That is so crazy to think that it has already been a year since I came out on my mission! The time seriously has flown by! The days have felt like weeks but the weeks have felt like days. Or as some missionaries like to say, the mission is like a roll of toilet paper. The more you use, the faster it goes. But it has been one of the hardest, must frustrating, trying, years of my life, but at the same time though, it has been one of the best! I would never trade this last year for anything because of all the amazing things I have learned and the amazing people I have met!
Over the last year I have learned:
How to build a porch
How to skin a chicken
How to use a weed whacker
How to follow a schedule
How much I loved naps
How to love others
How to better study and understand the scriptures
How much I love spicy food
Chili Dogs are actually good
How to speak hick
How to cook
How great my family truly is! I couldn't do this without them!
How to be more organized
That dishes don't automatically get cleaned anymore so paper plates are better
Always love those you are around because you never know when you might leave
How to solve a Rubik's Cube
How much it sucks when your heater goes out in the middle of the night in the winter
How great heated blankets are
Ties are a way of life as a missionary. You can never have enough
I love Pepperoni Rolls
How to strive to be your Best self
How to work in a garden
Service can actually be a lot of fun
I really really like quotes
How to budget money (still working on that one)
How special it is to see someone find a greater love for the gospel and for their Savior
My mom doesn't like me walking on ice, or really that she isn't with me all the time
Getting caught in the rain in slacks, shirt and tie is not as fun as wearing street clothes
How to polish shoes
How to castrate a pig
Everyone loves their small town festivals
Everyone and their dogs has cats in West Virginia
and so many other great things.
But most importantly I have learned that Jesus Christ is our Savior and he suffered for each and every one of us. Not just our sins, but for our trials, our hardships, our pains and sicknesses. He loved us enough to suffer all of it for each one of us individually.
Our Heavenly Father truly loves each one of us perfectly. We are his literal spirit children and he knows us. He knows what we need and he will give us it even when it may not be what we want, and it may not be easy.
This life can be hard. It is not always easy. But if we rely on our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ, it will all be worth it! And all that is unfair in this life will be made up through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I know that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. They are glorified and perfected beings. They love us and we can show our love for them by following them and obeying the commandments they have given us.
I love you all! Thank you for the great support you have given me this past year! I hope that this next year can be an even better one!
Elder Ryan Carter