I figured that nothing I could write formally would do this any kind of justice. So I decided to write one final poem that hopefully lets you all know how I feel about all this. Here it is:
I left to serve a mission, because Christ asked me to,
I said I'd give up all I had, if He would see me through,
I put away my music, and all the friends I had,
The zombie games and movies, and that car that barely ran,
Christ said, "leave it all behind, for only THAT will do,
I'll strip away your weaknesses, and show you what is true,"
I left and thought I'd given all, until the first time came,
Christ showed me I was holding on, to things of lower grade,
Pretty soon came halfway through, I thought of how I'd done,
Of all the things I'd given up, to be a righteous son,
Less and less came letters, but more and more came prayers,
I'd grown so tired of drunks and liars, and funny "gringo-stares,"
I cried at night, and thought at day, to Christ and what He'd done,
I wanted Him to be my friend, I prayed for Him to come,
A year had come and then had gone, and come and gone again,
I found myself now face-to-face, with a quickly-coming end,
I thought of all the things I'd learned, in only two short years,
Traits I had developed, and all my conquered fears,
Christ made of me what I could not, and showed me how to be,
What I myself could not have been, if all were up to me,
I rejoice in all His mercy, I live through all His grace,
My Master and the Savior, of all the human race,
For He is full of glory, and He is full of love,
He's held me true for two years through, with guidance from above,
It all has been as if a dream, since I first heard my call,
To walk with Him a season, and give to Him my all,
The dearest time of all my life, must shortly have it's end,
I leave with many promises, and one Eternal Friend,
Who paid the price to save my life, because He loved me so,
Who saw me through the hardest times, and showed me where to go,
What more could I say, when all has been said,
Yet not a worthy thing,
Was ever heard in all my words,
Nor all that I could sing,
He lives; and I love Him,
And I will thank Him forever,
For loving, and living, and dying for me,
And for calling me on a mission.
So there it is. The last letter home. All I have to say is that I could never say enough, but that if I had to pick one thing from among the many things that I could say, it would be that I love Him. Jesus Christ is Savior of all the world. I know He lives. I hope everybody who reads this can desire to know Him better. The more we know and understand His character, the happier we become. I testify of this with all my heart. He never gives up on us. There is always room for growth. There is a road back from any detour that we might have taken in this life. I beg everyone to please have the courage to take that same road back. Because it's the only road that can make us happy. Don't doubt your value. God wants EVERY ONE OF US no matter who we are or what we have done, to be with Him forever. All He wants is to have His family back. Let us give Him that. We are all of such great worth. Let us not waste ourselves on the empty things of this world. We have the rights to something better. If you don't like the way your life is, CHANGE IT! It's that easy. One decision. change our hearts to "want to obey" position. Nobody can do it for us. The Atonement is real and it works. Don't doubt in it. Do not lose your hope in better things to come...
1. Which area of the Trujillo Mission will you miss most?
Santiago de Chuco, or Casa Grande
2. What are Pres Marlers words of advise for you coming home?
2 and 3. They haven't talked to me yet.
3. What are Sister Marlers words of advise for you coming home?
2 and 3. They haven't talked to me yet.
4. What is your favorite thing you have learned on your mission?
5. What advise will you give your companion you are training about his mission?
Throw yourself into this work. The Lord will never let you fail. (remind me to tell you that story when I get home)
6. Do you have a last meeting with all the missionaries where you and all the outgoing missionaries speak?
yes. It's a sob fest
7. Will you stay in the mission home the night before you fly out?
8. Do you know Elder Dority well? I see you will be traveling home with him. He must be from SLC?
Yes. and He knows Joylynn. he says she was his teacher
9. Are there any traditions in your mission?
............. can I answer all this when I get back? Every one of these questions requires years and many pages to answer........ ha ha ha ha ha ha.
........ I'll take that as a "yes."
one hour of internet to tell about a whole week is like trying to drink a thick wendy's freezer through a coffee straw.... it just doesn't get the job done.
I will see you next week.
*** Chance comes home on March 24 and wont be able to email next week. I will post pics of the airport reunion.
ALL MY PACKAGES ARRIVED THIS WEEK! THANK YOU VERY MUCH! And Handleys...... quit joking about that mini van. I pray every night that I don't ever have to see it...........
I am continually sunburned and yes, my hair is ridiculously blonde now. Alto Moche is an oven.
So I have a running list of funny things I am going to do when I get home...... I think you'll enjoy them........ you will want me leave for another 2 years by the end of the first week........ I think you have become unaccustomed to my humorous idiocy. You know that I am only going to speak spanish during the REAL soccer games. Oh yeah.......
I only have one more "write home session" after this one, you know?
I have to go now. I love you. Tell dad and Courtney I said hi.
1. Are you in pain from your toes?
Naw. They've been this way for so long now that I don't even notice them anymore. They have at least a solid 15 months like this. Ha ha ha. I think they'll go back to normal when I don't have to walk for 10 hours a day in the sand........ that probably has something to do with it......
2. Can I make you a foot dr appt for the following week?
Sure. But only if you promise that they will not do what the doctor here did, and remove my entire toenail. It was super painful. Ha ha ha
3. What are we going to do for general conference? It will be our first one together in 2 years.
I really would like to watch it from home......................
I feel bad because I really don't have much to say at this point...... just that I love all of you, and that I am excited to see you all again. Please go easy on me when I get back. Can we eat Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner that first night? with whole milk? I am so tired of food. Ha ha ha ha ha.
How is uncle Ted doing?
How is the temperature? Do I have to come back to snow?
Do you guys feel the same utter and complete peace that I do at this time? or during this time, I should say. There is a certain peace about this all. It's like the end of a huge war when the dust is clearing, and the sounds of bombs have stopped, and there is just utter silence before the people shout for victory........ know what I mean?
I gotta go. Love you bye!
Thanks to Sister Marler I get pictures once in a while. This is what she posted on her blog last week:
Elder Leavitt and Elder Tway with their "short" companion Elder Boekweg.
Not sure why Elder Boekweg does something funny in every picture,
or makes a funny face....
...but Becky Boekweg, this one is for you, it wasn't easy, but I got this terrific smile!!!