So, for convenience for anybody who wants to keep track of whats goin down on the east coast for the next two years, I've converted the blog I used to have (which I never really used) into my mission blog. Every week, the emails I send home to my family will be posted here. Unfortunately, I'm only allowed to write emails to my direct family...but I'd love to get letters from you all! The addresses are on the right. I'll be flying back east on the first week of March, and the addresses will be updated as I get transferred from area to area. So yeah. Expect this blog to be updated every week for the next two years! And since I'm leaving tomorrow and the first email won't come in for about a week, I guess I'll make this the first entry!
Man. I really cannot believe I'm leaving on my mission already. Like seriously. I feel WAY too young to be doing this. I watched as my brother, his friends, and as the upperclassmen all left for their missions and thinking how cool it would be being as old as them and get to serve on my mission. I never knew it would sneak up on me so fast! But I think I've figured out why the Lord asks 19 year-old young men and 21 year-old young women to serve for him. It's because we don't know very much yet. I know I don't know half as much as I feel I should to be a truly effective missionary. But because I'm not fully knowledgeable with every in and out of the gospel, I'll be able to teach more simply and rely more on the spirit, and I know that will make me a more effective teacher. Leaving for my mission is really hard though. I know I'm leaving behind some AMAZING friends and the GREATEST family, and who knows how things are going to change during the next two years. To be frank, the thought of not seeing many of you in two years because of marriage or moving or whatever the reason makes me terribly sad. But, I know the Lord needs me as a missionary for the next two years, and that he's asked me to be willing to sacrifice everything I have to building his kingdom, so that's exactly what I plan to do. Plus, I know that the most important people in my life will stay in touch. These next two years will fly by. I know they will. I'm already dreading that fact.
I'll try to not bear my testimony in every letter I send home, but I feel the need to do it at least once before I leave. I want all of you to know that I know I'm not going to spend the next two years teaching something I don't know is true and right. I've made sure of that. I went through a time when I didn't know if I should because I wasn't sure if I knew it was true. But as I read the scriptures and prayed, I felt myself filled with the love of the Savior, and the Spirit testified to me that this gospel really is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I know its true with all my heart. I know the Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that the Book of Mormon is a true testamant of Jesus Christ. I know the Plan of Salvation is real, and that we have the ability to live forever with real happiness with our family in the presence of our Father. I urge all of you to grow closer to the Savior. He stands with arms open to anyone willing to go unto Him. It took me a long time to overcome my pride and do so myself, and now that I have, I've felt more happiness than I ever have before. I love all of you so much, and I can't wait to hear from you all and see how we both change over the next two years.
God be with you til we meet again.