Monday, 22 August 2016

This is not the end.

I guess this is it.

This is the last time you'll be hearing from me from the mission field. It doesn't feel real. My mission went by so fast. Home feels like it was just a dream, and in a few short weeks or months, this too will feel like it never really happened.

But it did.

My mission has been the most beautiful, dramatic, frightening, soul-searching, inspiring, tiring, and fulfilling 18 months of my life. I've taught the gospel of Jesus Christ to people from over a hundred different nationalities, people who speak dozens of different languages and dialects, people who are so poor they can't afford a bus pass and millionaires, university professors and people who can't read, children and the elderly, humble followers of God and indignant Atheists. I've been exposed to so many different cultures and lifestyles, and I've been blessed to see each of these precious souls through the eyes of their Saviour who loves them. 

I cried all through sacrament meeting yesterday because I realized I wasn't going to see most of the members of my ward again. I love these people. I love Montreal. I love the people I've served in all six of my areas. I love the companions I've had and the missionaries I've worked with. I'm really going to miss being a full-time missionary.

But here's the catch: it doesn't stop here! The things I've learned and the person I've become are not going to vanish away in a puff of smoke when I step off the airplane in Kelowna in a few days. NO! These things are only building blocks, steps along a path, dawn's early rays of a sun not yet risen. Missionary work doesn't end here. The relationships I've formed with members, missionaries, and investigators don't end here. Learning doesn't end here. Growth doesn't end here. The love I have for God and for His children doesn't end here. Discipleship doesn't end here. This is not the end! 

While sometimes I feel like I wish I could stay here forever, I'm inclined to say, as Alma, "Now, seeing that know these things, why should desire more than to aperform the work to which have been called?"(Alma 29:6).

God called me to be a missionary at this time and in this place because that is where and when He needed me. Now my time is up, and He is calling me another way. I can't explain how grateful I am to have been given this incredible experience. I'm so sad that it's over. But if Heavenly Father has taught me anything on my mission, it's that I can trust Him.

And that's what I'm trying to do.

His plan is perfect. He is perfect. He lives and loves us and guides us today. I have full confidence that whatever the next pages of life bring me, I will be better off because of what I've done here, but much more so because of what my Heavenly Father has done for me here.

crossing the finish line
I'll see you across the finish line!

Sister Shaver

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