Monday, December 22, 2014

Elder Nixon's last letter from South Korea

Well here we are on the last email. Nothing short of crazy to think that this is the last one I'll be writing. I decided for this last one that I would briefly write about my mission as a whole and how I feel about the 2 years I spent out here. I already know that whatever I write probably won't do justice to my experience, but I'll try my best.

Like most of us that grow up in the church, I had an idea of what serving a 2 year mission was and had some expectations to go with it. I don't want to say it wasn't anything like I anticipated, but looking back I think my expectations were just really vague. "Yea you just get up, you preach the Gospel, then you go to bed that's all there is too it!" Starting out, I was a little surprised that it wasn't just like a day job that I clocked in and out of each day. I knew, of course, it would require my heart and my testimony, but I never could have anticipated how much of my heart and testimony was needed to serve as a missionary. I learned that what was in my heart was central to the work and better yet would ultimately determine my experience as a missionary. Realizing these things wasn't always easy and caused me to look inside myself over and over again. As a result, my testimony became more and more internal and eventually I stopped looking at my heart and my testimony as two separate things. I can't say it was easy, but it was beyond worth it to me.

The time went by so quick. But thinking about it right now, I can't help but just smile and think of how deciding to come out here was the best decision I could have ever made. I know it's so cliche and I didn't think much when people said that to me before my mission. I guess what it means to me now is there is no way anyone could understand completely exactly what a mission could do for them until they go and come back. The lessons I learned, the people I got to interact with, the culture I lived in, and most importantly the testimony I gained for myself and helped others gain will be unforgettable. The longer I spent here in Korea, the more I realized that this was where I was supposed to be and that I was sent here for specific reasons for both myself and others. I know I already said it, but I just can't imagine what it would be like if I never came to Korea and lived like this for 2 years. I know that the effects of this decision will resonate for the rest of my life.

I know that God lives. He is first and foremost our Father that takes us, his imperfect children, and helps us become happier. He sent his son, Jesus Christ to suffer in an unexplainable way so that I can get up after falling down time after time. Doing this work cut me down and required the help of Jesus Christ more than anytime in my life and now I know that there is real power behind the Atonement of Jesus Christ and I've felt it endlessly. I know through reading The Book of Mormon that Joseph Smith truly did restore Christ's gospel to the earth. My testimony has been strengthened far beyond what I ever expected and I feel that the result I feel like my life is full of love for God, and for all people. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. I can't thank all of you enough for the support you have given me. It wouldn't have been possible without the support from all of you and all the encouragement you gave. Thank you so much for the prayers, the letters, the emails and the interest you showed in my missionary work.

From수원, with love. Elder Nixon

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