Monday, May 5, 2014

15 Years

It's been 15 years since I began my LDS mission.

I've been looking at some pictures. May is always gorgeous in Utah. Look at that snow-capped mountain!

Here I am with my mom, my brother Jack, and my brother Nick. I think Nick was about 6 at the time. He was in kindergarten. I know this because he had decided that he was going to shave his head like Michael Jordan for school that year.

This is one of the best pictures of my brother Jack.

Here's me with my step-dad Brent. Everyone else looks great. I'm apparently distracted by the sunlight or something like that. Look how red my hair is?? Good grief. I hate how red hair fades over time.

My mission lasted for 18 months. I served in Dallas, Texas and surrounding counties.

While I was there, we taught lots of people, served, visited, discussed, served, rode bikes, etc.

The Coley's are the first family I got to see baptized.

I still talk about them from time to time. I'm so amazed by their faith and their hope in the gospel. I am friends with Talia and Leandra on Facebook and it is so much fun to see how their family has grown over the years.

Last night, I went on a walk around my apartment complex. I didn't think about it being 15 years since my mission started until this morning--which only adds to the magic of this moment.  I ran into the sister missionaries on bikes. (I was on a bike the first 5 months of my mission.) We had a great talk at the picnic table next to the duck pond. As I talked to them, I remembered similar conversations that I had with the members of the LDS Church in Texas. I learned so much from the people of Texas. They say missions are about teaching, but they're really an amazing opportunity to go into homes and learn at the feet of amazing people--whether they're LDS or not. I shared some thoughts with these sisters that I hoped would help them on their missions and thought of the women who shared with me.

Today I'm grateful for the many people who took the time to teach me. I'm grateful for the opportunity to witness conversions throughout my 18 months. I'm grateful for my many companions.
I'm grateful for my mom and for my step-dad who paid almost $400 a month to support me while I was on my mission. I'm grateful for two great mission presidents, Pres. Hanks and Pres. Morgan, and especially for Sister Morgan, who taught all of us missionaries with power and testimony. 

Happy Cinco de Mayo everybody! I love that the anniversary of the beginning of my mission is a big holiday! 

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