"Your work will not end on the last day of your mission."
Charles L. Cutler
On my mission we had certain milestones to be celebrated. There was the MTC departure date, the three-month mark, six months, and the year mark. Eighteen months was also a big day, and then there were the Trunky Papers. It was much like the celebration of birthdays in the real world.
As far as measurement of time goes, I admit I'm still in that missionary mindset a little. For instance, I was fully aware this week that Thursday was the end of the most recent six-week transfer cycle. I even called my last companion in San Antonio to get all the news before anyone got moved. On Mondays I think of the missionaries enjoying their Preparation Day . . . and I'm still doing my laundry on that day, too.
At heart, I still feel like a missionary. I'm in a different mission field now, but my work is essentially the same. My job is still to live the Gospel, be a good example, and find people who are ready to learn about it themselves. Other stuff has been added to the job description--classes, homework, family responsibilities--but all of it still works together to achieve the same purpose.
And so I must also take note that today is my one-month mark of this mission. It's kind of surreal; the time passed extremely quickly, but simultaneously, it feels like I've been home forever because of how things are going. In just a month, I've gotten involved with school, reestablished many social connections (including doing a little bit of dating), been given things to do in my ward, earned a little money, and seen a lot of interesting places. The Lord has blessed me very openly, and I've reached the majority of the goals I had for my first month home. Basically, life is back to normal.
But I can never forget my mission in Texas. I miss it every single day, and still have such precisely detailed dreams about missionary work--lessons, service projects, finding people--that when I wake up I am convinced they actually happened, and saddened when I realize they didn't.
Yet thankfully I have not had to limit such things to my dreams. One of my first Sundays home, the local missionaries made an uncommon (well, common for Utah) appearance in my ward, and I hurried to corner them at the end of sacrament meeting. We scheduled a time to meet up during the week, and the elders had a good laugh when they saw me pull out my own missionary planner I had saved from Texas.
Helping the missionaries has been one of my favorite things about being home. I can't even begin to describe the joy I get from doing the Lord's work, and I'm grateful that there's always something for each one of us to do.
It's been a good month. Here's to many more in life's great mission field.