Sister Boyson is down to her last few days. For the most part she's really excited to go home and see her family, but after just about every lesson this week she made a comment along the lines of "Being a missionary is the best thing ever. This is so much fun." She's been reflecting a lot on what her mission has been like, and it's been interesting to hear her stories and hear her think back on if she was successful and if she did enough.
I think all missionaries have a tendency to think that they should have done more, that they could have had more success, especially since this mission isn't exactly a high baptizing mission. I think it's easy for us to look back and to feel like in 18 months surely we could have done more, all the successes and the miracles look pretty meager. But what Sister Boyson and I have talked about a lot this past week is how life isn't like an Ensign article. Very rarely does everything fall into place and result in people choosing to make changes in their lives.
We've talked about how we've both seen a lot of miracles, but most of the miracles never resulted in a baptism or a reactivation. And so we tend to think that those miracles don't "count", like it's not a real miracle unless it has a perfect happy ending. And that's a silly thing to think. All those miracles that we've seen are really amazing and worth talking about, even though the happy ending we all want hasn't quite happened yet. In some cases I don't think we'll see the happy ending till the very end, when we're able to stand before God and account for our mission, and see what a profound effect we actually did have.
That's what I love about missions, is that the effects of my mission won't end when I go home. It will really continue forever. After all, I'm on a mission as a result of Mom's mission, and Dad's missionaries, and the missionaries way back who converted the first Terry and Smith relatives, and everyone in between who may never have actually been a full-time missionary but who decided to live the gospel, and those who reached out to family who strayed.
I'm here because Grandpa Terry went on a mission, and because Grandma made the decision to marry someone who could marry her in the temple. It's amazing to think that my mission will have a similar effect on my family and all the people I've talked to while I've been in South Carolina. Missions really are amazing.
I'm really going to miss Sister Boyson. We've had a lot of fun together, as you can tell from the amount of quotes I have from her; she's hilarious. It's crazy to think that I'll be able to see her in a few months from now, at my homecoming. Last Monday we got together with almost all the missionaries in the zone and played ultimate Frisbee at a park in downtown Columbia. It was so fun, and it made me think about something that Dad emailed me about last week, about how important it is to have friends who are men and women of God. I've made a lot of those friends on my mission, and I can already tell that's going to be a big help to me later on in my life.
The big miracle this week was that a less active member we've been working with came to church! It was the best thing ever to see his home teacher spot him in the chapel and come over and talk to him. He was very surprised to see him; everyone was. And his wife was so happy to have him with her; it was just a great thing to have him there.