What I'm realizing now is how much my mission has prepared me for the rest of my life. I've learned so much during the last 18 months, and I've developed so many good habits, and it's been really cool to see how my missionary self can fit into my "normal life", although I'm still definitely adjusting and learning to make myself fit in here again.
Before I left on my mission, my mission prep teacher gave us some really good advice. She suggested that when we get to the end of our mission, we take a minute and think about the things that we know now that we didn't know before. During my last personal study on my mission I did that, and I'd like to share some of what I learned.
- Missionary work is all about following the spirit. If you don't listen to the spirit, you will never succeed. If you do listen to the spirit, you will always succeed.
- Make decisions with the big picture in mind, think about what's best in the long-term, not just immediately.
- We can have hope even in hopeless circumstances because of Jesus Christ.
- Life is about learning to make the best of less than perfect circumstances.
- The gospel is for everyone, and any point in their lives. Living the gospel is always the right thing to do.
- To be a sister means to love unconditionally, to always see the good, to forgive quickly.
- Never postpone a prompting.
- If you want something, make it happen.
- Being clean means we clean up our mistakes quickly.
- Miracles don't always have picture perfect happy endings, and it takes effort to make miracles happen.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is not the only good church in the world, but it is the only true church.
- As we use the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we will become so much more than we though we were ever capable of becoming.
And then this was the biggest thing I learned, the theme of my mission.
Trust in the Lord.
His plan is better than my plan. His timing is better than my timing. His way is better than my way. His measure of success is better than my measure of success.
I will always and forever love South Carolina, and always and forever be a missionary. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and it has made all the difference in my life. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to dedicate 18 months of my life to sharing it.
To everyone who wrote me, prayed for me, fed me, served with me, and in any other way helped me, thank you so much. I couldn't have done it without all the support I had.