Hello, Dear Friends!
I am so happy to be able to write you today! I am currently traveling back to Rexburg. I just left Salt Lake City and I recently boarded the plane. Even though I am traveling today I wanted to all write all of you and share with you how my week and the weekend went! Words cannot describe my joy this entire trip! I love Oregon so much! Whenever I think about my heart longs to be there.
A majority of this week has been preparing to go to Oregon. With everything that I had to do to catch up in school when I first got to Rexburg, a couple weeks ago I fully caught up and I have seen how the Lord has truly blessed me because I’ve been striving to be faithful in my conversion to the gospel. This week was another testimony to me of that because I not only caught up in my schoolwork, but I was able to get ahead with my school work that was due this weekend so I wouldn’t have to worry about it while I was in Oregon! I sincerely felt the hand of God in my life as I realized, “I couldn’t have done all this homework this fast on my own, there’s no way.” But it happened! I’m so grateful if did because I truly enjoyed myself this weekend without having to think about any assignments or quizzes.
Okay, so you’re probably waiting to hear how the past couple of days went! So here we go!
I finished up my only class for the day on Friday and I packed a bag and carry on for my trip. My roommate was so awesome to see me off at the bus stop on campus down to Idaho Falls to catch my plane. My bus though was a half hour late to the airport because it was almost out of power, but thankfully we made it to the airport with enough time to get through security with any problems. I arrived in Salt Lake city and had some Cafe Rio for dinner during my two-hour layover. After that, I arrived in Eugene and was picked up by the Sutterfields! It was such a happy reunion between the three of us! But it was close to midnight when I landed and we had to wake up early the next morning and so we headed straight to bed.
Saturday was such a memorable day and it was so peaceful that if felt like someone had orchestrated the whole thing. We woke up early, Elder Blackwelder joined us as we picked up Lisa and headed to Portland! We had such a wonderful visit in the car as we drove up and arrived with plenty of time to grab breakfast. There we were joined by the former Elder Heaton who completed his mission about a year ago, and then we were joined by former Elder Russell who went home in December. The Deals, another senior couple that served in Newport also arrived for the special day. Needless to say, it was a tender reunion in the Portland Temple with several OEM missionaries. What made it even better was that there were, at least, a dozen or more members from the Newport ward that came to join in this happy day.
After a wonderful session, it was a wonderful moment we shared when all for missionaries sat on a couch with Lisa in the Celestial Room. It truly was a picturesque moment as we were all dressed in white. Later we took some pictures around the temple and headed over to olive garden for some lunch. Deseret Book was our last stop before heading back to Eugene. It truly was a magical day. But it wasn’t over, at least for me anyway.
It was stake conference for the Santa Clara stake in Eugene where the Sutterfields attend. I was so pumped because I would be seeing missionaries that I knew including my mission president! Joy and excitement filled my heart and ran up to hug the first Elder I saw! It was great to see those who are currently serving in Santa Clara! I got pictures with as many of them as I could.
So we had a Saturday and Sunday session of stake conference, and following that I was able to take 15-20 minutes to swing by the mission home and visit with President and Sister Russell. It was fun being able to catch them up on my life and what I have been doing. After a couple minutes, Elder Russell arrived with his parents and that gave me an opportunity to take a quick picture with President and Sister Russell.
As we headed back to the Sutterfields apartment we got to talk to my old companion, Chase Hanssen! That meant a lot since he and I were serving together with the Sutterfields in Newport.
We then changed and headed to the Florence beaches to take a little nature walk close to the ocean to end this amazing weekend! It was soooooooo beautiful! I have missed the Oregon Coast so much! It truly was painted by angels. Once we were back to Eugene I finished packing for my early morning flight to Salt Lake City and back up to Idaho Falls then Rexburg.
Honestly, I hope all my missionary friends will feel the same joy that I felt as I returned to a place I loved with people I love even more. This love I feel comes as you dedicate yourself to this great and wonderful gospel. That was a slow but steady process for me as I was serving in Oregon. I have grown so much from being able to serve. Not to say that I don’t still have my personal trials, challenges, and temptations because we all do and we always will until our Saviors triumphant return. But I do know that serving a mission can be the most amazing thing for your life of you allow it to be. My roommate shared with me that it can either be the worst part time job or the best full-time job. In the moment, it may seem long, difficult, and discouraging. But with hindsight I have come to love the mission even more. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the one thing that will unite this world together, and I know it had united mine with yours and with Oregon.
I hope that this post does justice in truly expressing my feelings. I love you all so much and I pray for you each night. Don’t be a stranger now, keep me in touch with your amazing experiences!
With much love,