I doubt anyone reads this blog anymore, considering the fact that I'm HOME now, but I figured I could at least tie up this blog with one last post.
I am being completely honest when I say that it was fifty times harder to LEAVE my mission than it was to go on my mission. It truly was the most incredible, life-changing experience that I have ever had. I am so grateful for the lessons I learned, for the people I met, and most importantly for the person that I became.
The "transition" back from a mission is a whole new experience in itself! I definitely had my fair share of awkward moments and running away from boys and talking to myself in the car because I missed having a companion. I still find myself missing the mission almost every day, especially because right after I left, the Ft. Lauderdale temple was finished and they had an open house and then the dedication. It was hard to leave right before that, but I've had multiple experiences since being home that helped me recognize that I am WHERE God wants me to be WHEN He wants me to be here. Even though I wanted to stay in Florida for six more weeks, God's timing was, of course, impeccable. I was needed here. And within the next week, I'll be moving onto the next adventure and I fully trust that God will continue to lead me to the people I am supposed to meet.
I think one of the coolest things for me to recognize since being home is that even though I'm not a missionary anymore, I am STILL progressing spiritually. I am STILL growing in my understanding of the gospel. I am still becoming a better person. In fact, I think that I am a better person now than I was 2 1/2 months ago when I stepped off that plane. I am still dedicated to becoming more like Christ and I've learned that it is possible even without that black nametag. I remember at one point during my mission when I was at a church meeting and someone said, "The real test of your mission is going to be AFTER you get home. Being a missionary is easy. Continuing to apply the things you learned in the real world is the hard part." They were SOO right! It is difficult to be here in the world where there are so many distractions. There is a lot more temptation and a lot more opportunity to go astray. However, there are still many opportunities to serve and to be a good example in ways that I think you don't get as a missionary.
Well, I guess this is my final blog post. I can't live on my missionary blog forever. ;)
I haven't started blogging again back at my home blog, but I love blogging too much to stay away for an extended period of time. I'm sure I'll be back soon enough.
For now, enjoy this letter that I emailed to a bunch of my sisters the first week after I got home.