I'm in denial.
Don't worry, I'll probably get over it by Wednesday, but as for today I'm not in any position to go home. Or perhaps I am, or perhaps I HAVE been for a very long time now...whatever the answer may be, I don't know if I'm ready to accept it.
If I could, I think I would stay here for another week....But my plane ticket is already bought and things are all ready for me to go home....
Except for my suitcases, that is, which are something that I will have to work on for a while tonight.
But, all in all, I am confident to say that I have served a worthy full-time mission. That these past two years I have grown in spirit and in character...that I am a better person than I was when I left.
No, I'm not perfect, but I am getting better day by day.
Its so hard for me to believe that 2 years ago this month I set off on such a grand adventure...as the bright, innocent boy in the airport, young enough to make my fellow passengers wonder if my parents knew I was here.
After having the time of my life in the CCM, I went to San Juan and spent 6 months there.
With Elder Hernandez I learned the ropes of being a missionary, how to get things done...I learned how to work with members and how to love the people whom we served.
With Elder Alvarez I learned about friendship, how to be a true and honest servant of the Lord. How not to buckle under pressure.
Then I received my true trainer: Elder Beckstead. With him I learned how to be an example, and how to work my very hardest every day (even in my dreams I found myself knocking on doors), how to enjoy the mission and help others to do the same.
Afterwards I went off to Jutiapa, where I learned from my Brazilian companion how to be exactly obedient. And how true humility is not only doing the Lord's will, but having the sincere desire to subject myself to his will...with a smile on my face.
In Montufar I learned from Elder Gil that it's important to have a friend who loves you enough to correct you...to be diligent in working even if we don't see the results. How to be dedicated to the work of the Lord in every moment, not just in body but in spirit as well.
From Elder Prestwich I learned to have faith in our works. Just as Faith without works is dead, works without faith is as well. I learned that perfection is a process, and the most important thing is to make sure that you are always improving.
When I went to Tesoro with Elder Argueta I learned how to love someone in spite of a wrong choice that they make. How to desire the spiritual aid of another...but to also respect their agency. When he went home I was sad.
Elder Linford taught me to be a Leader, that a leader is someone who inspires, uplifts and aids all of those for whom he is accountable...and that numbers don't matter as much as the heart and progress of the Missionary.
Elder Gudiel helped me to learn that every person, every investigator, member and missionary has a story, that they themselves have deeper meaning than the face value, and that we can help them if we only listen.
Elder Simoni in Panorama taught me how not to overstress the things that we do....to take a breath and do it right the first time. To be the person that people enjoy being around without compromising your standards.
Elder Chunga was a truly good friend as well. A person who defied the popular opinion for the things that are right. How to work your hardest in spite of the hardness of the people's hearts.
When I came here to Castillo Lara I learned a lesson with Elder Hughes on Patience....how to be truly good and without guile, and how to not only accept my own weaknesses but also those around me.
And now, with Elder Taya I have worked harder than I have with anyone else....and learned that if you can be someone's friend...they will always have your back.
Truly. I have had an incredible mission.
I will write more about what happens these last 3 days on Thursday or so...Thank you to everyone who has been such a great support to me during this great adventure I am so happy and grateful that I was able to get this far!
I may as well start packing
See you on Wednesday!
-Elder Tyler J. Monson
What a beautiful tribute to each companion Elder Monson has had. I love how he tells what he has learned from each and taken that and applied it. He had some amazing experiences that built and shaped his mission and will shape his life.
The last "I'm on" email this morning. I'm super emotional with too many emotions to identify but the strongest one right now is gratitude. I'm grateful for a son who chose on his own to serve a mission, to go when he did, to answer the call and serve with all his heart, might, mind and strength. I'm grateful for a son who did not quit, did not give up on himself, on the mission, on his companions, on those he taught, the investigators, the district and zone he lead, he did not quit when learning the numbers in the office as Secretary. He did it! All on his own... he learned to rely on the Lord and never give up. I'm grateful for two wonderful mission presidents and their wives who took care of him, who loved him, corrected him, listened to him and protected him. I'm grateful for Elder and Sis. Trapnell who took care of him during surgery and after. I'm especially grateful for the members and investigators who took him in, fed him, loved him, and listened to him. I'm grateful to the Lord for protecting him and allowing him to learn and grow.
And now its time for me to sign off... no more Missionary Mondays (atleast until the next child goes out). I'll miss the regular communication with Tyler, the small insight into what he was going and feeling. He wrote every week, never did i have to wonder and I'm so grateful for that. His pictures are worth a thousand words too.
Can't say it better the Elder Holland:
"Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead—a lot of it— You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.”
And guess what... that's exactly what Elder Tyler Monson did! And I believe he will keep doing, life has another beautiful chapter for him and it starts Thursday morning!
Love you to the moon and back Elder! See you Wednesday!