This will probably be my last email as a full time missionary. As I write this email, my heart is full of emotion and the peace of a loving Father in Heaven. I could have never imagined a year and a half ago how hard leaving this beautiful country would be; it’s really trying and testing my faith.
How to describe my mission experience? I would choose one word, or maybe two: Conversion and Mercy.
I was not prepared for the emotional and physical trials that awaited me on this mission, but I am so eternally grateful for them. I will probably never be able to express my gratitude fully enough, but it fills my soul and deepens my love for God. I know that God mercifully picked the perfect mission where I would be shaped, molded, refined, and pushed to every extreme possible in order to grow.
In His infinite mercy, He called me in my weakness to be a part of His eternal work. I could go on for years about what a mission has taught me, and in the future I probably will. But I know I have changed because I have learned what God has wanted me to learn and because I have given God the things that were hard for me to give. With God’s help, I humbled myself to the best of my ability, and I learned how to really talk with God.
I have loved deeper than I ever thought possible. I have worked harder than I ever have in my life. I have more peace and joy than ever before.
In essence I was changed. That is the true miracle of the Atonement. God can take us as raw materials, and with the permission of our willing hearts, shape and mold them into a Christ-like character. That is true conversion.
I marvel sometimes at the love that God must have for me. He sent me half-way around the world and orchestrated the perfect opportunities for me to learn and grow. How much meticulous thought and effort does He take with each of our lives? In His mercy, He has made it possible for me to change. I truly found myself on my mission because I found God.
I love God. He is, and forever will be, my teacher, my adviser, and my Father. His loving arms reach out to me through the Atonement of His son forever. I know life can be difficult. But I know through Christ’s Atonement we can use life’s difficult experiences as catalysts for change.
I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and Joseph Smith was a prophet, called of God. That knowledge gives me the strength to do anything.
I know the Lord’s work will continue to grow here and across the world. It is exciting to see it progressing so quickly. I will miss being a part of it as a full time missionary.
I will miss Slovenija; it truly is my heart and soul. The people and their kindness, the wonderful food, and beautiful nature will forever live inside of me. I know it is only because of God that I had the privilege to experience it all. In gratitude, I will continue to love and serve Him the best way I know how, in whatever He wants me to do. In that service there is true peace.
I hope we all will one day have the privilege to feel as I do now, because there is no better thing in the world than wearing your life out in the service of your God.