I don’t quite think I understood all that I was about to experience when I decided I want to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. All my young life, nothing brought me greater joy than the Gospel of Jesus Christ; but what brought me even greater joy was sharing it with others. I knew that serving a mission is what God had called for me to do for just a short 18 months. They are 18 months I would never trade for the world! They were the most rewarding, trying, humbling, beautiful, sacred 18 months of my entire existence.
Spokane Washington was my home. I had the best companions (who are all seriously my dearest friends), I served in the best areas, I taught the best people, and served and labored and loved among some of the most amazing people in the world. My mission was trying; mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and there were multiple times where I just wanted to “throw in the towel” and go home. Heavenly Father had a better plan for me. Through the grace and mercy of His Son, Jesus Christ, I was able to finish and complete an honorable mission for the Lord.
I expected as a missionary to go out into the mission field and change peoples lives and see all these miracles and feel so much joy…. and I did. But something I did not expect to discover was the change that was occurring inside myself. I found myself as I lost myself in the service of God and His children. It’s amazing what the Atonement can do to our hearts and lives if we just let Him. My Mission President would always remind us “It’s not your mission that’s changing you… it’s the gospel that’s changing you.” And that brought me such great joy when my 18 months were up, to know that I can continue to learn and progress and change, even though I wasn’t going to be a full time missionary anymore.
I MISS MY MISSION SO MUCH. There isn’t a day, I honestly don’t think that there’s even an hour that I go without thinking about my mission and all the wonderful experiences that I had. I miss the schedule, I miss the constant service and teaching and loving and working and bruised knees and tears and earnest prayers and constant flow of the Holy Spirit. I thank Heavenly Father every day for blessing me with such an incredible experience to be His humble servant. But I am reminded daily that my mission was just training for the rest of my life. I have to prove faithful in this environment as well! I can still teach, and serve, and love, and labor in the behalf of others. For isn’t that what the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about?