(One last blog post to wrap things up:))
I would like to write one last letter for my mission blog to sum up my mission. I am going to miss writing a weekly update full of my missionary experiences.
Would you like to hear a bit about my CRAZY last week??
As I said last week, we had to close our area in Zurich due to not enough missionaries coming in to cover the number going home. We spent the days cleaning and packing when we didn't have appointments. It was really sad knowing I was leaving this place and knowing that no one was coming back. It was especially hard for Sister Smith; I can't imagine what it's like closing your golden area!!
We said lots of goodbyes, bore lots of testimony, and we enjoyed all the "lasts" we were having.
Transfer day: Thursday. Wow! We had 6 bags in tow because we were closing. The Luzern sisters helped us :) it was nice snapping photos and saying our last goodbyes. There are so many good friends that I left behind. They are going to be amazing :)
I left with about 20 other missionaries from Switzerland. We took the train the Munich. It was nice to have a chat with good friends :) it was weird to know I was going to be home the next day. The ride was 3 hours long. Lots of German. Loved it :)
We arrived in Munich, and I was approached by a woman who wanted to know what it was that we did, gathering together in HB every 6 weeks. I got to explain to her. She approached me in English, but I don't explain these things in English, so I asked if we could talk German.. Super funny how that works :) she said she needed to go before she started disagreeing with us. She said she saw things differently than us, but thought what we did as missionaries was a very good thing. That was nice to do some missionary work :)
We then went to the church. There we bore our last testimonies together, ate something, payed our debts, handed in our cards, and did interviews, and had the chance to go contacting one last time.
I went out with the presidents daughter, which was so good!! Everyone we talked to gave us their number and we set up an appointment for the elders and got a referral for Swiss missionaries :) that was really good to see one last time, that God gives us things when we go out with a willing heart and the attitude of faith :)
We then had dinner. Traditional German food and I loved it :) we then ended the night with a testimony meeting. It just went on about 2 hours ;) we had 32 missionaries leaving us, so you can imagine the time it took :) it was so nice to hear everyone's closing testimonies. I love those guys :) such good laughs and memories :)
We spent the night at the hostile. Meine Güte! It was so loud! We were woken up several times by our noisy 'American':) neighbors. One sister kept waking up thinking it was time to shower, but it was only 4, and then 5, and then finally we could shower ;) it was a rough night.
We then headed off to the airport. It still hadn't quite sunk in that we were leaving! But you could tell we were all ready to go :) we checked in, said goodbyes, gave hugs and went.
I was able to get through customs really easily because of my EU pass, so I waited for the elders on the other side... Alone ;) we got ready to board. Lots of security.
This plane ride was soooooo long-9hours. I sat next to a woman who only spoke Turkish, so that was hard. I wrote a lot, studied a lot, read my whole Journal, then went to sit with the elders. It was an eternity!
Finally arrived in Chicago and ended up waiting for a delayed flight, 2.5 hrs on top of a 4 hr layover:(. We chatted with this great family in English and in German. They were great! They like us a lot :) it was nice to speak again. I felt guilty for speaking so much English ;) I ran into a family who used to be in my home ward, that was picking their son up from his mission in the Ukraine and who were on my flight to slc, who let me use their phone to update my family..they were tracking my mile-by-mile progress too:).
|With Mom and Dad|
|Together Again:) Loved the banner:)|
This flight was such a pain. So many delays. I was soooo tired...never to be forgotten Too many hours of travel. We finally got in to SLC at 12.30am mdt and got home at 2pm after waiting for bags? Family!!! That was a strange moment! I was so so nervous I hid from them for a few minutes ;) they weren't nearly as scary as I thought when I saw them :) the only scary person was me ;)
|When I left home we took a picture so we had to get one of me arriving home|
It is so nice to be home! My sisters and I stayed up really late just talking. We had a big sleepover in the basement family room:).
I've been released, reported to the stake high council, and given my homecoming talk, dressed in my dirndl and everything. Lots of family and friends came to support and welcome me home-so grateful, love em all!! THANKYOU.
There were tears, and realizations that I wasn't wearing a name tag and that I was normal again. The spirit was strong, which was good since that was my topic. It's a special way to wave to your mission as it really enters the past. And I smile every time I think about it :)
Stay on the path, okay? Read your scriptures, say your prayers, go to church, and find your new purpose statement. Our purpose as RM's is no longer to invite others to come unto Christ, or rather, it's not our full time job. So write your purpose!! Ask yourself what you want to be when you're 35 years old? What goals do you need to make to make you anxious to get up and attack your day??
Our calling as missionaries never ends, friends :) Learn to share the gospel in your own without-a-tag way and embrace it.
But never fall away, okay?
I promise you I won't. I hope you promise right back.
All my love, heart, and thanks for the last 18 months of shaping, growing, and serving,