This is part one of a…(insert future number I decide later post) part blog about my mission. Today is my 2 year mark of being home, and I wanted to write about it.
Time is one of the strangest things in this world. For example, I can’t wait for Christmas to get here, and I imagine it will take forever to actually get here. On the flip side, I don’t want finals to get here, but I swear they’re already knocking at the back door. I don’t know what evil tricks my mind plays on me, but this time thing might be the biggest one, and the biggest time trick is what I am going to blog about in this series.
My whole life, I have looked forward to two things. I credit my parents for instilling this into me, or beating me over the head with it, or teaching it with love…it was probably a mix of all three, but whatever they did worked. These two things have been get married in the temple and to serve a mission. No matter what else I did or wanted to do, I knew those were two of the most important things I could do. [As a side note, today is the 2 year mark since I’ve been home and 6 months of marriage. I thought it was cool that it was on the same day] As a kid though, I never thought I would actually serve a mission…it was some sort of far off goal that older kids did…superheroes in my mind to be more accurate.
Cue my senior year of high school… it was a fun time, and by far my favorite year in school. I never thought it would end, but one day it did, and I graduated, took some vacations and then…it hit me: Next to do – serve a mission. Getting ready to serve was one of the most interesting times in my life, and one of those times when the evil time gremlins (that’s my new title for the time mind game) were on their A+ game. I wanted to go, I didn’t want to leave; I couldn’t wait to get into the MTC, I hated the thought of Provo for two months (oh the irony of now going to BYU)… anyways, you get the point.
I worked with my stake president (Pres. Rodgers is one of my favorite people of all time and one of the best that I know) and set goals. Due to him and others, I learned to love the Book of Mormon and appreciate it even more. We sent my papers 90 days before my birthday…and about 10 days later, I got the envelope that held my future. Backing up just a little, when I was getting ready, I didn’t want to go foreign or learn a new language. I thought it would only hinder me and be even harder on me; however, I said I would be willing to serve wherever because I knew it was what the Lord wanted and needed. I told myself that if I were to go foreign, I didn’t want Canada or Mexico…I wanted somewhere far away foreign. Oops.
So the call came…at about 2 p.m. I somehow managed to wait 4-5 hours to open it with my friends and family there. It was a long 4 hours to say the least. I eventually opened it and when I read the words Mexico Puebla Mission, I felt something in my body that is best equated to electric chills; I knew that was where I was called by God to serve. Those next 3 months were so long. Each month marker was a relief and weight at the same time. Then my birthday…18 days, then 2 weeks, then 7 days.
You can’t adequately describe the feeling of your final week. The closest thing to it was the final week before getting married, but it was a different type of anxiety. I remember a lot of that week. I remember the topic of my talk, many of the faces at my farewell, the food afterwards (the fantasy football the day of…I was still human, cut me some slack), the goodbyes, my last supper at Durango’s with my family, my last lunch at Fazoli’s with my friends, more goodbye’s, being set apart (beating Logan at madden that evening…the bishop said it was ok…he beat me the night he was set apart too…family tradition) and the drive to the MTC.
I listened to “we’ll bring the world his truth” so many times on that trip. I love that song, but it will never quite be the same. There was so much confusion that day. The meeting with my parents and Logan was especially touching. My mom cried (expected), my dad teared up a little (not expected) and Logan and I didn’t cry (expected). We did fist bump it goodbye though. I don’t know if you are a faithful enough reader (or know me well enough) to catch that I don’t always feel like I get along with my Dad, and the point now isn’t to analyze that relationship…but when he teared up, that was a touching moment to me. But we eventually said our goodbyes and we turned and went out our separate doors.
This was it, the evil time gremlins could no longer get me for going on my mission (but they will reappear later), I was on my way to being a missionary, full of fear and doubts, as well as excitement and curiosity. I was on my way to…the end of this blog post. If you care to keep reading, please do, but if not, I understand. Until tomorrow night.