Tuesday, February 8, 2011

i am happy.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I'm home. I have finished my time serving as a full-time missionary in the Philippines for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I came home on December 17 to my beautiful, wonderful family and all my fabulous friends. It was a beautiful reunion and I was happy to be home. Being home is fun.
It's exciting to re-do all my firsts. First movie since I've been home. First burrito since I've been home. First time back at Disneyland. First time swimming again. First date. First cheesecake. Etc. It's also fun to tell mission stories and fun facts about the Philippines. I love spending time with my siblings, parents, nieces, nephews, and other family and friends. I really am happy being home. But I miss my mission. I miss the way I felt every single day meeting new friends while tracting through the humidity and sweating profusely. I miss sharing what I know to be true to people I love or even to complete strangers. I miss studying the scriptures for at least 2 hours every single day. Bearing my testimony of the Book of Mormon numerous times a day.
I miss stuffing my face in filipino food because the Nanay keeps scooping more piles of rice on my plate and saying "sige pa!" Watching lives change as people accept and live according to the Gospel principles. Speaking tagalog all day every day. Attending baptisms for our investigators. I miss the strangers that would yell out "hey joe!" to me while walking down the road. The way I feel when someone says "yes" after I ask the question "will you follow the example of our Savior and be baptized...?" I miss hugging and joking around with President Anderson. I miss the food. I miss the heat. I miss the jeepnys. The beautiful clouds and sunsets. I miss the people. And I miss the name tag.
I know that just because my full-time mission has ended, doesn't mean I am no longer a missionary. I can still be an example and share my testimony with others. And I will continue to do that. It's just different when every single day is devoted only to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those around you. My mission was amazing. I loved my mission with all of my heart. I learned a lot. I changed a lot. I grew a lot (in two ways). It was definitely the best decision I could have ever made. And although it was difficult and challenging most of the time, it was by far the best 18 months of my life.
I'm grateful for the opportunity that I was given to share the Gospel in the Philippines San Pablo Mission.
Totoo ang Simbahan!