I don't think one can put into words just how much their mission means to them. When reflecting back on these 18 months, I can’t really think of anything terribly difficult that I faced. If anything I would say my biggest challenge was changing myself- changing my will to be the same as God’s will and do all that I could for Him. I haven’t gotten perfect at it- and I know that I still have a lot of to learn but I feel so very grateful that in this short time I have been able to more fully rely on Him. The moments that felt difficult at the time have passed, and I was able to pass them with Him by my side. This is one of the biggest things that I have learned that I know I will value the rest of my life. That I have been able to rely more fully on him truly have Him in everything I do. I can’t put into words all that I’ve learned here. I have learned how to be more loving, how to have genuine charity for those who I’ve never even met and to do all that is in my power to help them. I have sadly learned that although we so badly want to help these people, we have to accept that we were all given agency, and that in our lives there are just things that we often can’t control. But with that agency, I have been blessed to see people choose to follow God and his commandments. There is nothing more satisfying then seeing someone obey the comments of God not becuase you have begged them to, but because they truly have a desire to be able to come closer to Him. I imagine that that is how our Heavenly Father feels when he sees us willingly obey Him. And it has been a pleasure to learn and see the blessings that one recieves when they are exactly obedient. I have learned to love each of the commandments (or in our case mission rules) and truly hope that I can continue having this same enthusiasm when I get home so I may be able to do all that I can to return to live with my Heavenly Father. I just hope that I can put into practice all that I have learned and taught. I learned early on that it wasn’t enough to just teach The Restoration- I had to live it. And by living these principles that we teach everyday I have changed and have seen many people change in the process. And it’s funny- I taught the same things the leaders of the church have been teaching me my entire life: read the scriptures, praying, going to church, they are truly all the ingredients that we need and our Heavenly Father has given us to be better people. So now I just want to continue doing everything I have done. I want to continue giving my all to God and dilligently help in saving the lives of others both temporally and spiritually. I want to continue repenting and changing daily so I can continue feeling the presence of the Holy Ghost in my life. My biggest goal when I was came here was to be the best missionary I possibly could and I think that in my visión of that I felt I had to be perfect. But I am so grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ because I have learned that He doesn’t require us to be perfect but to just do all that we possibly can to be perfect. And like I’ve said, it has been a blessing to have this knowledge not only in my own life but to give that knowledge to others. I have become closer to my Heavenly Father in more ways than I could ever imagine and I feel so happy because I know that there is still so much to learn and do so I can become even closer to Him. I truly have enjoyed every single momento here- even the hot sweaty dirty ones because I have constantly had the queit reassurance that someone is there, constantly watching me and that this is all for my benefit and growth.
I know that this church is the true church of Jesus Christ. There is not one doubt in my heart. I have many questions- I’ve always been curious and I have a long list of books I want to study and read. But I have a firm testimony that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that testimony alone is all that I need to know that all that I have done in my life is not in vain. I love the temple and truly know that it is the house of the Lord. There is an unmistakeable precense when one walks in and I just hope that I can go as frequently as possible and do all I can to feel that spirit in my life. I know that Christ lives- I know because I have felt him and my Heavenly Father guiding me to return to them again. I know that my family can be together forever and look forward to the day that I can start one of my own. I knew all these things before I came here, but I have come here to learn what they mean, and now I must go home to help others know what I know.
And it came to pass that Hermana Snelson went her way towards her own house, pondering upon the things which the Lord had shown unto her. -Helaman 10:2
Love you all,