WOW CAN'T BELIEVE I'VE ALREADY BEEN ON MISSION FOR ONE MONTH!!!!
It's been how long?
Nooo man that can't be...
HOLY HANNAH MONTANA
Well the rumours are true... I've been in South Africa for a whole year! I can't even explain how I feel to think that my mission is halfway over... Bittersweet... but I think it's mostly bitter.. I don't want to go home!! (Sorry Mom)
The past year of my life has been (wait for super cliche) the best year of my life!! I can't even think of anything else to say. I literally do not have words to express my gratitude and my love for the Lord because He has allowed me to grow and transform in ways that I could never foresee!! God is so good! I love my Heavenly Father!! Eish, I wish I could just send a 10 hour voice recording of my telling stories and sharing my feelings about the past year.. But I can't. So, I'll do my best to express it over this keyboard.
The past year of my life has been so refining. The Lord has cast light on my deepest imperfections -- the past year has been one of the most uncomfortable and most awkward of my life -- but I have become a greater man because of it! I know that missionary service for 18 year old boys and 19 year old girls is evidence that Father is wise. The past year has taught me lessons that I don't think I could ever learn anywhere else at this time in my life! More importantly, I have learned more about responsibility, spirituality, and the gospel in the past 365 days than I have in my entire life! God knows how important this period of time is in the lives of young adults, so to springboard us into those years he sends us on missions to learn about and master what matters most!
This past year has also been the most challenging year of my life! I have never been so stressed or frustrated as I have on mission! I have also never felt so much love and so much peace in my life!
My personal conversion to this gospel has grown more than I can ever begin to explain. Before I left on mission I definitely had a testimony that the church was true, that Jesus Christ lived, and that the gospel was the best (and only) way to live my life -- BUT today -- I literally cannot deny the absolute validity and total necessity of the gospel in my life! I cannot live without the knowledge and testimony that I have now; it is a beacon of strength that I can lean on when I feel like I have nothing more to give, it is a pillar of comfort when I feel like I'm being drowned in responsibilities, it is a seat of hope that constantly uplifts me and keeps my spirits high when discouragement runs around me!!
Dangit I can't even tell you how true this church is. This is the Church of Jesus Christ. I cannot deny that. I always joke that I can never join another church because this gospel has ruined every other options!! hahaha! Simply, I know that God speaks to us through prophets today -- President Thomas S. Monson and the Quorum of the Twelve are called by inspiration and that if we follow them we will find great joy and great protection from the evils and the dangers of this world. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that the Atonement is SO real. I have seen it change others and I have most definitely seen it change me; for that, I am eternally indebted to Him. We all are. He payed the price that we never can (Alma 22:16) and the only way that we can show our gratitude (because we can never pay him back) is to serve Him! To do what He says we need to do! Christ has suffered all things (Alma 7:11-13) so He is the perfect person to give commandments and laws, He has never asked us to do anything that is TOO hard, He knows perfectly our limits and bounds!
I love Jesus Christ so much. I can't even tell ya.
Well, this is getting long. So I guess I'll wrap it up..
If I can recommend anything, it's that all able bodied people should prepare to serve missions and get into the field ASAP! It will bless you life more than anything else you can possibly imagine! Mission will do for you what nobody/nothing else ever can!
And finally, thank you to everybody that has supported me in the past year! If you're still reading these every week, shout out to you. I love you so much. I love all the emails and letters of love and support, they really help me when I'm feeling down! "Mission is not easy mfethu" (inside joke, sorry)
BUT that's it. People to teach. Gospel to share. Ward to build.
Peace and Love,
Just chillin with my rhino friends (This was terrifying!)
Found two new investigators tracting this week!
Got my turtle and ready to go!!
Best dinner appointment ever!! We called him "Smiley".
This spider has been on the wall at my study desk for like 4 weeks, I was going to kill him, but he only has 7 legs... So I have sympathy for him.
The pump in our baptismal font is broken... So this is how we empty it!