6:25 A.M. Seattle Time
January 26, 2013
In a few hours I’ll be home and with my family. WOW. After a little prayer and thinking on this plane ride I’m feeling really good about what the next stage in life holds in store. I’ve got to use everything I’ve learned in these last 2 years to go be the person my Heavenly Father needs me to be. Nervous? Yes. Fearful? No. Full of hope and faith for what the future will hold in store.
I’m proud (the okay kind) for what I’ve done these last 2 years. I helped people change their lives. I represented Christ. I absorbed. I evolved. I changed through the atonement. I learned what it’s like to have the spirit, and I loved it. I know the Lord is pleased with my efforts. He confirmed that to me by the spirit. I desire to continue to serve Him. I have no regrets about my time as a missionary, and it feels amazing to say that. But I do not glory in myself, I glory in the fact that I answered a call, gave my entire heart, might, mind, and strength to the Lord, and in turn accomplished His will and helped build His kingdom. I love Him with all my heart.
I feel like I left everything in Taiwan. Sweat, Tears, Energy, Love… everything, my heart. And in turn God is letting me take so much more home. What I’ve learned in these last 2 years couldn’t be learned from the teachings of the finest professors at the best universities in the world. No, I learned it on the streets of Taiwan, amid the exhaust of scooters and the smell of stinky tofu. Sweating on hot and humid Taiwan summer days or drenched in a heavy rain, all while talking to as many Taiwanese brothers and sisters as possible and testifying to them of Christ. I learned it when I looked Yang LiAn in the eyes and told her God loves her. I learned it when I placed my hands on Huang QingChuan’s head to give him a priesthood blessing and promised him an eternal family and the strength to quit smoking. I learned it as I witnessed the restored priesthood authority seal the Zhang family for eternity. I learned it as I testified to Zhang YanRou about the power of the atonement and how it allows us to change and overcome our weaknesses. I learned it when I raised my right arm to the square and having been commissioned of Jesus Christ baptized my brothers and sisters in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
One of those brothers being Guo BingJun who was born in Mainland China in 1930; I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1991, but I know I knew Brother Guo Long before we met in Taiwan or either of us came to this earth. I know I promised to bring him the gospel in the pre-earth life. I learned it and relearned it every time I looked a recent convert in the eyes following their reception of the Holy Ghost. I learned it every time I kneeled in anger toward God feeling he’d in some way shorted me or one of my investigators only to lose a wrestle, learn humility the hard way… again, and have a reconfirmation that God loves me and my investigators and as long as I’m doing my part the Lord will take care of the rest. I learned that when the vision of the person I want to become matches the vision of what He wants me to become, true happiness and progression are found.
The things I learned I know I’ll use forever. Taiwan will always be a part of me. This mission will always be a part of me. The name tag will soon come off, but the heart it hung over is changed forever. It will always be with me. I’m so grateful for literally every second of the last 2 years. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve loved serving Him.