Today one of my friends from my mission posted that today would have been her last day as a missionary because she came home six months early like I did (you can read about that here). I guess I’ve been kind of in shock all day. Has it really been six months? I’m amazed at how quick it’s gone by. I never thought that it would be me who wouldn’t finish the full 18 months. Even though I was out for 12, I am sad that I didn’t get the last six months. My mission meant everything (and I mean everything–you can read more about that here) to me. There is nothing better than sharing the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and watching so many lives change each day.
Looking back at my mission, I don’t regret anything that happened while I was out. The only thing I regret is not being able to go back (stupid lungs and immune system). But if anything, I’ve learned several things these past six months:
1. The Lord has a greater plan for each of us and 99% of the time it’s Plan B. It’s been so interesting to see how perfectly everything has played out since I’ve been home and how much I was needed at home. Things are still hard from our new situation (and with the move coming up) but it has been amazing seeing the Lord’s hand in our everyday lives.
2. He’s always right . . . even when you don’t want Him to be. I can’t count how many times I pleaded with Heavenly Father to go back. I also can’t count how many times I got the answer of “No, you’re needed here right now.” I am grateful that I came home when I did because it was the right thing to do (not just physically) and that He already had a plan for me.
3. You don’t have to wear a name tag to be a missionary. The best part about being home is how I’ve been able to continue to be a missionary without the name tag. It’s been so cool watching people’s lives continue to change as I’ve shared my testimony and why I believe the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful that I’ve been able to continue to see the miracles of missionary work and the Gospel since I’ve been home.
4. Scripture study is essential (so is prayer and journal writing) for daily comfort, guidance, and peace. On the mission, there wasn’t a day that went by where I didn’t read the scriptures, pray, or write in my journal (well, maybe not so much the journal but still). It’s been shocking how much of a difference I’ve seen when I have not taken the time to make these things a priority. I’m still working on making it a habit each day but I am seeing a difference. Yay for scripture power and the power of prayer!
These are just some of the things that I’ve learned since I’ve been home. I’m sure that I’ll continue to add to this list but that’s all that I can think of off the top of my head. There are not enough words to describe how much the Gospel of Jesus Christ means to me and how much I love The Book of Mormon and the Bible. I’m so grateful to have the knowledge that I do and to have had the opportunity to share it with so many people on a daily basis. It was by far the best 12 months of my life!