It truly is the strangest feeling to be totally surrounded in the chaos of missionary work, only to find yourself in an airplane going home the very next day. I flew out like a thief in the night, covered in darkness and stars until I was eye level with them both--and I stared out into that infinite expanse for some time. I cannot explain everything that passed through my mind in that moment. It began with an overwhelming loneliness that ended with a divine gratitude that I survived and overcame everything I passed through.
Now that I'm home, I've hugged my mom, I've eaten American macaroni and cheese, and I've been released, I look out into the infinite reaches of my future and I don't have any fear or trepidation. I have absolutely no answers to the questions that people have already begun asking me--where will you work? what will you study? what will you do with the rest of your life? I simply tell them the truth--that I have no idea. My only plan is to trust in the Lord and to lean on His understanding. The next steps in my journey are no longer mine to take alone.
I used to try and explain this feeling to people when I was at Temple Square--the reassurance that comes about the future when we look through the eyes of faith. I would explain that if they would just imagine how it would be to see through God's eyes, they would understand that He isn't some distant stranger, nor are we ordinary wanderers with no purpose here on earth. When we live for God, we are literally lifted up spiritually until we can see everything. Instead of being blinded by mundane living, we see with perfect clarity. I would then take them over to this picture and say that this man is an example of this principle. His sacrifices to build the temple took him to new heights, and the same thing happens when we build our faith.
I still don't know what this man's name is. I would like to know. That lesson I learned at Temple Square changed my mission. I have to thank him by name someday.
God took me to places I couldn't imagine over my 18 months of service. More to follow on that with the Homecoming talk. But I can honestly say that I have had that vista lain before me in a way I never imagined. The view was incredible, something I can never forget.
São Paulo tornou uma parte de mim. Eu não posso negar que eu vi milagres, que eu fiz milagres juntos com o Senhor e os anjos Dele. Eu não posso negar que minha vida mudou para sempre com minha missão. Meu Presidente falou que Brasil é melhor agora por causa de mim, mas eu digo que eu sou melhor por causa de Brasil.
Eu sei que Deus vive. Eu sei que Ele tem todo o poder no céu e na Terra para salvar todos os filhos Dele que desejam ser resgatada. Isso foi minha missão. Isso foi meu propósito. Eu sei que minha missão não termina aqui, e que ainda existe, muitas almas mais para mim ajudar. É uma responsabilidade grande, mas valeu cada momento que eu servi o Senhor ao lado Dele.
Eu sei que a igreja é verdadeiro. Eu sei que o Livro de Mórmon é a palavra de Deus. Eu sei que Joseph Smith foi um profeta. Meu testemunho é simples, mas meu conhecimento destas coisa é claro e está tornando como sabedoria cada dia mais. Vai me guiar em meus passos durante o resto de minha vida. Este testemunho eu deixou em nome de Jesus Cristo, amém.