Where the last 18 months have gone, I'm not exactly sure....
But of one thing I am sure- I have become a new creature through my Savior, Jesus Christ.
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." - 2 Cor. 5:17
The following is a list (in no particular order or importance) of things that stood out to me that I've learned on my mission. Some are things I've learned about myself, and some are things I've learned about the Gospel. And you might look at many of them and think, "Well that's a no-brainer!" But these are things I needed to experience in order to learn.
1. People before things
2. I need to love people even when I can see their weaknesses 3. Everyone, independent of how they think, feel or act needs to be shown Christ-like love 4. Sense of urgency 5. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. 6. There is no detail of my life that is random 7. I have something to learn from everyone 8. No random thoughts 9. Early to bed, early to rise 10. The Gospel of Jesus Christ will bless anyone who lives it, regardless of circumstance 11. I am infinitely greater than my shortcomings 12. I need to learn how to love myself 13. If there is something about myself that I don't love, my Savior can give me the power to change it. 14. Always say thank you 15. The desire to recognize my weaknesses and be willing and anxious to improve 16. I am nothing but a vessel 17. Raise the bar 18. I choose to be happy 19. I have power and authority in the priesthood 20. Ask for suggestions in how you can improve 21. Be steadfast in Christ, not simply enduring 22. Never postpone a promoting 23. General conference is better than Christmas! 24. Wawa, Rita's, Amish food and Reading Terminal Market... 25. There's no growth in the comfort zone, and there's no comfort in the growth zone. 26. Comparison destroys vision 27. The Priesthood is the power of God on the earth 28. I LOVE THE TEMPLE!!! 29. You can't actually talk to everyone while riding septa, or while trekkin' downtown Philly 30. You CAN get lost with a GPS 31. Pride is the root of all evil 32. There is a real power that flows into your life the minute you begin a serious study of the Book of Mormon. 33. Forests actually exist. 34. Faith is a principle of power. 35. Time was created by man, not God. 36. Our time here is so short, we have so much to do here- we can't waste a minute of the time He gives us. 37. I didn't give 18 months to serve Him, He gave me 18 months to serve Him. 38. Each one of us has promised to always represent our Savior, not just those set apart full time. 39. doTERRA for life. Essential oils are God's pharmacy. 40. You don't have time, you make time. 41. Reach out to the one 42. I am capable 43. I can't actually see things that are far away... 44. Family, isn't it about time? 45. Be proactive and proactively accountable!! 46. The love and light of Christ have no language barrier. 47. Firm, Undaunted, Obedient 48. "We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see." - Boyd K. Packer 49. Cruise control is heaven sent #ExactObedience 50. My worth is set. I'm not here to prove my worth, I'm here to determine where I will spend the eternities. 51. I'm Mexican. #JustAskMyPeople 52. Weather or not people are prepared to receive the gospel at this moment, every single person needs this gospel. Prepare them to learn. 53. Everyone needs a smile 54. More important than what you will ever say is what you do. 55. Surround yourself with goodness. 56. I also claim Idaho 57. Statistics do not drive eternal progression 58. No one else's disobedience can justify my disobedience. 59. I'm never cutting my hair again- seriously don't let me. 60. #hashtagsforever 61. I was effectively trained by my BYU-Idaho custodial position 62. God hears my prayers 63. Pantsing is a natural high 64. Laughter heals the soul 65. Don't sweat the small stuff 66. Mission is the best marriage prep. 67. The Atonement can heal wounds of the Spirit 68. The power of the priesthood can heal the effects of pornography 69.Every good thing in this life and the next depends on us gaining and keeping the spirit with us. 70. Treat the chapel like the temple. It's a sacred place of worship. 71. Dearest Children, God is Near You 72. Hymns are inspired scripture 73. Retail therapy exists 74. Dr. Pepper- discovered it 75. I want to learn how to can, sew, crochet and play the uke ie... develop/discover many talents 76. I like to cook 77. I discovered the enabling power of the Atonement 78. Just because I have an opinion doesn't mean I have to share it with the world... 79. The Lower Lights 80. I really do like cleaning 81. If I don't do it, who will? 82. I'm the voodoo witch doctor minus the voodoo plus herbs.. 83. Just because someone is in a leadership position... 84. Pray before you leave the house 85. In thoroughness is satisfaction 86. My future is securely in His hands 87. flying turkey vultures. 88. There are only 2 ears on a stalk of corn... 89. #earwaxcandles 90. COOKIE BUTTER! 91. I love sister pleasers. 92. The Savior is a part of every aspect of my life 93. I'm still a hoarder...I mean collector... 94. The general public is not actually happier around the holidays...they're grumpier...it's sad. 95. I will never reach perfection in this life, and I need to be okay with that. Perfection is a direction 96. I need to never let anyone make me feel like I'm not good enough, including myself. 97. I own what I feel 98. I need to focus on things that matter most...the stuff of eternity. 99. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. 100. Repetition is redemptive but routine impedes revelation.
I know that I now have a life ahead of me to apply what I've learned- with His help! I know I'll need it. I will be eternally indebted to my Heavenly Father for the experiences He has granted me, not only on my mission, but in my life. These experiences make me who I am and will shape who I become. I'm so grateful to each one of you for being a piece in the puzzle of my life (: you make up a piece of who I am.
I pray that my Father in Heaven will help me to reflect His will in all that I do. I pray that He will help me to live what I've learned on my mission. I pray that He will help me to show you by word and deed who I've become with Him by my side. I am forever changed. I love my Savior. He is truly my best friend. Each day I learn to see a little bit more of my divine potential. I strive to live up to it daily.
Your love and support has sustained me. I thank you endlessly.