And he would say, "Did I love my mission? Did I love my mission?! Come on, I LOVED MY MISSION!! You can't even imagine, you can't even comprehend how much I loved my mission. It was the best!! Man, you don't even KNOW how much I loved my mission!! You think you love YOUR mission...I LOVED my mission."
And that's how it is.
We talk about living/serving without regrets. We talk about leaving it all on the field, walking away knowing we did our best. I can honestly say that this past week I have been better at talking with everyone than I have been my entire mission. Leaving is strange because I still feel like I have the potential for improving. I am still making forward progress, working smarter, planning better, and growing. But they say the mission is the MTC for life. Sigamos adelante.
There are so many things that have marked me profoundly. The people, the hard times, the good times, the bikes (some literal scars), and especially companions. We did my last role-play of the Restoration this morning, because I wanted to. As I said those words, I could hear my trainer's voice. For the last 16 months, I have carried the same phrases, ideas, and explanations that she taught me. And it is still as true now as it was then. Hopefully I have taught my companion something of value too.
These feelings are hard to describe. I keep waiting to get a call from the mission president telling me that for some strange reason I need to stay here a bit longer. Leaving is one of the hardest things I have ever done. But I can't help being excited at the same time. For 18 months, I have avoided remembering the morning I woke my sisters up to say goodbye. Every single time I think of it, I still cry.
I know that this gospel is true. I know it is life-changing. I know that the Lord has a special place in His heart for missionaries, and I hope He has a special place for returned missionaries as well.
See you soon. I love you all so much.