Due to crazy scheduling next week (we are hosting a 4th of July party for all the Albanians) this will be my last email home. I will not be emailing next week. (So if you have anything to email me today-speak now or forever hold your peace)
Sooo...it is hard to imagine that this is actually coming to an end. I still haven't come to terms with the fact that I am going home in just 10 short days. Sisters don't get those extra 6 months and I can't believe I am finally coming home.
But I hope that you can all know what my mission has really meant to me. I never thought I would serve a mission. I never thought I could leave the comfort of my family and set on an adventure, not knowing if I could like any food besides spaghetti. Now looking back on those days of doubt, I realized what I truly lacked was the faith to step forward. I didn't think God would be able to help me learn a language, love a foreign people, or live without my family for 18 months.
How wrong I was. I am here to testify that God loves the missionaries. I never want to take off this missionary badge. The power and Spirit that this badge has brought me has been incredible. God helps the missionaries every single day. There isn't a moment when He doesn't walk with them. I felt the presence of angels throughout every week of my mission and I know it comes partly as a result of all your prayers for me.
I can testify of the reality of the Atonement-that it can make us strong.
2 Kings 6:16
15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and,behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
I was like this little servant who said, "What are we going to do?" But I know that God, never leaves us alone. That is the beauty of the Atonement. That is the beauty of the Gospel. That Jesus Christ suffered for us, that he can understand what we are going through. That He can strengthen us.
Is a mission the hardest thing ever? Yes. But is it worth it? Yes. And why is it that something so hard, so frustrating, so long can become the most rewarding thing of my life? Because for a small moment, I get to "labor for life's short day for Jesus the Crucified."
I was reading another email from an friend, and he said, that someday on the mission you feel like potter's clay. Smashed down and broken but every time God rebuilds you into something better. Into a better servant for Him. Into a better disciple.
I could go on and on about how much I love my mission, but I know that this is the most important thing I have ever done. Working day in and day out for the salvation of God's children. There hasn't been anything better.
I know that this the true Church, that it was restored by Joseph Smith. That the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. That Christ is the Head of this Church and that He will come again, and we can finally thank for everything he has done for us. He lives!
I love you all and the support you have given me through my whole mission.
Love, Sister Emilie Jackson
(Also, if you do have anything you need to tell me, I will be on the computer for then next 2ish hours). If not, see you on the other side :)