~First off, I am terrible at goodbyes. So to have a day devoted to my "farewell" sounded difficult to me. But it turned out to be an outstanding day. I spoke in our LDS Sacrament meeting along with my friend who is also serving in Indonesia (and reporting the same day) Jake Wood. It was such a wonderful meeting and filled with the spirit. I was able to bear my testimony of the importance of the Atonement in my life, especially how it applies to missionary work. I know that my mission will be a lot of work, but I also know that through Christ's suffering and sacrifice for us, that we will be able to overcome any bumps along our road to exaltation.
I'd like to add a quote by Elder Holland from his talk entitled Missionary Work and the Atonement; "Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font? You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary."
I am beyond excited to devote 18 months of my time to the people of Indonesia in sharing with them the good news of this gospel-- the Atonement! I know that I have been blessed as I have prepared my entire life to serve an LDS mission and those blessings will continue as I am faithful to my covenants and promises made with my Heavenly Father.
Alma 29:9 - "I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy."