Sunday, September 13, 2015

Back to School

I really don't plan to post much more, but I wanted to post today.

I've been home from my mission for almost three months now. School started the last day of August and I love it. I needed something to do. I need to be learning. I love the classroom environment. I like studying and I enjoy being around so many young people who have plans to make this world a better place. That's one thing I love about BYU. I feel that we have vision for the future. On the signs at the edge of campus you can read the words "Enter to learn, go forth to serve." The point of learning is to build character and to serve others. I love the environment we have on campus.

I've discovered hat I've forgotten how to have a normal conversation with people. I always said that that wouldn't happen to me. It has. I hope that I'll get that skill back in the future. School is a good place to learn.

 Today my stake had a returned missionary fireside. I thought it was going to be uplifting and encouraging. I think it was meant to be. It ripped my heart out just a little bit. I thought about the people that touched my life and that I had the opportunity to touch. I ached for those experiences. I felt my spirit groan for those people whom I saw feel the spirit. I saw them feel the truth. I saw them come to know for themselves, but they aren't currently choosing to live according to that light that they received. That breaks my heart. I know there is much ahead of me, and I can't afford to look back.

I keep in contact with several of the people I met in Washington. I even got to visit a few of them on the way to visit my sister a couple of weeks ago. It was good to see how well some of them are doing. I pray for them. I've said this before, but if you've been taught by missionaries, somewhere they are praying for you. They love you, even if you haven't heard from them in years.

 This is the beginning of Sister Owens' last transfer, and Sister Allred goes home one transfer after that. It blows my mind that they are going home so soon. I remember serving with them when they were so new out.Sister Allred will be the last of my companions to leave the mission field.

 I've come back to a BYU with a different culture. So many women have served missions. I don't have numbers for this year, but in 2014, 19% of the female students here had served missions, and 56% of the student body. That's almost 1 in 5 of the women here. I see people who served in my mission just about every day.

Now, if you haven't served a mission-or if you aren't of my faith, don't think that that means that BYU is not the right school for you. I find us to be a fairly inclusive community. That's part of why I love it here.

Yours always,
Caroline Faulkner