"The last step of any journey is the first step of an even greater adventure" - A Wrinkle in Time
As you may have guessed from the quote, my journey as a missionary is coming to an end. And what a journey it's been! I've learned and grown so much that I can't even begin to describe it all. But I'd like to use this last post as a chance to share just a few of the things I've learned in the last 18 months and what I'm going to do with them afterward.
First of all, I've learned the value and the rewards that come from working hard. A mission isn't just teaching and having fun. A mission takes a lot of work and dedication. But the reward of hard work is undeniable. You really learn to have joy in the work. And I will continue to work hard. I still have two years of school left plus I need to find a job! So I will never let myself become lazy and unproductive like I was before this journey. Because without work there is no progression and no improvement. I will use every moment to do something that will help me or someone else become better than they were before.
Second, I've learned what it truly means to love like the Savior loves. That has been something I've been working on for a long time, and I'm seeing the fruits of it. My relationships with people--members, those I'm teaching, my companions, other missionaries--are so much stronger. And you know something? The secret to an unbreakable relationship is love and sacrifice on another's behalf. Just like Christ sacrificed his very life in an act of love for us, I will sacrifice for others. I want to strengthen my relationships with my family and current friends as well as forge new friendships that will last. And I know that the first thing I have to do is love them. Then I have to show them that love, by making small sacrifices for them. Hopefully in the process their love for me will grow, too :)
Third, I've learned how to overcome weaknesses. It's a hard thing to do, especially because it means admitting you have weaknesses in the first place. But it's always worth it. One of the scriptures that has come to mean the most to me during my mission is found in The Book of Mormon, in the book of Ether chapter 12 verse 27: "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble, and my grace is sufficient for all men who do humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." I know this promise is true because I've seen it. I started my mission with so many flaws and imperfections, but I've overcome so many of them through faith and reliance on the Savior.
Lastly and most importantly, I've truly come to know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the true gospel. Only through the path that Jesus Christ has shown us can we become like our Father in Heaven. I now know, without a single doubt and with all of my heart, that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. He is the only way back to the Father, and He has shown us that way. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true Church of Jesus Christ.
My mission has literally changed my life, and I know that I will continue to see the blessings of my mission from this moment on.
Sister Hurd, Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, signing out.
PS: Check out my new blog, A Writer's Cache!