Well, here are some of the thoughts I had: as mom asked me to write down what I learned. I hope they make sense. I love you all! I am happy to see you soon!
So what did I learn from this experience? To tell you everything would require maybe a few years and there would be a book published out of what I would want to say. But I will try my best to express my feelings so that I can get the main message across. There will be small added things and I will emphasize everything in bullet points to keep my thoughts more organized. Ok, here we go.
- I have learned that the Book of Mormon is the most powerful tool we can use to find our direction in life. I have seen through the small, but what seemed immense at the time, difficulties that I faced on my mission, that I enjoyed my personal study of the scriptures. As I pondered about the reason why, I realized that it was because of the power of the Book of Mormon and other holy scripture. It is truly my daily bread and I see it so. As I read in the Book of Mormon daily, I felt a feeling of peace and comfort. Not only that, but I was able to use the scriptures that I read as friends to help me throughout my day. Now, I have become addicted to the Book of Mormon. That will be something that I will have to make sure that it is being done daily, and in the best conditions, before I start my day.
- I have learned the importance of setting goals. Sometimes, the most important thing is not reaching the goal, but living a life where I am constantly striving for a goal. I am not perfect at this, however, I have seen that through setting goals, I can become someone better, and reach that goal that Christ Himself gave us, to become perfect, even as He and the Father are perfect.
- To follow that, I learned that perfection is not reached in this life. It was not obtained during my time being a missionary. But it is a goal that should always be at the front of our minds, and that is, to be more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. scriptures teach us how to reach this goal and what life paths we need to take in order to accomplish it.
- I learned to always pick up after yourself, and that means immediately, and to not follow the "I will do it later" rule
- I learned the importance of cleaning
- I learned that it is always better to be early than late
- I learned that planning is a life habit for success
- I learned that exercise is the key to energy and being awake throughout your day
- I learned how to sit through a 6 hour meeting and not fall asleep and actually pay attention
- I learned how to bear my testimony
- I have learned how to adapt myself to my surroundings
- I have learned how to be a good listener. It requires love, patience, and eye contact every now and again
- I have learned that the best of things are hard to do, but not impossible
- I have learned the German Language and have a basic structure of the language
- I have learned to trust my God. He is the one that knows all things. He even knows the thoughts and desires of my heart. And when I put my trust in Him, and do what He wants me to do, then our vision becomes one.
- I have learned that when you are full, not to eat anymore.
- I have learned the importance of keeping track of time.
- I have learned to love general conference and our general authorities. They are truly our watchmen on the tower. What they have to say to us is inspired and leads us back to the presence of our Eternal Father.
- I learned the importance of laughter.
- I have learned to capture the good moments, and sometimes that includes a camera.
- I have learned that it is important to greet all of our friends and family at church and notice that they came. Sometimes that requires talking to them for a while and seeing how they truly are doing. A handshake is good, but a handshake and concern for their well being is better.
- I have learned the importance of having the gospel in the home. A home centered on the gospel is a fortress against the things of the world. I have felt that in multiple occasions in the homes of the members that I was standing in fortified homes. That requires also effort and occasionally talking to your family even when they are sitting in the same room. Or even a weekly family home evening would be good as well.
- I learned to check the laundry and make sure that no colors got mixed with my whites.
- I have learned the importance of always having a study journal while studying the scriptures. I have no idea how to really use one, but whenever I had one, my study of the scriptures was a lot better.
- I have learned how quickly I can invite the Spirit into my life.
Feeling His presence is as warm as feeling the sun on my face. (And I lived for almost a year of cloudy skies and not really seeing the
sun.) When you can feel the presence of the Holy Ghost, then you know that the Comforter is with you, and that God is with you.
- To add to that thought as well, I have learned how quickly we can drive the Spirit away through our thoughtless words and actions. I have come to know that when I cannot feel the Spirit, there is almost a void in my feelings. A hole, that is not filled. That has become a warning bell for me and I need to then do the things to have the Spirit back in my daily activities. If that means a physical or mental removal from a certain place is necessary, that I will do it.
- I have learned the value counting my many blessings. Counting my blessings has helped me in my missionary life to see that God is always with me. It is also very humbling to know that He is very proactive in my life. I have learned how to count my blessings, by noticing the things that brought me joy or whenever I was grateful for a experience or sometimes a warm smile from a stranger. Those small blessings have brought me lasting joy.
And the list goes on and on. I can imagine myself adding things to the list in certain circumstances and by always remembering the wonderful things that happened on my mission. I think to end my learning process, I have learned that I am a Son of the living God.
That is the most powerful connection I have with the God who gave me life. He is watching out for me and is always by my side. I have seen how He helped his Son, Jesus Christ, and I know that He is standing there, willing to help me as He did him. As I read more about the life of Jesus Christ, I am at awe at the wonderful message that He shares with me. Not only what He said, but what He did for me has changed my life. I know that God and Jesus Christ live. Jesus Christ is my Redeemer. For God so loved the world, and that includes me, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe on Him, shall have eternal life. I believe that. I know that Joseph Smith was a chosen Prophet of God. He ushered in this last Dispensation of the Fulness of times. What does that mean? I know through the power of the Holy Ghost, that Joseph Smith restored the lost pieces of the Gospel that was taught in the Bible. Through the help of the Book of Mormon, another Testament of the Jesus Christ and His gospel, he was able to find answers to His questions. I believe that the Prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson is his authorized servant today, to receive the revelation for this church, for us as a body. This church is true. The Book of Mormon is true. That I know.
And these experiences that I have made, I leave them for anyone to read, and close in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Love you All! See you soon!