Saturday, June 28, 2014

So, I wanted to be all white-girl and keep a travelogue of my internship here and as you can see that didn't happen.

I guess me being in Japan doesn't really feel too much like a study abroad. It's more like coming to the other house. I'm with family, have been here plenty of times, and saw most of the touristy places when I was young. Of course, it's impossible to be in this city and not find a killer photo opp everyday, but I don't feel like I have much to say about them. So, I made a tumblr: It's just a wall of photos and I feel like it does a better job of expressing what I'm experiencing than I could with words.

Today I have to write though. I was able to meet an old companion last month and wrote about that. Today my (the second of the two) mission president's mission ended and he and his wife return to America tomorrow. There was a reunion tonight with all of the returned missionaries in the area and it was just like my last post about serving a mission; the joy was just exponentially bigger. From the moment I stepped into the church and into the company of all of those people that I served with, I started to dread going home. It was like I was breathing in courage, faith, virtue, charity, and hope with each breath. I can't begin to describe the love I feel for each of those people.

The fact that it was held in Japan was also big. Mission reunions in the states are wonderful, but holding one in Japan is a much bigger ordeal. Simply meeting with nearly 40 members of the church that are your age in Japan is a big deal; having history and extremely sentimental memories with each one is even bigger. It was as if nothing had changed and we were back at a zone conference. I realize now that I will never see all of those people in the same place again and because there's an ocean between our homes, it's hard to say when the next time we'll meet is.

I honestly didn't think I would have much to say about my mission when I came home. I didn't think I was that person. I LOVED it and for that exact reason I treat it as sacred and only share it at choice opportunities.

I suppose tonight was one of those nights. The joy of sharing the gospel made the mission worth it, but the blessing of eternal friends has been one that I've come to appreciate more and more as time passes.

I honestly wish everyone could experience this. I can't imagine passing up this kind of opportunity. Whoever you are, you will not regret serving a mission. I really believe that.