Sunday, May 31, 2009

Home Again Home Again

I'm back from my mission. I boarded the plane in Ohio, and it landed in Utah. In the first 72 hours of being home I.....

1. Ate coconut cupcakes
2. Fell in love with my family all over again
2. Went to the temple
3. Went swinging at the park
4. Listened to Feist
5. Danced with a boy to a slow song (not as awkward as expected)
6. Met my god-daughter, Findley for the first time
7. Enjoyed my perfect feather bed
8. Only introduced myself as 'Sister Hymas' in a social setting once
9. Felt guilty for not handing out pass-along cards at the mall
10. Cried because I miss Ohio

Monday, May 25, 2009

Some thoughts from the last letter home...

Well, I'm already crying. I can't believe that this is the last email that I will ever write as a young sister Missionary to my dear family at home. I never actually thought that this day would really come. When Jacob said, "The time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream", he hit the nail on the head. I feel like the past 18 months have been a dream. The happiest moments of my entire life, and probably the saddest too. The time of the most growth, change, and coming closer to the Savior. The time when I truly came to know just how real God is, and just how dependent I am on the Savior each day. I truly feel like Alma when he said, " I cannot say the smallest part which I feel."
My missionary experience has been incredibly sweet. Hands down the best thing that I've ever done. When I left for the MTC I thought that I was sacrificing so much to serve Heavenly Father. It's ironic, becuase now looking back, I realize that it really wasn't a sacrifice at all. The Lord has paid me back tenfold, and it has been a pleasure to be one of his missionaries. I have never been happier in my entire life, and I have never felt more myself. I have learned so much about who I am, and I have come to love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ more than I ever thought I could.
I am so grateful that I got to spend one year of my mission in Kirtland. Part of my heart will always be here, I think. It's funny to remember how I was bawling when I opened my mission call and found out that I'd be serving at a Visitors Center. I thought that there had been some sort of mistake, because it wasn't what I had pictured for myself. Well, the Lord always has better plans for us than we could ever imagine up on our own. That same girl that was crying because she didn't want to come here, is now crying not only because she's sad it's over, but mostlty because of grateful to her Heavenly Father for knowing what she needed and allowing her to have this amazing experience.
It's been a tender week. I think I've cried more that last couple weeks than I have during my entire mission. Not necessarily all tears of sadness, but mostly tears of gratitude and love. Tears because I look back on my mission and realize the changes that I've been able to witness in others (investigators, companions, ward members, other missionaries, members that I take on tours), and mostly in myself- and I am so thankful for this wonderful experience.With all that being said, I realize that things are going to change. A lot. I can't be a missionary with a black badge forever, as much as I wish that I could. I want to take all of the knowledge I've gained, the testimony I've developed, the friendships I've made, and the wonderful experiences and lessons that I learned from my mission, and apply them to the next chapter of my life to make it better than it ever could have been without this life-changing experience. I realize that the Lord has provided for me thus far in my life, and he's not going to leave me alone. One of the most important things I've learned on my mission is how to receive personal revelation and answers to prayers. He has a plan for me, and I am excited to see what he wants me to do next. One thing is certain, change brings growth. And I am getting excited to grow. It's time, and I am really excited to see all of you! It's been such a long time!!
The other day we finished up our last planning session, and I said the closing prayer. I had tears streaming down my face the entire time thinking that this was the last weekly planning session I'd ever have as a missionary. I finished praying and sister Shoell said, "I have never heard a more humble, sincere prayer in my entire life. You have no idea what an influence that you have had on everyone around you, and I've never seen anyone love their mission more than you do. My mission is going to be so different after having served with you because I realize how precious and wonderful it can be." Well, she got one thing right. I have LOVED my mission. LOVED LOVED LOVED it. But it's not over. In my personal study this morning, I made my own personal mission plan. I'm excited to be a member missionary now.
I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU!!Can't wait to see you all on Thursday!
Love, Sister Hymas
Alma 26:12