this is from september 9, 2014.
I’ll be completely honest, coming home from a mission is hard. I miss my España, the people, the missionaries, the culture, but mainly i miss that spirit that you carry as a missionary. I miss feeling that close to God every day. I never really realized how powerful that spirit was that I was given as a missionary until it was gone. Yes, i can definitely still feel the spirit although i’m no longer a missionary but it’s different. Any return missionary will understand what i’m talking about. For a year and a half, I tried to be as obedient as possible and in result the holy ghost was my constant and very noticeable companion. There were no distractions, no hindrances, no outside worries; just full focus on the Lord each and every day.
I still feel God’s mercy in my life. Yes, i am finding that i have to pay a little more attention to that but his mercy and love has not changed. Nor will it ever change. His love is unchanging.
Life isn’t perfect. Life is hard, it’s wonderful, it’s bitter, it’s sweet, it’s painful, and it’s joyous.
Once again the atonement makes that all possible. It’s the reason God can know and answer our prayers. It’s the reason we can find happiness again after so much pain.
What i learned on my mission has shaped and provided a guide for the rest of my life. For example:
The other day I was trying to drive to my first day of an internship for my program at BYU when the car I was driving broke down, leaving me helpless and stranded. It had already been such a stressful and difficult week and as I was already overwhelmed, this was my breaking point. Humiliated, I had to call in and tell the people at my internship that I wouldn’t be able to make it for my first day. Starting off with a bad impression wasn’t exactly what i was hoping for. As i hung up the phone, I slammed my hand against the steering wheel and began to form a fist to shake towards heaven for allowing this to happen when I had a bit of a flashback of some specific moments of my mission. I was taken back to a specific night when I came back home after a day where everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong. I remember throwing myself on my bed, shaking my fist towards heaven and asking God “why? why lord? You know just how much i need this and how important this is to me! why?” The Lord let me know that He was in charge and that everything would work for my good. He reminded me that His son atoned for all of those bitter moments so that they could become sweet through him. I remember falling to my knees in humble tears as i remembered all God had done for me. It was in moments like those that i knew that God has a plan for me and that everything would work out in time.
In my broken-down car, I was overtaken by those same emotions of gratitude and humility as I recognized that there was a reason for this and that the Lord knows better. this was just the humility check that i needed. I so desperately needed a moment to remember my dependance on God and how much he loves me. Yeah, i was frustrated that i had had such a rough week but as soon as i remembered those mission experiences that frustration melted away and was replaced with nothing but love and gratitude. Once again i was able to say, “thank you lord. for loving me enough to cut me down. For loving me enough to hurt me” -Elder Christofferson.
Gratitude softens the hardest, most bitter hearts
Once again, I learned the importance of “Come what may and love it”