These past 18 months] have been the longest and fastest of my life!! Words cannot even begin to adequately describe how I am feeling or what I have experienced. Actually, for the past week I have felt pretty numb. It honestly just does not seem real to me. I am still waiting for it to click in my head, but I am guessing that it won't click for a couple more days now...My mind keeps rudely reminding me all the time though, "This is the last time you will take the sacrament as a missionary." "This is the last time you will speak be in the St. Marys branch." "This is the last time you will see so and so." And on and on! I hate it! Yet still with all of that happening, it doesn't feel real.
I gave a farewell talk this pastin the wonderful St. Marys branch and ooooh boy. I talked about my decision to serve a mission. Thinking back on that night in Khmelnitsky, Ukraine and being where I am at now, on this side of it all is absolutely amazing. I know that Heavenly Father saw for me that night what I could not. He knew what incredible experiences lay ahead, the amazing people I would meet, and how I would be changed forever.
All that I have gone through for the past year and a half truly has helped to shape me into who Heavenly Father needs me to be. I will never be able to fully thank him for the immense blessing my mission has been. I know that it will bless me for eternity.
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." [2 Timothy 4:7]
AMEN TO THAT! Yes, missions are wonderful, but man are they HARD!! There were many a days where I got home at night and did feel as though I had just walked off the battle field. This is a fight that we are in, and it will not end in two days when I am forced to take off my name badge. This work is a life long pursuit. "Enduring to the end is doing missionary work."
I know that Heavenly Father needed me to serve a mission. I know that He needed me to serve specifically in the Ohio Cleveland Mission, and I will forever be grateful for that. This land is sacred. It truly is the land where I have "[come] to the knowledge of [my] Redeemer" [Mosiah]
No offense, but I do not want to come home. I do not want to have to remove this name badge, never to wear it again. I do not want to be submersed in "Babylon" again. However, just as I know that God had a plan for me serving a mission, I know that He has a plan for me going home. He has so many more exciting adventures ahead for me.
Thank you to everyone who has gone through this mission with me; whether literally as my companion, far away as my family and friends, or all of the amazing members that I have been so privileged to serve and love. All of your prayers, letters, emails, packages, etc. have made a difference in my mission. It has meant the world to me and helped me through many a number of incredibly hard days, weeks, and months.
I know that this gospel is true and that it will bless any and all of God's children that simply accept and apply it. This gospel truly does work! I have seen it time and time again in my life and in the lives of those that I have served here in Ohio. Heavenly Father knows and loves every single one of His children. I have no idea how, but I know that He does. His plan for us will bring us more joy than anything that we could ever plan for ourselves. I know that trials strengthen us. I am happy that I can now say that I am grateful for my trials. They have brought me closer to my Heavenly Father and helped me to know him more fully and deeper than I ever could have otherwise. I know that God is always here for us, no matter what. I know that the power of the Atonement of Christ is real and that it will help us to achieve more than we ever could on our own. I know that my Savior lives.
I love these two incredible people SO MUCH!!! It breaks my heart to have to say goodbye. :(
Last letter to Momma and Poppa :(
A big piece of my heart will always be in St. Marys, Ohio
SO SAD to be leaving my little Sister Hemenway :(
I got to have one more Felver dinner!!! :D Tender mercy. I wuv their wittle animals!!! See if you can spot all 3
More like exiting.....Man that day feels like forever ago, yet just last week.
I LOVE MY NINGANINGS!!!!!!!!
St. Marys really was just the perfect place for me :) We need to get pet chickens!!!!
One of the most amazing families I have met on my mission. I want to be just like all of them when I grow up!!
LIMANITE DISTRICT for life!!!
Lil' Maurrer :) He is just the cutest!! He took all of us missionaries out to pizza yesterday.
We went to go take pictures out back and then they put their nasty little cow breeding stuff on me and forced me to wear it!!
I LOVE MY HOMBRES!
I am going to miss them SO SO SO SO MUCH!!!!
She loved it! (Sis. Olds' CF treatment)