Monday, May 9, 2016

The Last E-Mail

My time is coming! I still have four days after this email but of
course the reality of going home is hitting me because I have shipped
nearly all my clothes and I'm only left with a carry on until I arrive
in the Americas.

As I prepare to come home I wonder if I've changed at all and if any
of you back home will recognize that change. I know one person who
will not be surprised: my mom.

I heard once that missionaries don't change at all, but they revert to
the kind of person they were when they were young and undiluted. I've
believed it ever since I heard it.

For me, I have to reach pretty far back to get to my undiluted state.
For me by the time I was twelve I was already miserable for some
reason and I thought I was fat when I was eight so let's go way back.

Apparently when I was a toddler I would reach out to strangers in the
super market. Now, as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, there's nothing more I love than talking to
strangers. I believe now that it is possible to love strangers and
life is more fun when you open up your heart to everyone, while it can
also be painful.

At the age of 22 months if I didn't like someone I pushed them away.
So maybe I don't push people I don't like away but I've earned really
fast reflexes when it comes to avoiding hugs because I've had to avoid
hugs from half of the world's population for a year and a half. I also
now know how to push away temptations and poisonous habits. If I don't
like something, I'm going to push it away. Even if I don't like the
smell of it, I'm going to push it away.

When I was too young to have a real good image of God, I imagined Him
as a T-Rex. In the back of my little mind, I knew that this T-Rex was
with me always. He roared in the face of my 1st grade enemies and
trailed behind the bus on the way to and from school. I loved Him and
knew He was always with me. As time went on and I knew God as a Man of
flesh and bones, I thought I didn't have the same communication
channel with Him as I did when He was a Dinosaur. When He was a T-Rex,
He knew I was sad or mad in the exact moment. I could just think about
how lonely I felt and He would be there. But now, as a Man, I thought
I had to pray to Him to commune with Him. At the end of my mission
I've realized that I can pray while teaching a lesson, I can pray
while my companion approaches a stranger. I am in communication with
my God nearly every waking moment and it's awesome

Let's face it folks sin makes you stupid and despite being a smart
little girl as I grew up and my sins got serious I got stupider. Not
to say I don't sin now, OF COURSE I do but I don't sin in the same
ways I used to and that makes me smart like I used to be. S/O to the
love of my life of a member in the Ward I'm serving in right now for
teaching me that.

Really, when it comes down to it, the way you were raised makes you a
great missionary. I have seen so many missionaries revert to the
children they were and sometimes it wasn't pretty. All the
compliments, acclaim, and praise I receive could easily be directly
forwarded to my mom because I am who I am because of her.

Happy Mother's Day! I love you! I'll see you super soon,

Sister Goldsberry

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