I believe that the church purposefully places missionary preparation days on Monday because that's the day immediately following the high point of the week (Sundays at church) so that our emails are uplifting and cheerful. Because, crowd, to be completely honest, if p-day was on Thursday, you would've gotten quite a depressing email. This past week was pretty rough. Full of loud people filling my world with personal and negative remarks, filling me with feelings and resentment and I suppose it was all just an exercise in developing charity and patience, but the natural man in me took it pretty unhappily. Of course it's nothing out of the ordinary; this is life. But how I handled it as a missionary was something that I hope to remember to do in the future when similar encounters come my way. There's something about the nametag...
I got a letter from my niece, Tori, this week about the challenges of being a teenager. My initial thought was, "Oh, to be a 14 year old again and have THOSE challenges instead of mine." But, Tori, don't take that as me disregarding your difficulties. Take that as "You will get through this and more than that, you will understand and appreciate its significance. Someday.” I remember going through similar feelings and situations. And while at the time it seemed so big and ruling and now at 22 going on 23 it doesn't, I realize that it was crucial in the steps that brought me here. Your letter mentioned the words of that song, by Billy Joel: "Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes, well I guess it's time for goodbye again." :) With only 19 days remaining of the 521 I started with on my mission, I am starting to feel this urgency to solidify these relationships I have created and fostered for the past 18 months. Most of the relationships have been profoundly sweet and rewarding and my heart aches to think of leaving them behind. I am promising to stay in contact always and pray for them daily; however, I know that like many of the friendships I've begun in my life, some of these too will slowly dwindle into lost contact or a fond and distant memory. I resent that. But so is life. On this earth, in any case.
That's the beauty of the plan of happiness. It's not just about here and now, but eternity. I am sealed to my parents along with my siblings and likewise will someday be sealed to my own husband and children. And these relationships will last forever. But the plan of happiness isn't limited to just flesh and blood relations. I firmly believe and know that it extends further. My favorite scripture in the doctrine and covenants in found in section 130, verse 2. It reads:
"And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy."
To that joy I am looking forward and cannot wait to be reunited with every person who has ever affected or sweetened my life. I know it'll come. And I know that it'll be exalted.
I love you and am so glad you're my niece forever. And that the beautiful things in this life are everlasting. Big hugs and kisses from over here and can't wait to get them from you over there. Soon!
All my love,