Monday, August 20, 2012

"All Good Things Must Come To An End"

That was the subject line of Ian's e-mail home today. I am such a sap it's pathetic. I read the line and started crying and had to get kleenexes just to continue reading.

"Dearest Family,

It is quite hard to believe that after 2 years my mission has finally come to an end. While it may appear that I have four more days, for all intents and purposes my mission ended yesterday. Today is p-day and I will be packing my bags and we will have a training for the new trainers and the new assistant will be called. I will have 1 or 2 hours tonight that will be my last hours in the field that I will use to say goodbye to my recent converts here. Tomorrow we will have interviews with President and the testimony meeting. On Wednesday, I will catch the plane and then it will be 24 or more hours of travel.

We had a good last week although it was somewhat interrupted. We only had about 2 days in our area and the rest of the time we were in the office getting things ready for the transfer. Although I really wanted to spend my last week in the field, I don't feel so bad because we had almost the whole last week in our area. We finished off our week with a baptism of the daughter of a less active family that is coming back to church. 

It has been hard to enter into my mind these last few days that after all that has happened in these last two years, it will all come to an end. Last night was the first time that I started to feel really sad and realized that it is really coming to an end. It is a lot of mixed emotions...

I bear you my testimony that I know with a surety that this Church is true. I know that this is God's work. I know that if we are worthy, God will use us as instruments in His hands to do his work. It is truly a privilege to serve in the work of the Lord. I know that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Redeemer. 

I love you all immensely. I am very anxious to see you all in the airport on Thursday. I will try to call you when I get to New York." 
Wow. What an e-mail. My heart goes out to him. This is such an emotional time for a missionary.

I have so many thoughts running through my mind today and I thought I was doing just fine when I woke up except that I haven't slept well the last two nights. I keep dreaming about the airport and trying to get there on time.

Seth and I will spend the afternoon packing him up and cleaning the upstairs. I need to get Ian's side of the room ready for him to come home Thursday while getting Seth's side ready as he's leaving Wednesday. I'm supposed to do all this while holding it all together. I am looking forward to a wonderful week however. A celebration of many years of motherhood.

Yesterday I happened to see a talk by Elder Holland on BYUTV TWICE. How unusual is that? I figured it was more than just a coincidence because the second time when I sat down to relax at 4:00 and turned on the TV, there it was again so I watched it the second time. It was a wonderful talk that had so much in it just for me. I was particularly touched by the quotation from a poem by Robert Browning:

"Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith, “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; 
trust God: see all, 
nor be afraid!”
[Rabbi Ben Ezra (1864), stanza 1]
It seems as though Elder Holland knew just what I needed to hear now even though he gave this talk 3 years ago to students at BYU at the start of a new year:
"So, as a new year starts and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives...To all such of every generation, I call out, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the “high priest of good things to come.”
So as I "press forward" with faith this week, I have a sense of immense gratitude to God for my blessings. I anxiously await the arrival of my son that I have missed terribly and anticipate the departure of my last child from my home with a tender heart. I trust that God knows my heart and will help me as I navigate the many changes coming my way.


  1. I am in meetings for the start of the school year today. It was unwise of me to read Ian's email and this post during the meetings. Good thing I had Kleenex in my bag.

    Love you, mom. Love Ian, too and am looking forward to this weekend.

  2. It is really interesting for me to read your blog lately as you get ready to send Seth off to school. I feel like I can relate to feelings of change as I get ready to welcome my first baby into my home. I always find myself tearing up for all the good-byes and hello's that are coming. (P.S., I need to learn from Elisa and have Kleenex nearby...)

  3. Thanks for your words. I sent my son off on a mission on Wednesday. I have been trying to find someone going through similar things, then I found you! You are speaking exactly what I'm feeling. Thank you!

    1. Thanks for your note. I re-read this post you commented on. It makes me cry as I think of that tender time in our lives. The missionary son I wrote about here is getting married next week. It's time for me to start writing more I think because that's not easy either. We send my youngest son off to the MTC at the end of May. Hang in there Christy, the Lord will take care of you at this tender time, He always does. Liz