Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Last Few Days of My Mission...

The last few days of my mission. . . were pretty intense.  Last Monday was weird, when I emailed home and said, "See you on Friday!"  The day was sufficiently busy with errands and things to do, then we taught the FHE Group at the church, which went well.  Afterwards, Donna had her baptismal interview via skype, with Elder West.  (How fitting that Elder West did my last baptism interview)  She passed her interview with flying colors and we were so happy for her.

Tuesday we met with Dave and he is keeping his commitments and wants to learn.  Later, we met with Donna and had one last lesson with her before her baptism on Wednesday.  In the evening we had dinner with the Maclennan family.  We enjoyed a "last supper" together...and I really like them!

Wednesday was amazing!  We spent the day running around, getting everything ready for Donna's baptism.  It all came together and everything was in place.  Donna looked so good in her white dress, and I could tell she was ready for this important step in her life.  The service ran so smoothly and the Spirit was incredibly strong.  As we got to the actual baptism part of the program, I began to make my way into the water.  (While in the font, I barely tapped the water faucet and the entire thing snapped off, metal and all!  It fell into the water and I could see it had been rusted through.  What a miracle that it happened AFTER the font had been filled, rather than before!)  As we stood in the water, I said the baptismal prayer, and then lowered Donna under the water.  Elder Blum was in the font as well, for extra help and security for Donna, but I was able to baptize her completely the first time, and there was no trouble getting her up.  I took some time as we stood there in the water after the baptism to look Donna in the eyes and help her understand/soak in that amazing moment.  We finally got out, changed, and the rest of the evening went just as smoothly.  It was one of the greatest events of my mission and there was no better way for me to finish my journey.  My relationship with Christ and my Father in Heaven has grown immensely over these two years and it has completely changed me.  My mission has been, and probably always will be, the greatest learning opportunity that I'll ever have.  My heart is full of gratitude, love, joy, peace, comfort, and all of the fruits of the Spirit.  I know this is God's work, and I have been privileged to be on the Lord's Errand.

Thursday started a lot of weird feelings.  We got everything packed up and on our way.  We had a big breakfast with the Paxman Family, then finished up a bunch of errands before heading tot he Mission Office.  When we arrived there were so many missionaries there for transfers.  I said goodbye to Elder Blum as he got his new greenie.  Then all of us missionaries went and did a session at the temple.  I loved the newest film, and learned a lot.  After the temple, we came back to the Mission Home, where we had a big ham dinner and then a testimony meeting.  The Spirit was so strong!  We finished the night with a great talk from President Leavitt on "How To Get Married Right!"  It was a lot of fun and there were many useful points.  :) travel home day.  I could hardly sleep last night, neither could Elder Layton, so we went to the kitchen at the mission home and had a great long chat about life and the future.  We finally got to bed and slept for about two hours before waking up at 4:00 a.m. to get ready to leave for the airport at 5:30 a.m.  It was a great ride to the airport because Elder Skinner and I got to ride with Elder and Sister Hendrickson!  We had to rush to get through baggage and security, said quick final goodbyes, and then I was on my way!
I got a seat next to a very large man, but we had a great chat as we flew to Detroit.  The three hour layover there wasn't too bad as I ran into a few members of the church, which was kind of neat.  Elder Skinner, Elder Kunz and I flew to Salt Lake City together, but that's where they left me to meet their families.  

Now, as I write this, I sit here alone...the last missionary to keep traveling.  But I'm not really alone because I feel so close to Heavenly Father.  I can already feel the difference, just sitting here in the Salt Lake City airport.  It feels great to be back and headed home.  I have one last flight to St. George and I am so excited to see everyone.  This is the moment every missionary dreams of for their entire lives, and now it's here.  So, here I go...

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