Well folks, this is hello and goodbye. I am about to leave in just two short days for one of the biggest adventures of my life so far and I could not be more excited. Mexico, here I come!
Before I get into the nitty-gritty of how to contact me while I'm away and other boring business issues, I want to give a shout-out to...well everyone I've ever met.
This sounds kinda silly, but I really am grateful to all the people that have been in and out of my life. Who I am today exists because of the experiences I've had in the past. And those experiences happened to me thanks to encounters I've had with the good, bad, and the ugly.
There were the years of horrifying tantrums and time-outs. (Whew) Glad that's over. Thanks Dad.
There were the endless jousts with homemade swords and the bouts of fighting that were most of the time fueled out of simple fun, but a few times with an undertone of real frusteration. Thanks Adam.
Dancing in the living room, screaming on the volleyball court, high school, college, dating, working. All great learning experiences. (Dancing? That's right. I hear I dance a great Irish jig - :) thanks Abby and Mom).
Some people were really surprised when I decided to go on a mission. I was even a little bit caught off guard by my decision. I kept thinking, "Why are you leaving all of your plans behind?" However, even though for the first few weeks after I made the decision I probably wouldn't have been able to give you a straight answer as to why I chose to drop everything and serve a mission, I knew that it was 100% the right decision for me.
After months of trying to figure myself out, I can now tell you the WHY of all this craziness.
I am going because I know that Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. And with that comes a knowledge that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds truths that will bring us happiness in this life and the life to come.
I know that God, our Heavenly Father, knows and loves each and every one of us. And because of that love He sent down His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer and to die for us so that when life gets tough there will always be someone who understands exactly how we feel and exactly how to comfort us.
I can't explain how right it feels for me to serve a mission right now. I know that I will miss my family dearly and that life might be going a little bit differently than what I had planned. But that's OK. Because I know that this is Heavenly Father's plan, not mine. And by following His plan I am choosing happiness.
My testimony may be simple, but it is strong.
I love you and I thank you for the lessons I've learned and the support I've received.
18 months will fly by and it won't be long until I see you again.
Until then... Adios mis amigos!