far away in a garden and then finished on a cross.
I love Him. I follow Him. And I serve Him.
"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people that they might have everlasting life." 3 Nephi 5:13
Les quiero mucho mucho mucho. Nos vemos el proximo martes. Hasta ver, para siempre Dios este con vos.