Hello, everybody! How are you all doing in your various locations? I am doing quite well here in Rexburg, Idaho.
If you haven’t guessed by now, you may realize that I finished my two-year mission in Fukuoka, Japan. Yes, I know this post is a bit late. After all, it’s been nearly nine months since I finished and returned home. I keep intending to write my “final” mission post to tie it all up, but have been putting it off. Well, this is it. I am finally taking the time, and have just a few parting thoughts that I’d like to share.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity which I had to serve as a missionary in Japan. I cannot say that I really wanted to serve a mission before I did it. I am not one of those people that had that desire since childhood, when I sang “I Hope They Call Me On a Mission” in church with all the other primary children. Growing up, those words never really struck a chord with me. Not that I didn’t think that I shouldn’t have that desire, but there were a lot of things that I had fears about being a missionary. However, I knew that it was something that I needed to do, and finally – after laying aside my fears (I didn’t really overcome them at the time, but just decided to ignore them and hope that the Lord would take care of things – which he did) and taking care of some other things that were holding me back – I eventually found myself on the way to the MTC. Then I was in Japan, with no idea what was going on, but grateful for my wonderful, amazing, hilarious, fun trainer. Then I was training a new missionary myself. Then I was on my way home. Obviously there were a great many things that happened in between those, but I realize now that one thing the Lord taught me on my mission was that my fears and worries were unfounded. Those things really didn’t matter by the end.
I would say that for any of you who are reading this and feel that you should serve a mission (or know somebody else who is at this point), but have fears, worries, doubts, or anything else that is holding you back, just go. Serve a mission, put your life in the Lord’s hands. I promise that if you are willing to try, work, and pray as hard as you can – perhaps harder than you ever have before – by the end you will be grateful for the experience and the great blessings that you received as the Lord’s representative. It is a great opportunity to allow the Lord to make more of you than you could ever make of yourself during that time. Certainly there are great difficulties and trials as a missionary, but through those trials there is also great joy. It is hard work, but it is worth it.
Thank you to each of you who have been part of this great experience. I enjoyed reading your emails to me. I hope that you have learned something from the experiences that I shared during those two years. Thanks for being such great friends. I look forward to sharing the next two years with you – and many more following those.
I hope you all have a great day, a superb week, and a fabulous year!