And kind of good bye, I suppose. I first want to thank you all for your love and prayers and emails and letters and packages and everything else you have done for me over these last two years. You have honestly done so much to help me make my mission the greatest thing I've ever done in my life. That being said, I guess it's just about over, and I suppose the Lord needs me somewhere else now. Whatever this next chapter in my life brings, I want you all to know that I intend to cleave to the Lord through all of it. I may not be a missionary anymore (in a few days) but I still plan on doing all of the things in my life-daily prayer, scripture study, church and temple attendance, service, etc- to keep me close to God and His Spirit. I hope that my mission has changed me, and I plan on continuing to become the best man that I can be through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I also want to wish one of the best men I know a Happy Father's Day! Nelson Hafen is honestly the best father that I could ever ask for, and I've realized that a heck of a lot more over these two years. I think no Skype call on Father's Day is a good reflection of fathers and the quiet, often unnoticed, but incredibly important work they do to ensure their families are safe, secure, and happy. I'm so grateful for the good and hard-working man my dad is, and I'm also so grateful that he and my mother have done so much to ensure I grew up in a family that was built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. I love you Dad!
Our other less actives are doing well. Amber(Stake President's daughter) had us over again, and we had a great time! We brought the Relief Society President as well as Laksh, our favorite Indian recent convert. He's also our only Indian recent convert, but I'm sure you get the picture. ;) I think Amber is starting to develop some good relationships with the members of the ward, and I'm excited to see what comes of that. Jake is doing good as well. We talked about Enduring to the End with him, and it was pretty sad to say goodbye to him. He's a really good guy, and it's been a pleasure to know him. Sam and Bernie are good as ever. We're still anxious to see them engaged, but we went over and taught a sweet lesson on repentance with the sisters who will be their family ward missionaries, and the Spirit was definitely there. Lots of good stuff happening. I'll be sad to leave this area, but I know I'm leaving it in the more-than-capable hands of Elder Averett and, more importantly, the Lord.
I got the chance to finally do a musical number in our sacrament meeting on Sunday, and I sang "I Need Thee Every Hour". I just want to share the words of the third verse really quick:
I want to bear my testimony that that is so true. There have been times in my life and in my mission when I forget how much I need the Lord, and it truly does make things vain. I'm going to try to remember that for the rest of my life, because I'm sure I'm going to have a lot of joyful as well as a lot of painful times just in the next few days as I end my mission and return home. Whatever is happening, though, I will always need my Savior. For "I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not
boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." (Alma 26:12)
I will praise my God forever for the blessings He's poured out on me for this time. I'm so grateful for the chance I've had to see miracles, and especially the miracle of my brothers and sisters coming unto Christ to be perfected in Him. I love Him so much. I'm grateful for His loving, atoning sacrifice, and I know it's a reality. I cannot deny that my Heavenly Father knows me and hears and answers my prayers. I also know that He loves each and every individual on this earth, because we are all of His children. We are all one big, heavenly family, and I know we can be that way again. I can't wait for that day, when I will be able to rest with all of you in the Kingdom of God. (D&C 15)
Thank you all again so much. I'll see some of you soon. And I know I'll see some others of you again. I love you all so much. Be good! Have fun!