See you in eighteen months!

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See you in eighteen months!

Post by West » 05 May 2015, 23:53

I'm leaving tomorrow to fly out to one of the international MTCs. That means I likely won't be posting here for the next eighteen or so months, so I just wanted to drop a few thoughts on my way out the door. :)

I don't think it's quite hit me yet that I'm going to be living in another country for eighteen months, but this past year or so has been one filled with change, some very drastic than others, and I am confident in my ability to adjust and adapt quickly as I have always done. The mission will go fast as time often does for me, so I'm not too worried there. I'm thrilled to be learning a new language that will be very useful to me when I come home, and after many months wrestling with the prospect of spending six weeks in the MTC, I have found peace in approaching it as a great opportunity to learn more about the doctrine of the church like a theology crash course, as I realized I don't know nearly as much about the Church's doctrines and scriptures as I thought.

I do have a lot of doubts, though. They're doubts in my own ability to handle the stress of having a companion 24/7. I am a very people person who just loves talking and people in general, but I also like having my downtime and quiet time to calm down and come off of my people high. Then there are the doubts in my capacity to be a good missionary without compromising my own beliefs and philosophies. My heart has always been turned to service without the expectation of conversion or returned favors or anything, and if I can, then you can bet I will try to make my mission as much service-oriented as possible.

But even with the doubts, I have not once in the past two or so years since I first got the idea to apply to be a mission nurse specialist/full-time missionary ever felt like going on this mission is the wrong decision. That might sound weird since my introductory post and first few posts were rife with indecision about going on a mission. And logically, sure, it doesn't make much sense to me to go on a mission. It's been a bit of a struggle at times to reconcile the feeling of this being "right" and two years' worth of gentle pushes from the universe with the logical outlook of how much other opportunities I'm leaving behind. But I've found that my life is pretty lucky in that I have always managed to find myself where and when I need to be in order to be there for someone who needs me. This feels like one of those moments. It's not a burning in the bosom or anything at all that I generally associate with other people's spiritual witnesses. It's just this very assured confidence that can't even be swayed by my logical-loving mind. It's kind of nice to be so sure of something.

Maybe it's chance, maybe it's a higher power pulling the strings behind the scenes, or maybe it's a little bit of both. But I've learned to trust my sense of what's a "right" or "not-right" decision of path for me, and even though right now I'm anxious about how I'll handle the quirks of the field, it's comforting to know that whether I serve the full eighteen months or only part, I'll be as assured as my dear friend who was sent home from the MTC that I was in the right place at the right time.

As always, if you've read this far, thanks so much. As a writer, I tend to be more than a bit long-winded. ;) Thank you, everyone, for this wonderful corner of the Internet. You were there for me during one of the most emotionally difficult times of my life, and I am very grateful. Hopefully I can pay it forward while I'm gone on my little adventure of learning.

If I don't get a chance to log in while out in the field, then thanks again (for all the fish), and I'll come back again in eighteen months!
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. -Albert Einstein

And God said 'Love Your Enemy,' and I obeyed him and loved myself. -Kahlil Gibran

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Re: See you in eighteen months!

Post by nibbler » 06 May 2015, 03:50

Thanks for all your contributions here!

I'm sure you will be every bit the blessing to the people you serve on your mission as the blessing you are to people here.

Best wishes on your adventure!

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Re: See you in eighteen months!

Post by DarkJedi » 06 May 2015, 04:06

Good luck in your journey! I look forward to hearing your report when you return, please don't forget about us. And don't panic.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Re: See you in eighteen months!

Post by Curt Sunshine » 06 May 2015, 05:34

This is a perfect example of why I spend so much time here - and why my wife and kids allow it.

God bless you in this journey. I am grateful and humbled that we were able to be there when you needed someone who would try to understand and lend you the type of fellowship you needed.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Re: See you in eighteen months!

Post by SilentDawning » 06 May 2015, 05:46

Congratulation -- Enjoy your opportunity to learn a foreign language! Remember to be yourself!
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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Re: See you in eighteen months!

Post by Minyan Man » 06 May 2015, 06:03

Ditto (to everything that's been said)
Thank you for your contributions here.
I'm sure, you will make a great missionary.
Please come back & report when you're done.

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Re: See you in eighteen months!

Post by SamBee » 06 May 2015, 08:41

Many blessings!
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true is...authorized to administer the Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Re: See you in eighteen months!

Post by mom3 » 06 May 2015, 08:48

God be with you West. We will see you in 18 months. And Mom hugs for the road.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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Re: See you in eighteen months!

Post by LookingHard » 06 May 2015, 08:49

Please don't forget to come back and give us an update!

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Re: See you in eighteen months!

Post by Ann » 06 May 2015, 21:06

West - We'll miss you around here, but look forward to hearing from you whenever it happens. Good luck. Wow, saying even a virtual goodbye is hard! :-)
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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