Most of my thoughts on this blog have come from mormon messages on youtube, as well my missionary quote book. About 14 months into my mission I was in a town called Negombo located on the western coast of Sri Lanka. These people had never seen an oriental person in real life before, just on tv or in movies. So my nickname was Jackie Chan Vagay. Meaning like a Jackie Chan. The elderly women would come up and touch my hair and go on about how beautiful, straight and black it was versus their frizzled, lightened brown hair, but I loved these people so much. I went home one night and before I went to bed, I decided to write what I felt at tat very moment into my quote book. The title of it was "Why am I on a mission?" dated 26 August 2004
" The scriptures say that charity is the pure love of Christ, it is possible for us to have that much love? I don't know, but I am willing to try. My decision to serve did not come just in one time, but over periods of growth in the gospel in my life. Primary, Aaronic Prisethood, seminary, institute, Melchizedek Priesthood. Overall I believe the main factor besides growing up in a family with the gospel, is knowing for myself that the gospel is true, but I did not want to rely on others telling me, but wanted to do what was necessary to find out for myself. A primary song I always sang, finally woke me up one day in seminary, the year I was studying the Book of Mormon. I finally said to myself, "now is the time to 'search, ponder, and pray...'" I put myself to learning, studying, praying, it felt good. Then the invitation at the end of the Book of Mormon, Moroni chapter 10 verses 3 through 5. That "feeling" everyone talks about was somewhat familiar to me growing up, but this time, it was real to me, what I was taught, what I had learned, all those talks, scriptures, lessons, were confirmed to me that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true., and I could not deny it. Now that I know this, it also dawned on me what true happiness was really all about; bringing souls unto Christ. Why should I hold back? The next step you would think is mission, but it was preparing for the higher priesthood and the temple. You hear about the temple, but you cannot really say anything until you experience it. Now the mission call to Singapore. the hardest time is the time between your call and leaving for the MTC, then for the field, then leaving for home. In all my life I have never felt more joy, peace, sadness, I love these people whom I serve so much that I desire to stay with them all of my days if possible. I love this work, it is true."
Nearly 8 years have passed since I wrote this passage. Looking back on how much I have grown since then give me a great perspective of how much my mission has shaped and changed my life and continues to do so all the time. I encourage those of you readers who are return missionaries to "go back" not meaning physically, or just by remembering stories, but read your mission journals and letters to remember. I know we all move on, but it's great to remember good times as well.