Well here it is, my last email as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It's a weird feeling and doesn't quite seem real. But my bags are packed and in 2 days I will step foot in the United States and hug my family for the first time in 18 months!
I have loved my mission. I have loved the adventures, the difficulties, and all of the people I have met. On my mission I learned many things; I learned to read a map, catch a bus, I learned to teach. I learned how to speak Portuguese and how to live off of $140 a month.
I learned how to be brave, how to bear my testimony, and how to truly live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I know that I will treasure every memory for the rest of my life. I know that God lives. I know that he knows us and loves us. He is the only one who truly understands what I have learned and how I have grown these 18 months, because he was by my side every day. He has strengthened me, blessed me, and protected me. I am here because He allowed me to be.
I know that Jesus Christ is what makes change and growth possible. Thanks to His sacrifice and example, we can start over every day. We can one day return to live with Him again.
I know without a single doubt that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the restored church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. We are lead by a living prophet and are taught the fulness of the gospel.
As I read yesterday the epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians, I couldn't help but understand perfectly how Paul felt about the people he had taught...
For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
For ye are our glory and joy."
My heart is bursting with love for the people I have met and taught in São Paulo, and love for my family and friends at home. You are all dear to me. And just like it was for Paul, it is my greatest hope and joy to think of seeing all of you one day in the Presence of God.