I don't believe that there is any other place that a young man of my age should be other than on a full-time mission serving the Lord. I do not have a doubt that we, the ones who sacrifice these two years, chose to do this even before coming to this world. I believe that God has been preparing me as well as these people I have come to know for larger purposes having to do with His work and Salvation. I have had countless experiences in my mission when I can say that the spirit of the Lord has guided me to help another stray soul. As the Book of Mormon missionary Ammon said speaking to his brethren after his mission, so do I feel now. "That (I) have been made an instrument in the hands of God to bring about this great work." I feel like my whole mission has truly just been preparing me for the things that God has waiting for me in the future. I helped numerous people grow nearer to Christ, but I think the largest growth has been in me. I have learned various important life principles including goal setting, extending and fulfilling commitments, effective teaching, living a gospel centered life, and many more that I could continue to name. I will surely be one of those return missionaries that cannot go a day without reflecting back on the things that I have learned. I consider myself privileged to be able to have concluded my time as a missionary and to continue along the path towards eternal life.
"Without doubt" is certainly the phrase that illustrates the position of my personal testimony right now. I will continue to liberate myself from forming doubts as long as I continue building my foundation upon the rock of my redeemer so that "when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon (me) to drag (me) down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which (I) am built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." I have learned that a testimony is something that no one can take away. The prophet Joseph Smith had powerful and definite words. 'I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it." He had an experience that changed his life from that moment onward. I consider my mission to be the same. Because of the eternal truths that I have become familiar with, I feel a larger mantle upon my shoulders and a larger responsibility to glorify God. The newly equipped armor of God bestowed upon me in these last two years will be of a large help for the challenges that wait in the future.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Deven arrived home at 10:20 this morning!! What a wonderful reunion it was for our family!! Deven had been up for over 24 hours and flying for over 21 hours. He was exhausted! His first meal back at home was Chinese food from Panda! Thanks to our families and friends for supporting him for these past 2 years!!
The waiting crew...
The best HUG ever!!
So proud of my boy...
The famous candy bar poster from the Aunts...
Welcome Home Elder Larisch! We love you!