Sunday, July 21, 2013

Slightly Mushy Post about my Mission

Rainy days always remind me of my mission. I'm not sure why, because I don't remember it raining all that often, but the mission memories I have associated with rain are lovely. Checking addresses and singing in freak thunderstorms with my Mama. The time there was a beautiful thunderstorm and rainbows with Sister Thrall. Having it start to pour on a hard day and just letting the rain wash everything away. Random times just getting caught in it and being soaked. So it's appropriate, I think that today was/is a day full of mission memories. It's raining and I walked around Moscow in a skirt with an umbrella.

I knew I would miss the mission today. It started last night. Ksusha (my dear девушка) got set apart today. First, anytime I am in the chapel of the Central Building, I just think of my mission. I can't believe that it's already been basically a year since the last time I stood there to bear a missionary testimony. Anyway, I saw some of the Elders I served with (one Russian who I haven't seen in probably a year and a half, one Russian I see fairly often, one of my Germans who is sitll serving). And most importantly, Ksenia was set apart. Pres. Boiko said some beautiful words about being a missionary and what it means and how as a missionary you are someone's angel and how those you teach, whether they get baptized or not, will always remember you, and here I am looking at this girl, one of my best friends, who I met and taught about humility and then 2 weeks later I spoke at her baptism and for the next 9 months we worked together and taught each other and then she served a mini-mission and I went home and we remained best friends. And now, she's leaving and I could not be more proud. We will always remember each other and love each other--angels for one another. And although the past two days I've been missing my mission more than I have in a long time (like being a missionary and not just the mission, since I'm in Moscow), today it was such a happy missing. I was definitely crying tears of joy. I can't wait to go cry more when I am her "first companion" (just like she was my "last companion") and take her to the airport on Tuesday.

I am so grateful I was able to be a missionary for my Lord and Savior. I am so grateful that I served in the Russia Moscow Mission. I am so grateful for Ksusha. I am so grateful for everything connected with my mission. It changed me, and I only hope that I changed it (meaning the people and situation in my mission) even a hundredth part of how it changed me. Maybe Russia is not really "home" anymore, but it always will be. Part of my heart will always be here, and my missionary name tag will always be engraved on my heart. I will miss it--for better or for worse (luckily now that the first few months back are long gone, it will mostly be for better)--every day of my life. And I am so glad that now Ksusha will be able to have those experiences, and feel what I feel. I hope that one day soon she will find her twin somewhere in St. Petersburg--a twin she'll be able to teach and love and grow with and send on a mission.

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