March 25th, 2016 — It has been exactly a month now since I was released from my service as a full-time missionary. I still remember that moment when my Stake President released me from my full-time service as a missionary. It is a moment that I will never forget. I have never experienced something like that before, and I didn’t know what to expect, neither do I have something to which I can compare it. My parents walked into the president’s office, and the time was approaching. Throughout my whole mission I was scared about that time when I would have to remove my name-tag. I sat there, pondering and thinking deeply, praying for the Lord’s help. In that moment, the witness of the spirit came over me and I felt these words like a whisper: “This is not the end of your mission. This is only the beginning. You do not need this plaque anymore. His Name is engraven in your heart. You carry Him with you.” Peace and comfort engulfed me. And that moment has helped me every single day since then.
This past month as a return missionary has been a month of joy. The Lord speaks to me a lot through my feelings, and I remember my last day in the mission and how I felt: “I don’t need to be here anymore. I have completed what I needed to do, and now I need to be in San Antonio. There is something I need to do there.” And that is how I feel about going back to school in a few months: that there is something I need to do there. People ask me all the time: “How do you feel being back?” My response? I feel at peace. I gave my all while on the mission, during those 18 months of intense training on how to be a missionary for the rest of my life. And now that I am here, I can see how missionary work can be a part of everything I do. Baking cookies and taking them to the neighbors, talking with the people in the grocery stores, helping someone in need, serving, giving a big hug and encouraging those with their heads down, reaching out in love and friendship and supporting others along this path, serving in the temple, what I say in Facebook and how I use technology, helping and serving my roommates and family members, church callings, family history work, supporting the missionaries wherever I may be, etc. There is so much for me to do! My mission didn’t end the 25th of February. I am still a missionary; I may not wear a black name tag with His Name on it, but Christ’s name is engraven on my heart. That is what Christ has helped me do throughout my mission: engrave His name in my heart. And wherever I go, I am still a missionary, a representative of Him.
Last night I started reading through these my journal entries from the beginning when I received my mission call to when I reported to the CMM, and this afternoon I read through the letters I wrote home to my mom while in the CMM. As I reflect back on all those experiences now with a greater and deeper perspective, it is amazing to me how the Lord truly keeps His promises and catered my mission for my personal growth. As I reflect back over all that I learned and went through, I am so grateful that the Lord loves me so much to put me out of my comfort zone so I can grow, to give me difficulties so I can rely more on Him. I have learned more about the work of angels, and that is missionary work: love, service, care, following the spirit, sharing this joy with others, shining Christ’s light, and reflecting Christ’s Character in my countenance.
I’m collecting my thoughts and am going to write a few posts about what my mission means to me in my life, how it has impacted me for the better, how the Lord was refining and purifying me, tips I would give to other young women preparing to serve a full-time mission, etc. Before my mission I felt impressed to create the blog “Continually Coming Unto Christ,” and that has now become my motto. I am still on that path, and I can support all that I know along that path to the Promised Land with our Heavenly Father.
I will be continuing to write about life as a return missionary on that new blog: https://continuallycominguntochrist.wordpress.com/ There is so much I want to share, for example: my experience learning Spanish, going on a mission with a food allergy and my experience with that, tips for prospective missionaries, etc.
I feel impressed to use those pages to share my experiences and feelings along this journey as a return missionary. I hope these words can be for a benefit to other return missionaries, others who want to come unto Christ, and anyone who might pass through these pages.
Come join me as I continue forward on this journey continually coming unto Christ. ❤