Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Final Countdown!!!

Sorry, guys. Not that kind of countdown.

On Monday evening (December 2) I will be set apart as a missionary. Tuesday morning I am getting on a plane bound for Salt Lake City. After spending some time with my brother at BYU, I will enter the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday. That means that my mission starts in 3 days.

Those of you who know me and have been in my bedroom since 2010 know that I painted it myself- and that I painted a tree in one corner. I have "tied" a yellow ribbon around that tree- as we do for military men and women and missionaries alike.

My room is waiting for me to come home. It's a little bit tongue in cheek and a little bit just cute.

I have completed most of the necessary preparations with the appropriate level of vigor and vim. I was even quite stoic and brave for my shots. I didn't complain or bite anyone. 

Since my last post I...

Put up the Christmas tree

 Because no one else in my house was going to do it.

Set up my Christmas town

...In my younger brother's room. Hope he doesn't mind when he comes home for Christmas.

Packed my bags

And frosted about 40 trillion cookies.

This photograph does not represent all of the aforementioned cookies.

I also said goodbye to many of my friends and family members. Temporarily leaving behind personal concerns, friends, and family is one of the sacrifices that we make as missionaries. Some of them took it harder than others. Most understood that I have no desire to shun my family. This is indeed a sacrifice for me. But it is one that I know will help me to lose myself in the work for a season.

The plan of Salvation focuses on families. We believe that in order to become like our Heavenly Father we must be sealed in eternal families. We believe that the associations that we create in this life will carry on in the life to come. These relationships that we form on Earth are valuable. 

Temporarily leaving behind my family is my way of asking the Lord to make of me whatever instrument He needs me to be to serve His purposes. It is my way of giving up all that I am to Him.

As I mentioned in my first post, my beautiful sister Lisa agreed to post my letters while I am gone. Be patient with her if she doesn't post very quickly. She has a life.

I will try to keep these posts as fresh and entertaining as I can from afar. I'll send pictures and try to suggest easy links. for her to put up in order to add variety. Hopefully, it will be mostly a matter of copying and pasting from my emails to the blog.

I don't know if you all saw the new pink button with the dandelions- that is a link to my profile. You can learn a little more about me and what I believe. I even answered some fun questions that people sometimes ask about our church. You should check it out.

There are so many ways that Christ uses to reach out to us- I am glad to take part in a few of them. 

In the meetinghouse where my ward (congregation) gathers, there will be a plaque with my picture on it that says where I am going and includes a scripture of my choosing. The one I chose to include on my plaque is Alma 37:6-7. As we've discussed, it reflects my ideas about my own contribution to and purpose in this work. 

You'll, of course, be hearing from me. For me, however, this is goodbye and so I'll leave you with this.

As my great friends Bill and Ted once said in the midst of their own comparably excellent adventure: "Be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes!"

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