One Last Letter from a Returning Missionary

One Last Letter from a Returning Missionary

The day I got my mission call was one of the happiest days of my life. As I sat in a BYU devotional with President Henry B. Eyring, my Dad sent me the short and significant text, “Your call is here.” I was shocked. It had only been a week. I bounced around with anticipation all day until I arrived home, opened the mailbox, and held in my hands the next 18 months of my life.

As I opened my call in front of that intimate group and attempted to conceal the whole of the letter so as to read one line at a time, I couldn’t prevent my eyes from sneaking a glance down to the words, “Zambia Lusaka Mission,” accompanied with a gasp of emotion. In that unforgettable moment I could never have foreseen or comprehended the eternity-altering experience that lay ahead.Even with research and daydreaming, I remained in ignorance as to what was to come, relying solely on faith.

No tiny missionary who hugs her family goodbye has any real clue of what she is getting herself into. No amount of Preach My Gospel preparation can prepare the heart and mind for the soul-stretching months that lay ahead as you walk away from your loved ones into a bright, yet foggy destiny. I will never forget stepping onto that escalator and waving the last goodbye to you. The Spirit whispered, “You will blink and you will be coming back down this escalator to greet your family again.” I have blinked and in two days I will be riding that same escalator and returning to your arms.

An escalator–what an insignificant, commonplace thing to constitute the bookends of this glorious mission. It may be easy to imagine I’ve simply spent 18 months in the depths of the Salt Lake airport just waiting for the right time to come back out. But I will assure you that the girl that went up that escalator is not the same woman who will come down.

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