I don't even know how to feel right now. This last week was a bit hard and slow, but now I'm already seeing that this week will be super fast. I mostly just cant believe it's coming to an end. How were the last couple weeks and the first couple weeks for you when you came home?
Thank you so much for your letter and words of advise. I've read them about 4 times already. It was exactly what I needed to hear. (read mom's letter below)
I think one of the things my mission helped me to learn was family confidence. Honestly I am quite nervous to go home and afterwards to start college. In 2 years, I've developed quite a bit of comfort being a missionary. It seems scary to use regular clothes, be alone, or worse yet, be alone with the female species! But I'm sure that all these things will come naturally and I'm confident that with all of my family I can take down any challenge that comes my way!
Holy cow, I can't believe Jordan Frost comes home tomorrow! It seems like she just got on her mission!?! I don't think she'd even sent in her papers when I started the mission! Things go by fast...That will be great to see her afterwards as RM's.
That's awesome about Jenna's mission call! I didn't know she was preparing for a mission. Good for her. I'm sure she will love mission life and her mission areas. She leaves really quickly!
I spoke with Pres. Scisci, everything will work out with my temple recommend. He will give me a temple recommend that lasts for 3 months. Everything will be set for the big day!
As far as having other people at the airport when I return, what's your opinion on that? My first thought is that if anyone wants to come welcome me home, they are welcome to. However, I think that moment will be better spent more inside the family. I'll be so focused on you guys that I won't want to have to think about greeting every single person. At church I can greet all the welcomers with a more groomed up smile. I think I'd rather have it be something a bit more intimate. But of course, if there are people that want to come or are asking if we are inviting, everybody's welcome to show up!
Believe it or not, I still have those 2 original calling cards that you first bought me at the beginning of my mission. I'll definitely find a way to call you guys at the airport, even if it is approaching moms with kids and asking for their cell phones :D (that doesn't sound like I'm assaulting them at all...)
I'd like to start working the very first week I get home, the most hours he can get me. I'm here to work!
When I first read about the canoe trip I got a little bit skeptical, but if Taylor will be there, it will be lots of fun! And free is all the better!
Josh will definitely have a blast at the BYU rugby camp, and I have no doubt he will love the girls there! I've heard a lot about these pretty LDS girls...Elder Marler mentioned them a time or two! :)
So when Brother Stadler told you my talk topic, did he put any rule about crying limits on the talk while I'm giving it?
THAT IS SO AWESOME ABOUT YOUR NEW JOB, MOM!!! Way to go Mom! I knew they would choose you :D But all those flight benefits, could it possibly be true?? That's one of the sad things for me right know, is thinking that I won't be able to return. We're going to have to do some serious traveling. And I can visit you guys for free!!!
I have many souvenirs that I am bringing home...but I have one main souvenir for me that you guys will never guess what it is. It will blow your socks off. It's awesomeness is greater than the odor of Josh's socks after rugby. You can guess, but I won't tell you if you are right or wrong :D
I love you all, and can hardly wait to see you at the airport next week!
Elder Carson Gale
Here’s a bit of motherly advice for your very last week of your mission: I know that you have come to love Brazil on a very deep level. These people have become family to you. You have opened your hearts to them. You have done just what the Savior did when he ministered to this earth.
As you say your goodbyes, it may feel like two years went too quickly and that you still have much more to do. Trust me, trust your mission president, and trust the Lord when we say to you, Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Your efforts have been more than enough, they have been exemplary, and you have been legendary.
You will definitely feel the mantle being lifted when you are released. But you will know that it was never a burden, and that your calling as one of the Lord’s servants can be forever.
Adjusting to life away from the mission field may be difficult when you have spent the last 24 months preaching the Gospel. You will find our little city of Liberty to be different. World politics and news that have been withheld from you will now be forefront, and blaring in your daily life.
You will hear of movies that have been made, some of which you will be eager to see, and others you will be glad you avoided. Be selective at what you allow back into your mind and heart.
Your family will also be different. Your dad and I will look a little more tired, a little grayer, and maybe a little heavier. J You will see your siblings from a different perspective in the way that they have grown, not only physically, but spiritually as well. You may witness the spiritual growth of your siblings to a degree that you never thought possible.
You may have a hard time adjusting to family life, or college, after being with just a companion for 2 years. You will no longer be sheltered from the disagreements in the world and even those disagreements right in your own home. We may not be spiritual enough for you. You will struggle with learning how to live around women again. Things will not be as neat and as tidy, or scheduled perfectly anymore, but there are good things to come. You are just getting started!
These past 2 years are not something you have just checked off your to-do list. It is something that you have put your whole heart into. Your mission is NEVER over. There will be opportunities that come across to you as you strive to meet those goals you have dreamed for yourself. Keep busy. Set your standards very high because the adversary tries very hard to get RM’s to lower them.
Give your best effort to the wonderful blessings that lie ahead for school, marriage, temple worship, and church callings. Keep your spiritual life fed. Remain true to what you have been taught. Marry in the temple. Honor your priesthood. You will be returning with honor, son. Make that a lifetime commitment.
Don’t be afraid. Your family is waiting and will help you. Thee lift me, and I’ll lift thee, and we’ll ascend together.
The time we meet at the airport will someday become one of the more precious moments in your life! I love you and will see you in one week!
I love you always and forever, no matter what!
You HAVE BEEN LEGENDARY.