Monday, June 9, 2014

Last letter. A mission doesn't end with the plane ride home.

Hey family!
So, this email is going to be short, because one, I don't have a lot of time, but two, I'll be able to tell you everything next week anyway. I don't know if I'll be able to email next Monday. I assume not. We'll see.
It's been an interesting week. Definitely one of the more eventful weeks of my mission, what with seeing K come home, then making the decision to listen to him speak, which then led me to packing most of the night and transferring a day earlier than I thought I was going to. In retrospect, I'm grateful I have the chance to spend the last week in the field. It is the right way to end my mission. I am excited to be serving in Krakow with Elder Saltmarsh. I found myself trying to roll up my sleeves and give myself assignments while I would be down here, but I realized that such would not be effective nor helpful for Elder Brown. I really think the clean switch is best. It will be hard, certainly, but I won't have any temptation to try to step in and take over. It will give Elder Brown a real chance to step up and rise to his calling. Elder Lanham and I talked about the transition a lot. I think it was something we both dreaded, but knew needed to happen. I was so pleased to have served with Elder Lanham. As I look back on it, I know the Lord prepared both of us to serve at a specific time and fulfill a specific role. I feel honored and humbled to have been a tool in the Lord's hands to help the work move forward here in Poland.
I had a special experience yesterday in Kielce. Throughout my mission, I've never had the opportunity to bless the sacrament. In most branches where I would have been able to do so because of lack of priesthood, I've always played the piano. President Najberg gave me the opportunity to bless yesterday while we were in church. It seemed only fitting that my last Sacrament Meeting in Poland as a missionary would be the one and only where I was able to bless the sacrament. The Spirit there was powerful. Part of it was the return of K, but I'm convinced that the Lord was also telling me that I was in the right place at the right time. It was a feeling of comfort. It was so special to be in such a small gathering of faithful saints, all wanting to renew their covenants and follow the Savior. It was strange to think that the next time I'll take the sacrament, it will be in English, and with a huge group of people. I will forever miss Poland! The most comforting thing to me that happened during that whole Sacrament Meeting was the feeling that the Lord has accepted my offering. He knows me, He knows what I've done, and I feel that He's proud of me. My mission in Poland is not over yet, and I plan to make the most of this week. My life mission will never end so long as I'm on the earth. It's comforting to know that the Lord still has a work for me to do. I plan on doing it well and serving Him in all capacities that I might be able to.
I had an influential personal study this morning. I read Alma 5, but only made it about 8 verses into the chapter. Verses 6 and 7 talk about the Lord being merciful and freeing the fathers of the people from bondage. Alma calls them all to remembrance of those experiences. I was drawn back to my time in Szczecin and the trials I dealt with. As I think about them now, I'm amazed at the speed with which I changed and recovered. There were specific people around whom I served that helped me tremendously. The Lord placed them in my path for a reason. The Lord would not have me forget the lessons learned out there, nor the influence which He had in the matter. They will play crucial roles not only now, in this last week of my mission and in my preparation for President Uchtdorf, but throughout my whole life. The gospel is one of remembrance. That's why we keep journals, that's why we study the scriptures. If I can remember the lessons learned and perspective gained on my mission, I know I'll be able to deal with whatever might come my way.
I'm excited for a good week here in Kraków. Good things are going to happen. I can feel it. Elder Jensen's already given me a challenge to find 4 new investigators this week. I'm going to do so. I'm excited to have a chance to focus just on the work again.
Just like revelation doesn't end with the closing "Amen" of a meeting, neither does a mission end with the plane ride home.
Just a few highlights of the week--leaving our keys in the office and having to go back and get them at 10:15 at night; seeing 4 baptisms across the country on the day of Pentecost; being able to bless the Sacrament in Polish for the only time on my mission during the last true Sacrament Meeting I'll have as a missionary.
I love you all. Keep up the great work. I'll see you soon!
Elder Vernon

No comments:

Post a Comment