Thursday, April 10, 2008

Miss Missionary.

Yesterday I missed my mission so much I could hardly breathe. I wasn't expecting it. I was merely looking for something in my closet when I noticed my missionary letters. They are organized and sitting neatly on my top shelf. I want to be a librarian/archivist one day, of course they are organized. I brought a chair from the kitchen, so I could reach, and took the binders down. I sat quietly on the floor, and turned the pages. With the passing of each page I would peruse the beginnings and notice by the handwriting who each letter was from. There were birthday wishes and other wishes, wishes made more powerful for they were accompanied by prayer. My little brother called me "his dear sweet sister," and wrote that before he returned to BYU he wanted to remember to send me notes he had taken during a lecture by one of my favorite philosophy professors on my favorite philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard. Faulconer said he misinterpreted the story of Abraham and Isaac, and that had repercussions not only for his philosophy, but for everyone after him. I probably disagreed, but still loved reading the words. My older brother Joe would send me his poetry. Hyrum wrote me only once, despite all of his promises that he would be my best letter writer. He gave me money with a note that said, "promise to spend this irresponsibly, or send it back." The letter began, "here are a few things that may or may not have happened," and had things listed, like, "Pegah's still Pegah," and "Mom got a haircut. It is cute." I turn the pages further. My sister Charity, of sad news and good news. I didn't find this letter in there, but I remember when she wrote me that our dog died. I hated that dog, but for some reason cried and cried when I read her words, I think that it is because I heard it from her, and I know she loved that dog, and she was hurting. There were wedding announcements and letters of crushes from Davis, until he told me of his final crush, who is now his wife. There were letters from Meg and Becca during their own missionary journeys, looking forward to the day that we would be reunited, and still sisters in the gospel, akin to Alma the younger and his friends, who remained strong through fasting and prayer. I turned the pages still further. There were pictures from a five year old girl in one of the wards I served in. Her name is Cora. She is the most beautiful child I have ever seen. I played her little violin once. Twinkle twinkle. That is the only song that I can still play. I remembered the day she handed me the drawings. She was so shy. It was so endearing. Finally, I came across the departing testimony and counsel from my mission president in written form. Already the tears began to stream. Nearby was the letter he sent to my parents and priesthood leaders about my service, and it was all over. The compassionate and merciful praise he bestowed upon me in that letter was enough to burst my heart. I am immensely grateful to know this man, and even more grateful to call him friend. I remember realizing even when still on my mission, that knowing both President and Sister Huff was worth every sacrifice I suffered on my mission. It was worth every hard thing, every awkward conversation, every tired day...Now I am home. I have been for over 15 months. Meg and Becca are home too. I remembered last year, when things were hard, and on the hardest days I always, always received a letter from Meg. The timing was so perfect. It could be nothing short of what Elder Bednar once referred to as "Tender Mercies of the Lord." A few weeks ago I remembered this, and while being glad that they are here, missing that particular form of love, that arrived in my mailbox or in letter form each time I needed it. I wondered how that could happen now. It didn't take me very long to find out. The week after my musings I needed that kind of love. My friend Kristina had just been visiting from Boston, but had gone back home. I missed her already. A few days passed and I was cleaning my room when I found a card she had left me. The day after that I received a box of bottle caps in my mail box from my wonderful neighbor, Sam Dickens. She knew it was my favorite candy, and also that the autistic boy my sister watches had eaten my last box. It was a seemingly small thing, but I really did feel love, and gratitude that those simple little things still happen. Anyway. I served a mission. It was hard, but I am glad I did it. I still love the people there and I still miss it. I hope I will remember the things I learned. I hope I will live them, so my mission president can be pleased with what I've become, and so I can be, and God.

No comments: