"I realized 2 big things in relation to missionary work this week:
1) My (formal) missionary service is over. I need to stop living in the past about it. I can't go back. I can't put the tag on again and leave all these worries (as much as I want to). The stewardship and revelation for those people has been removed from my shoulders. I can still love them, support them, keep in contact with them, and be some for them to lean on. BUT my direction in life has changed. And that's OK. Heavenly Father has new things for me to focus on.
It was a really hard pill to swallow. Because all I want to do is be a missionary. All I want is to be back in that world. I want the schedule. I want the lifestyle. I want mission presidents, silly missionaries, quirky members, testifying at all times, and constant fulfillment. But my missionary role has changed. Now it involves strengthening those in my new stewardship. Now it is training up the new leaders in Relief Society.
2) I found myself thinking yet AGAIN about a friend of mine from High School. For the last 8 years, whenever there is a lesson, in YW, Sunday School, MTC, mission daily life, district meetings, or random promptings, it was ALWAYS to share the gospel with *****. I was sooooo scared about it. I thought about her constantly while in the field. I got home, and rarely thought about it. Then, for the last month, in Elder *****'s emails, he has asked me to share the gospel with someone. And every time I read it, I got scared. WHAT!!??!!??!! scared? That's dumb! I have been a missionary! What the heck??!! I can share the gospel with anybody! I have taught crazies, drunkards, and gang members! I CAN BE A MISSIONARY!
"I need to do something about that prompting," I filed away in my brain. And then I read the First Presidency message in this month's Ensign. SLAP IN THE FACE!!!!! Melinda! Get your act together! Do it NOW! This Christmas! Share with her the thing that is most precious to you! So the next day I went out and bought a hard-cover copy of the Book of Mormon, and I am going to send it to her this week. I plan to write her today. I couldn't believe I was scared. COME ON MELINDA! good grief! I CAN BE A MISSIONARY! a dang good one too.
That was a particularly long email, but I just had to share it with you. My life is soooo different now from the one you are living. Not in a bad way, just different. Totally different. I miss your lifestyle, but it is now in my past. I have lessons to learn that are different then yours. And I have a different focus. I was sad to admit that to myself. I didn't want to leave my mission behind. Not ever. I wanted to constantly live in it. I didn't want to loose it. But I realized a critical principle: coming home isn't about forgetting or leaving it behind. Coming home is about adding more to it. Adding another type of maturity and understanding. About keeping that which I discovered. About living a higher law in a tougher environment. Its ok to move on. I didn't think it would be ok to move forward, but heaven has assured me that its the right path to take."