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See you in eighteen months!

Posted: 05 May 2015, 23:53
by West
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!

Re: See you in eighteen months!

Posted: 06 May 2015, 03:50
by nibbler
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!

Re: See you in eighteen months!

Posted: 06 May 2015, 04:06
by DarkJedi
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.

Re: See you in eighteen months!

Posted: 06 May 2015, 05:34
by Curt Sunshine
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.

Re: See you in eighteen months!

Posted: 06 May 2015, 05:46
by SilentDawning
Congratulation -- Enjoy your opportunity to learn a foreign language! Remember to be yourself!

Re: See you in eighteen months!

Posted: 06 May 2015, 06:03
by Minyan Man
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.

Re: See you in eighteen months!

Posted: 06 May 2015, 08:41
by SamBee
Many blessings!

Re: See you in eighteen months!

Posted: 06 May 2015, 08:48
by mom3
God be with you West. We will see you in 18 months. And Mom hugs for the road.

Re: See you in eighteen months!

Posted: 06 May 2015, 08:49
by LookingHard
Please don't forget to come back and give us an update!

Re: See you in eighteen months!

Posted: 06 May 2015, 21:06
by Ann
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! :-)