Back in the 801.

Everyone. It is so good to be back. Of course, I’m definitely missing Pennsylvania something awful. But, I have had such a great few weeks getting home and being able to spend time with family and friends. Much has changed, but there is an undeniable familiarity and sense of home that comes from being, well, home. I have felt the spirit so strongly as I have continued to seek after good things and I have been so grateful for the small, delicate witnesses of the Lord’s love and awareness for me as I have made this transition back to civilian life. There will be things that will be weird to get used to for quite some time to come, I’m sure. But I have been grateful that my transition has been about as smooth-sailing as I ever could’ve imagined. I’m excited to be back in a position where I can blog about whatever I darn well please and hopefully share some goodness in this world.

Love yinz. Keep it classy.

familypicture!

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Back in the 801.

Mission Accomplished!!

.. stole that little tagline from Aimee. So creds go to her! I’m not as clever as it seems.
I cannot believe that this has all finally come to an end. It’s really been a great last week. But, it’s been filled with ups and downs. It’s been amazing how much I’ve learned about the doctrine of “enduring to the end” just in the past seven days. Satan literally has tried everything he possibly could think of to get me to throw in the towel and finish without a fight. But let me tell you, I told that Satan to scram! This week has been as busy as ever. We have been doing so many different things and my mind has been filled with so many thoughts.
This week, Elder Durham invited me to ponder what I have learned most from my mission. Then after I pondered it, he asked me to present a lesson on it during district meeting. It was a really good experience to be able to reflect on the things that I’ve learned. And honestly, overall, I’ve just learned so much about my divine heritage. I’ve probably said that before. But the knowledge and insight I’ve gained into the Plan of Salvation is truly amazing and will continue to bless my life. The understanding I’ve gained and the testimony I have that God is there for us and so aware of every acute detail of my life and of everyone else’s lives is so strong. And everything revolves back around that.
The quote that has been written on the back of my planner and that I have reflected on often during this last transfer is this:
“Endings are not our destiny….The more we learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that  endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions–temporary pauses that will one day seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful. How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.” –President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
As I’m at the end of my mission, of course I feel a lot of emotions. I feel anxious, excited, sad, happy, curious, determined, you name it. But the overarching feeling is just peace. Of course, my mission hasn’t been perfect. It’s been anything but easy. But it has been oh so good. God is good. He truly is. I’ve been so blessed. The blessings from serving a mission haven’t even hardly begun yet and my heart is already overflowing with gratitude. In the email he sent to the mission, President Johnson sent this quote today:
“You are making a sacrifice, but it is not a sacrifice because you will get more than you give up, you will gain more than you give, and it will prove to be an investment with tremendous returns. It will prove to be a blessing instead of a sacrifice. No one who ever served this work as a missionary, who gave his or her best efforts, need worry about making a sacrifice because there will come blessings into the life of that individual for as long as he or she lives. I have not the slightest doubt about that.” –President Gordon B. Hinckley
It’s been a fabulous ride. I’m so glad I came. See you soon everyone.
P.S.
For Halloween, I was a dying missionary.. Haha. Knee slapper, I know. Sis. Kerby was Mary. 🙂
Vicky took us to Chocolate World… 🙂
Mission Accomplished!!