Well, I have been home for a whole week and a half now.. well almost two weeks. It pretty much all feels like a blur though. I wanted to write a few reflections from the past two weeks of my life.
Being home is... weird, happy, exciting, super sad, tiring, confusing, adventurous, frustrating, and the list goes on. My whole mission I never realized that it actually ends. Even when I got to my last week I still felt like I had forever to be there. To share what I know what is true. To feel the Spirit testify and guide me. To feel complete and utter joy. To feel comfort when I didn't feel worthy of God's love. To feel the love of the Savior. To worry about ONE thing.. the eternal salvation of others. To give other the absolute most joyful thing that I have ever experienced in my whole life. There are so many things that I received from my mission, I feel as though I received much more than I gave. I will forever tell others how much I love my mission. It changed me and shaped me into the person I am today. I have many weaknesses and know that there is still so much for me to learn. My mission humbled me in ways I never thought possible. It was incredibly hard.. man the hardest thing I've ever done up to this point in my life! It was absolutely amazing.
The last two weeks of my mission were difficult. It was the most anxious I have felt in my whole life. I felt sad to know that my journey was going to be over. I worried that I didn't do as good as I could have, I felt I could have worked so much harder. I had a lot of doubts. But I realized that those thoughts and feelings weren't from the Lord. Why on earth would someone so loving want us to feel bad about ourselves? I slowly felt more and more acceptance from the Lord. I prayed to know in every pray, I fasted, and used the power of the priesthood. Suddenly I felt at peace with going home, I knew that it was my time and that I really had worked hard and pushed to be a consecrated missionary. I wanted to please the Lord and I know that is what counts. The night before I left my companions dropped me off at the mission office. It was really hard saying bye to them, I loved all my companions. I felt so weird. Well honestly, I didn't feel much. I felt numb to everything. I layed in bed that night and slept for about two hours. I was in the city so I spent the night looking out my window staring at all the buildings, wondering how I could leave a place that I love and adore so much. I love Los Angeles. Not because it's LA and people think it's cool, but because the people there changed my life. Anyway, I didn't sleep a wink and felt pretty sick to my stomach. I thought of all that was about to come... I don't know how to talk to someone about normal life stuff, aka not talking about Jesus, I was about to start school, seeing my family, having to date (talk about scary stuff!!), etc.
It was the longest hour and a half flight.. yeah I'm pretty grateful LA and Utah are soo close. I sat by some girls that were from Switzerland. I was pretty bummed because I didn't think they spoke English.. but I talked to them anyway. We started talking about the church and then this girl asked the golden question... what makes my Church different from the Catholic church? I was so happy and know that my prayers had been answered. I shared the Restoration with them. I knew that everything I was saying was true. I knew that it was the very last opportunity I would have as a set apart missionary to share that (believe me.. there are many more years of sharing it.. just without a tag) and it brought me so much joy. The plane landed and it hit. I was done, I wasn't in LA anymore. I had to soon take off my badge. I walked off the plane and stepped into the bathroom for a second to catch my breath. The first person I saw was my dad, waiting at the top of the escalator, he couldn't wait at the bottom. I hugged him and felt happy. I hugged my mom and couldn't believe it. I say my family and felt joy. My family is my world and there they were... after a year and a half I saw them. I was happy but melancholy at the same time. Time came that I had to take off my tag with my Stake President. That was the worst part. I stared at my name tag in my lap and thought about all the mornings that I got ready and put that next to my heart. I felt so bare without it. I still move my hair to the right side to have my tag show. I felt the mantle leave during that time there in his office. If only I could explain what that felt like.
So here I am... getting used to living without a strict schedule, lots of lessons, and not being a missionary. I have learned to tell people that I'm not working on "adjusting" but rather working on how to apply my mission to my life. Yes, I'm working on not feeling so uncomfortable in lots of things, but mostly how to apply what I did for a year and a half to the rest of my life. I have found the greatest peace and joy through a simple scripture study. Through long and deep prayers with my Heavenly Father. Through going to the temple. It's interesting that the happiest moments I have had since I have been home are what I did on my mission. That is what this life is about. It is not the materialistic things. It's not having the newest iPhone and the most "likes" on instagram. In the end that literally does not matter. I want everyone to know that does not matter in this life. Stop caring what others think about you, how much money you aspire to have, likes and friends of Facebook, if you look in style or not. It does not matter. I can promise that.
This is what does matter- that we are continually strengthening our relationship with the most important person, our Father. Our literal Father, He created us and we are His. We must take that time out of our days to read the scriptures, pray, go to church, live worthy and go to the temple.. use that time for Him. We have so many hours in the day, what holds us back?
I love my mission. I love the things I learned and the incredible people I met. I met people on my mission that I could not imagine living without. People that are gaining eternal salvation because I served. People that made me laugh harder than anyone as well as cry. I will love my mission forever. I will always love my Savior and my Father in Heaven. I will never leave that path because I commit to continue with the small things. I know this is real, I know that what we believe is true. That God speaks through prophets, He desires that we know about Him and live the way He wants us to. The Book of Mormon is real, the only way you'll know is if you sincerely open your heart and ask for the answers. I will always be here to answer questions and share what I know. I love my Savior more than anyone and I know that I am a daughter of my loving Father in Heaven. He knows us by name and never forgets us, He is waiting for us. I love this. I know it is true without a doubt. I know that everyone has the ability to know that for themselves as well. I have forever changed through this.