The Last Day September 16, 2014
Well, today is our last day in the mission field. We leave in about an hour for the airport. It is very surreal… so many mixed emotions about the day.
Last night we went to dinner at Al Bashi restaurant (good american food–go figure…) with the Atkinsons. They have been in the mission almost as long as us–they leave in about a month or so. It was fun to reminisce about our time here, and what we will do (or won’t do) when we get home.
We have been staying in the Mission Home for the last few days, and it was very quiet, as the Thomas’ left for Burundi yesterday. Neither Terri nor I slept too well, and we have a very long trip ahead of us: almost 32 hours. We hope we can get some sleep on the plane, but not usually, so we should be pretty dead by the time we get home.
This morning we finished packing (we have a good scale in the mission home for weighing boxes and stuff that we used to get our bags the right weight), and I put on my suit for the first time in 19 months. It feels a little big. I feel like a son wearing his father’s suit–its weird.
So now we are just waiting for our time to leave. We have said our goodbyes to most everyone, and are ready to give warm hugs to our family when we arrive on the other end of this long day.
It has been a spectacular experience. I quite literally could not have been better! It reminds both of us of our first mission with LDS Charities aboard the USNS Mercy. That also could not have gone better–we did more, saw more, and experienced more than we could have imagined as we traveled through Asia. This has been the same. If we had tried to plan our mission (i.e., if we chose the place we served), I think it would have been a disaster for us. But by taking that leap of faith and letting The Lord choose for us, well, that has made all the difference!
We leave with no regrets, having put everything we had on the altar, and know that we have made a difference in the world. It is a joyful and fulfilling feeling. There is a peace that descends upon you as you come to recognize that God has accepted your sacrifice and you can almost hear His words softly in your ear: well done good and faithful servant!
No one can, or will, experience or understand this overwhelming feeling of love and peace without making the same sacrifice. I have no doubt we will be serving again somewhere in the Lord’s vineyard…it is just a matter of time. But for now, we will be able to enjoy our family and friends, get some rest, and know that God is pleased with our service.
Could life be any better?