Sometimes when people tell me stories I worry when I hear them tell me that they were alone. Then I remember that most people can be alone for a little bit and it's not a problem. I also worry when I think about staying in one place for hours at a time. I have a little alarm in my head that goes off when I've been talking to someone for almost an hour and I need to leave. I don't know how I developed this sense, but it will be useful in school, I guess.
We went to the temple today. That is always a good experience. I need the peace that we get there. Especially because preparing to go home is a pretty stressful experience. I got to see some members of the ward I served in in Walla Walla. That was exciting as well.
I had my final interview with President Ware today. I really admire our mission president. He's been a really good influence in my life and his example. I can tell that he and Sister Ware really love the missionaries in our mission. He shared a scripture in 2 Corinthians 5:
"6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
He talked about how we don't get to know what's going to happen or how it's going to go (even when we have plans) but we can be confident and trust God, who lets us learn by experience. Our Father in Heaven gives us the Spirit to be with us even though we don't get to be with Him in this life.
I have really come to terms with going home. I was kind of worried about one of our recent converts, but he's doing better and I think with that I can work as hard as I can this week and then leave in peace. I have no regrets. The stress is taking a physical toll on me though. I think I'll get through.
President Ware told me that when you are missionary you have one purpose. We "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." When we are returned missionaries we have many more purposes, though that purpose is still included. We also have family, school, work, preparing for future covenants, family history and other church callings. We have more to juggle and we have to remember that not every priority is most valuable all the time. I respect that.
The work is going well. I will miss this area. I've been here so long. But I would trust either of my companions or both with it. I have confidence that the people we baptized here will endure to the end.
I suppose I'll see most of you soon. I get home Tuesday the 16th. My homecoming talk is on the 21st at 11:30 (I think). Everyone is invited.
Thanks for your love and support.
Sister Caroline Faulkner