Well, its over. I honestly cannot believe it. I never thought that the end would come! Haha for about my whole mission I was really thinking that I would be staying here forever. But, like everyone told me, it does end. And it ends fast.
It has been a hard two years, I must admit. Many of you know that I struggled pretty hard at the beginning. I may have cried like a little girl a few times haha. But it was hard to leave everything I had ever known and come to a foreign country where no one knew who I was and no one spoke my language. I suffered, I cried from pain and sorrow, I felt very alone at times.
However, looking back on the two years, it's hard to remember how I felt in those hard times because I have also laughed so hard, cried from great amounts of joy, and have felt a love and joy that I had never felt before. Those feelings and memories over power the bad ones. I could not be more grateful for my mission. I have been able to feel the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life and have honestly felt the healing power that it has. IT WORKS!! I have seen it change peoples lives once they choose to accept it. It does not matter the pain or sorrow that we have, Christ knows EXACTLY how we feel at all times and will help us through it. And even if we are doing all that we can do and it isn't enough, the grace of the Atonement makes up for the rest. We can't make it to the end of the Plan without Him or His sacrifice. It has been an honor to be able to serve Him as a missionary. I know that this is His work. I also know that this was His mission, I was just used as an instrument. I found that when working in the work of the Lord, you can't do anything without Him.
After many prayers, fasts, and experiences, I now know that it is all true. I know it for myself because I have lived it. La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias is the kingdom of God here on the earth. It is the only church that holds the divine priesthood power to do ordinances and make covenants with God. I know with all my heart that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore the Church and to translate the Book of Mormon. I have been able to feel that confirmation for myself, and have been able to testify many times of it. I know that this Gospel will change and bless lives. I have become completely converted to this Gospel, which was one of my goals I had at the beginning of my mission. I am so proud and happy to say that I made it. I am finishing this thing, and it has completely changed me. I LOVE this Gospel!
Like you told me Dad, it's hard to put how I feel into words. It is going to be so hard to say goodbye to this crazy country that I have come to love with all of my heart. I am very excited to see you all on Thursday, but at the same time a little torn to leave all that I have come to know here. But, I guess its time to move on. I must take what I have learned and put it into practice back home.
Thank you all for the love and support that you have given me over the past 2 years. I know that I would not be here finishing if it wasn't for the incredible family that I have!!
I love you all so much and will SEE and hug you all on Thursday!
Elder P.R. Thorpe