by K Fletcher


Here I am. At the end.
1.5 years. 18 months. 79 weeks. 553 days.
I've learned a lot. It's kind of impossible not to. But I'm going to tell you one of the greatest and best kept secrets of all full-time missionaries:
Missions are absolutely terrible

They are hot, sweaty, tiring, and emotionally, physically, and spiritually draining. There are days and weeks and months of rejection and stress. It is harder than you can imagine to spend 24/7 with a complete stranger with whom you may or may not have anything in common. You eat way too much food and then hardly any food at all. You'll walk ten miles one day and then sit inside for eight hours the next. Some days you doubt everything you believe in and have spiritual breakdowns and have to patch it up before you go into a random house after 4 hours of knocking and have to teach something you wonder is true. You have to smile and hug everyone even when you want to curl up in a ball and not talk to anyone. You have to practice teaching the same 5 lessons over and over and over again and you would not believe how boring a mission can possibly be. And you go months and months without seeing anyone progress or commit and it is the hardest thing not to let discouragement creep in. 
To quote Hermana Johnson, "it is the worst two years."

Please don't stop reading... because I have one more thing to say:
Missions are absolutely wonderful

President Baker taught me that the key to having a successful mission is to remember the miracles. Do you think that Jesus is sad because He suffered, or does He rejoice because He triumphed?

The mission is exactly how you remember it to be. 

Because the moment you see someone step into the waters of baptism and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, it is all worth it. You see the light of Christ enter their lives. You see people change. You have the opportunity to see the weight of sin and sorrow lift from their shoulders. Sometimes we might forget why we go out. But that moment always reminds you. Missions are the best. 
They are the greatest learning experiences, they show you your limits and your potential. They teach you the gospel, you meet people you'd never have looked at before, you learn what is means to put someone before yourself for the first time in your short life. You get a Mission President -- someone to look up to for the rest of your life. You learn how to have perspective. You make short term goals. You make long term goals. You come to savor the gospel, the scriptures, prayer, and obedience. You begin to learn the meaning of sacrifice. You learn how to love people and see the world a little more like the Savior does.

You learn about the Atonement.

You learn that Jesus Christ suffered for you. And died for you. And paid your debt of sins and sorrows.

For the last 18 months I have been His representative. My purpose has been to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

But just because I'm taking off the missionary name tag doesn't mean I'm not His representative. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I have taken His name upon me by covenant of baptism. It doesn't end here.

In fact, this is just the beginning.

Con Amor,

For the last time,


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