So many moments that continue to change me and make up my life.
Of course, many of the changes which this year has brought are more subtle than the changes the mission made in me.
I would say that the biggest changes have been combining Сестра Армкнект and Megan. And then setting that hybrid loose on the general population.
This year has had its ups and downs, but one thing has never changed--I am incredibly grateful for the mission. How it made me more mindful of others.
How it endowed me with power, strength, and wisdom from God.
How I gained self-confidence--there is nothing I can't do; and I believe that with all of my heart.
How it taught me to value relationships.
How I learned to love. Truly love. For these lessons, I am grateful.
"The last day of June. Summer is in full swing. The hollyhocks are blooming. Ukraine is beautiful right now. Hot, but beautiful.
But, it's time. It's time for me to go. A "sweet passing." All souls pass into the West.
But, I'll miss it. My whole life. I'm nervous for the return. Excited, but nervous. Did I ever have another life? мне кажется нет. I think not. My mission. My life.
I am going to miss it.
But I'm calm. Calm as a summer's morning.
This is it. I'm ready.
But I'll miss it. My entire life."
Because, it was my life. Is my life. It shaped me into who I am right now. Best decision of my life and for my life. That I know, with all of my heart. And I've never looked back since.
The Lord gave me a tender mercy yesterday. I'm reading in the Doctrine and Covenants and I came to D&C 100. As I read verses 3 and 4, I remembered a young girl reading these same verses over two years ago, in a small living room in Makeevka, Ukraine, just starting her mission. I had read these verses during my very first personal study in Ukraine, and it became a mission motto for me. I am grateful that the Lord reminded me.
v. 3--"Behold, and lo, I have much people in this place, and in the regions round about; and an effectual door shall be opened in the regions round about this eastern land."
v.4--"Therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place, for thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls."
The salvation of souls. Brothers, sisters, friends, family. My soul. I was only just beginning to understand what these words meant on that bright April morning. I still am just beginning to understand the magnitude of these words and promises.
But He knows. And the promises are sure. Someday I'll understand. But for now, I am just writing the thoughts of my heart, reflecting on a fulfilling, terrifying, confusing, joyful, growth-filled year, eager to keep moving forward and always letting the mission change my life.
You can take the girl out of the mission, but you can't take the mission out of the girl.