First of all, Happy 22nd Anniversary to both of my awesome parents!
Also, Happy 21st Birthday to that awesome missionary they call Elder Trevar Dahl!
So here's what's going on.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! I AM TOTALLY FREAKING OUT!!!!!!!!!
Both of my bags are packed and ready to go. I can't believe I'm going home tomorrow! It just doesn't even seem real. I feel like I should be a full-time missionary my whole life! I guess I only got 18 months to do it. This isn't even real life.
It's been the craziest week ever.
Tuesday, we got to play some ping-pong with the youth! That was a TON of fun! Man, I haven't played in forever!
Wednesday, we had our departing temple trip for all the missionaries that are going home. That was so cool. I think the coolest part was right as I was walking into the Celestial room, President and Sister Van Cott stood at the doorway waiting for me. I gave President a big smile, and he greeted me with the warmest smile and a firm handshake. His face showed unconditional love and pride for his missionaries. I'm pretty sure I got a glimpse of how my Father in Heaven sees me. I then turned to Sister Van Cott where she embraced me in her arms and whispered the words "I love you" into my ear. That was the best feeling in the world. It feels good to know that your mission president and his wife are proud and pleased in your missionary efforts and what you have become.
After the temple trip, we drove back to the mission office where we wrote letters to ourselves. I had to start by writing, "Dear Emily..." that was really weird. That doesn't even seem like my name anymore. We wrote about the goals we want to achieve when we're at home, and President is going to mail them to us in about 3-4 months.
After we wrote our letters, we got to have Cafe Rio for lunch. Yumm! After I cut into my burrito, I was like, "Aww man! I didn't want beans."
Two seconds, after I said that to myself, President, on the other side of the room asked, "Who did not order beans?"
"...oh...I'm sorry, Sister Sommers, I just inhaled half of your burrito, but I can trade with you."
I have the best mission president. :)
After that, we just had a little training by the Van Cotts on how to survive in the real world. Then we could ask any questions we wanted. I was super grateful for that!
The evening I returned, the C---'s threw me a farewell party, and a lot of the Ward showed up! That was a blast! Ugh! I LOVE THE C---'S!!! They would seriously go to the very ends of the earth just to do about anything for us. We owe them the world!
Thursday, I had my departing interview. That was nice just to chat with President about my fears, my goals, what I'm going to miss, and what I'm excited about when I come home.
Thursday, I accidentally ate some peas. You think I would've learned by now. This time, my whole face blew up. That wasn't really a whole ton of fun.
So this is it, eh?
Well I just wanted to close with my testimony.
I will be forever grateful for being able to serve the Lord here in the California Redlands Mission. I have grown, and have learned a lot. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know it to be another testament of Jesus Christ. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and I know that Thomas S. Monson is our living prophet, today. I'm grateful that we have prophets that lead and guide us in this world of shifting values. I'm grateful for the Plan of Slavation. I know that it's through His plan, that we can live with our families forever. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father. I know that the Lord is
very mindful of us, no matter what circumstances we may be in, and I know that He hears and answers our prayers. I'm grateful for our Savior and His perfect example, and that He gave His life for me and the rest of the world so we could make it back to live with Him again. I know that Jesus is the Christ, and I know that He lives in the name of Jesus Chirst, Amen.
See you soon!
Sister Emily KaeLynn Sommers