It is a very surreal feeling that is the last email that I will send as a missionary. I have learned so very much, and have gained so many experiences. We had the opportunity this week to go to Karlstejn, a castle outside of Prague, and close to Karlstejn is a place called Priests Hill where over 80 years ago the Czech/Slovak Mission was dedicated. We began by singing my favorite hymn: The Spirit of God. The words of the 2nd verse have stuck out to me:
2. The Lord is extending the Saints’ understanding,
Restoring their judges and all as at first.
The knowledge and power of God are expanding;
The veil o’er the earth is beginning to burst.
There are miracles of a mission when we see others come unto Christ through baptism which is incredible and can never be forgotten, but the greatest miracle of a mission is the one of your own personal conversion. As that verse states, I have felt my understanding extend, the knowledge and power of God come forth as his servant, and ultimately my connection and relationship with God become closer than ever before. Almost as if the "veil beings to burst".
Over the last two years I have felt so much joy, accompanied by times of sorrow. I have seen testimonies strengthened, and others lose their testimony. I can leave saying that I have no regrets. I can leave saying I strived for 100% obedience from day 1 to the final day. I worked hard, and gave it my all. I am very grateful for that. I have witnessed the creation of a stake of Zion and its growth, but ultimately I have seen the solidification of my testimony of these eternal truths:
I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father that knows us, cares for us, and loves more than we can even imagine. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and through his redeeming grace we are saved after all that we can do. I know that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Christ's restored church here on earth. Restored by a prophet of God, Joseph Smith, and is led today by a living day Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. I know that ultimately our relationship with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is the only way to help us to find joy wherever we may be in our lives.