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Goodbye Montana…….

Well I guess the time has come for me to say ‘Goodbye Montana’. It seems strange to think of my time serving as a missionary has now come to an end. I am at a loss of words. A flood of memories comes rushing into my head when I think back on my mission. 2 years is a long time; areas, companions, investigators, families, and friends. Each one has different stories and memories. I remember when I first arrived at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) in Provo, Utah. I can still remember saying goodbye to my family as I embarked on an adventure of a life time. I remember the sleepless nights and tender prayers I had kneeling in my top bunk there. I can still recall my first day in the mission field in Riverton, WY with Elder Fry, my trainer. I was asked to use the priesthood and administer a blessing of comfort for the first time. I will always remember my time serving among the wonderful people of Native America in Wolf Point, Mt. The stress I felt when training Elder Johansson for the first time. I look back at Luarel, Mt and laugh reflecting how I literally looked back at Elder Neilson through the rear window as he pushed our car through the deep snow covered streets.  I never will forget the beauty of Eureka, Mt, and the patience a love I learned there. Up-town of Butte, America will remain like a photograph on my mind. The people here are one of a kind, and I love them because of it.

Yes, on my mission for the lord I have learned more then words can describe. I have learned how to love. I have learned how to have patience. I have learned how to work. This mission has without a doubt, been the best two years for my life. I feel I have grown up and matured. I have seen countless blessings, miracles, and prayers answered on my mission. But maybe, perhaps, the most important thing I will remember, is the people whom I have served. The people whom I have prayed and fasted for. The people whom I have loved. The people who have blessed my life and taught me so much. The people whom I have played but a small role in them accepting the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is such a unique joy felt when you, or someone you help, comes unto Christ. And I have seen and felt that. I of course cannot forget  the people I served with, companions, church members, and friends. Each one of my Companions have taught me something. My Mission President, President Garner, will always be a pillar of an example to me in my life.

I wish I had time to share the many stories of the various people and places I have met and been in, but obviously that would take way to long. Have you ever seen the little stickers of “Get Lost in Montana”? Well looking back over the past two years it seems I have done just that. I have gotten lost. I have indeed gotten lost in Montana and Wyoming. I have gotten lost in the Lord. I don’t really want to leave home to go home, but I know it is time. I am excited to be back in Arizona and the things that await me there. But I will be forever thankful for my time spent serving the Lord in the best areas in the world! Goodbye, Montana…….

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He’s Been There Before

Have you ever had a hard day? How about a hard week or a hard month? Have you ever felt like just giving up? I know there has been many times on my mission when it feels like there is nothing more I could do. It has felt like everything was coming against me, like no matter what I did nothing got accomplished. It sure can be difficult when one never sees the benefits to their hard work; especially if you are trying to go about the work of the Lord. A missionary that I was companions with read this poem to me and it has stayed with me ever since.

The Alarm bell rings at 6:30, I stumble to my feet  I grab my companions bedding and pull off his sheets

A groan fills the room, is it already time to rise?  It seems like just a second ago I was able to shut my eyes.
The morning activities follow- study, prayer and such
When it’s time to leave the apartment, you feel you haven’t accomplished much

“We have a super day planned,”
My comp. says with a grin
I lowly utter a faithless breath,
“Yeah, if anyone lets us in.”

With the word of God and my faithful Schwinn, we ride off in the street Prepared to face another day of humidity and heat
It’s 9:30 in the evening, the day is almost through
My champion and I are riding home not accomplishing what we thought to do

We ride up to the mailbox, hoping to receive a lot
Only to look inside and hear my echo reverberate “air Box”
We go up to our apartment, the day is now complete
The only thing to show for our work is a case of blistery feet

It’s past 10:30 p.m. My companion is fast asleep,
Silence engulfs me all about and I begin to weep
In the midst of sadness, I kneel down to pray
I need to talk to father, but I’m not sure what to say

“Oh, Father” I begin, “What happened to us today?
I thought we’d teach somebody, but everyone was away
My hands, my aching hands- worn, hurt and beat;
If our area was any smaller, we’d have knocked every street”

“Why on missions are the days so much alike?
The only difference about today was the flat tire on my bike
Will you send some cooler weather? The heat is killing me
I sweat so bad, it gets in my eyes, it’s very hard to see”

“Why do I have to wear a helmet, isn’t your protection enough?
People always laugh at me, and call me stupid stuff
Please send us investigators so I may give them what they lack
I want to give them Books of Mormon, the weight of them hurts my back”

“And what about my family: They don’t have much to say
I’m sick of not hearing from home day after day after day
Oh Father, Why am I here am I just wasting time?
Sometimes I just want to go home, I’m sorry but that’s on my mind”

“My companion, Heavenly Father, what are you giving me?”
The way he rides his bicycle, I don’t think he can see
Now you have it, I can’t go on, I don’t know what to do
That, my Father in Heaven, is the prayer I have for you”

My prayer now finished, I stand up, then jump right into bed
I need my rest for tomorrow, we have another long day ahead
Sleep start to overtake me, I seem to drift away
Then it seems a vision takes me to another time in another day

I’m standing alone on the hill. The view is very nice
A man walks to wards me and says, “My name is Jesus Christ”
Tears of joy well up inside, I fall down to His feet
“Arise,” He states, “Follow me to the shade. You and I need to speak”

My attention’s towards my Savior, total and complete
He says, “Your mission is similar of what happened to me
I understand how you feel, I know what you’re going through
In fact, it would be fair to say I’ve felt the same as you”

“I even know how you felt when no one listened to you
At times I felt not quite sure what else I could do
I know you don’t like to ride a bicycle, for you a car would be sweet
Just remember the donkey I rode wasn’t equipped with 21 speeds”

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