Sunday, December 22, 2013

Good Bye, Lousiana.

The time has come, this is it... my last email home as a missionary. My emotions are all out of wack to say the least. I feel like a pregnant women, tired,sad, depressed, happy, excited, relieved, nervous, scared,  and thrilled all at the same time. I'm so glad I'm a man!

Anyway, this week was full of sending things home, throwing things away, packing, saying good byes, bearing lots of testimonies and saying a lot of prayers. Who would have ever thought that some place like Louisiana would capture your heart. But it has truly done that and even more. I love everything about this place. 

As I look around and realize that these are the last few days I will spend here as a full time representative of the Savior, I can't help but to be thankful. The lessons I've learned out here have been priceless and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have had the lowest of lows and the highest of highs, highs that can not be explained in words, Being able to bear testimony in strangers' home and having confidence that what I am saying will change there lives, has been such a blessing and I hope to never forget that. I have gained an understanding of the doctrines of this church that will help me live righteously for the rest of my life. If I ever slip or falter it will not be because I did not understand, that will never be the excuse. For I know what is expected of me, but I also know that I will make mistakes. Luckily, I learned what repentance is and I have grown to love it and to feel what it's like. I know that we have a Father in Heaven that watches out for us and never leaves us alone or without help. He restored the gospel back on the earth so we could benefit from all of His blessings that he has to offer, and that can only be found in the ordinances performed by the priesthood. 

I remember the Christmas before I came on my mission mom and dad got me a set of scriptures. I remember being so ungrateful and really bitter that they would waste a gift at Christmas to give me scriptures. Well mom and dad I am truly sorry, I really, really sorry. I am sorry because at the time I did not realize how much I would grow to love the scriptures, and now those very scriptures that I was so ungrateful for, are now my most prized possession. So thank you mom and dad, that is the best gift I could ever ask for. I know the Book of Mormon to be true. Every page. Every line. Every word. It has gave me meaning to my life, and gives me hope to get through hard times. 

I love my mission. It means everything to me. But I don't want to dwell on it or have it be the climax of my life. I look forward to applying the life lessons I've learned to help me be a better son, brother, husband, father and disciple of Jesus Christ. 

I want y'all to know, that I have a testimony of the Savior, I know he is there and I know he atoned for us. 

I want to thank everyone that has suported me over the last few years. Whether it's from letters, emails, prayers or just thinking of me. I have felt that strength. So thank you. I  am so excited to see y'all in just a few short days. Love yall and see you soon :)

2 Extra Weeks

I have also been praying for understanding on why I needed to stay here in Louisiana for 2 weeks longer, I want to make sure that I accomplish that before I go home. I didn't want it to be just a time for me to not work hard and be a burden to my companions and the ward. As I've been praying for those things I feel the spirit teaching me things daily reasons why I still need to be here. Both for myself and for others. One of those is that Monica texted us this week and said that she wants to repent and come back. You have no idea how much that meant to me, I have been praying for them daily and I've been repenting like crazy because I blamed myself for them leaving. I felt like I wasn't doing enough to help them stay strong. So her saying that and then having an amazing lesson with her and Micheal with our bishop just really helped me see that I needed to be here for that. President Wall met with Micheal yesterday and is now back in the process of being baptized. So that was a huge tender mercy for me. I am grateful for the continual confirmations I have gotten for why I am here still. 

I was also able to go drop off the missionaries that I came out with this week. Surprisingly that wasn't weird at all. It felt like just any other trip to the airport dropping missionaries off. It really hasn't hit me yet, I'm sure it will once I'm at the airport with my own stuff. I'll probably be an emotional wreck. But I got another new companion. We are in a tripanionship... again. This is the 5th one of my mission. His name is Elder Asuao. He is from American Samoa. He is a great missionary and once I leave, he and Elder Helie will be great. So I'm not too worried, they are picking things up quick and I'm just doing my best to show them the ropes.

I'll save my testimony for next week, but I love y'all and I'm sooo excited to see you in 10 days. Thank you for your support and prayers. Love and miss you tons.