Exactly a week from today will be the day little brother, Elder Connor McKee, is finished serving a two year, full-time voluntary mission for the Church. I am enormously proud and terribly excited to join him and my parents in France next week. Connor worked harder than anybody I know to be able to serve as a missionary, and has been a great example to me of choosing to follow the Saviour. Today was his last missionary email he got to send out to his family and friends, and I wanted to keep it here forever!
Well. This is my last week of my mission, so granted, I’ve been thinking a lot about whats happened over these past 2 years. I can’t believe how fast its gone and the things I have done. Before the overload of “trunkiness” i think its a good idea to give you an insight to some of the big things coming up during my last week of my mission. One of the young adults that I found last year, Romina, has since been reactivated and,this friday will get her patriarchal blessing. Then, on Saturday, Robert, Lydiah and their 5 kids will be sealed as an eternal family in the Bern Temple. Then on Sunday, our ami Andres will be baptized. Then, ill pack my bags and head to Lyon for my final interview with President Brown. After all of that, ill meet Mum and Dad and then start looking for a wife – Hahaha maybe not straight away.
Its a great week to finish on.
Its been a ride. Like every missionary, i’ve had the ups and ive had the downs also. Its been worth every second. I have learned so much about those around me, myself and above all my Savior Jesus Christ. Ive never done anything so difficult and so rewarding as this. Id like to share with you all a few of the things that I have learned and realized, other than the French language and tasty pâtisseries.
The first thing, is that I have realized how much I appreciate Christ. I knew he was the Savior before, and I knew that he suffered for me and gave everything for me, but I hadn’t previously had any idea of how much that hurt! My goal for the last 2 years was to make others lives better, through the best way I know. I never asked for anything in return, not a penny or gift or anything. People still obviously ignored my existence, avoided contact and in many cases made an outward effort to let me know that they didn’t agree with my little black badge with my name on it and the name of the most peaceful human-being ever to live. Granted, This was not always the case, but the point im trying to make is how much it hurt me, that all of my efforts were trying to help people, to bring them joy, and the vast majority were throwing it back in my face! I learned a little bit more about how much Christ went through and still goes through in a similar way with people. Christ volunteered to come and to take upon himself the pains and suffering of every human ever, just so that we could escape all lasting feelings of pain, guilt, hurt etc. by giving it all to him. In return, he asked for nothing. He was perfect, performed miracles both big and small, for thousands at a time, and also for one individual person at a time. He always did it out of love, for us. And what does he get in return for giving his whole life for those he loves in order for them to be happy? He was betrayed by one of his best friends, he was spat upon, hit, whipped, stabbed and even crucified (and a lot more) for trying to make us happy. Today still, 2000 years later, he is still rejected. “I don’t have time for that” or “Jesus wasn’t even that important” are common things to hear from people who dont wish to even try and understand that there is something grater to life. Those representing him are also spat on, punched, assaulted etc. (Never in any way near to what he went through obviously, but it still is a small glimpse) and all we want is people to be happy and understand that they are more than just the product of a make-believe bang in space, or the most recent version of an evolved monkey. The good thing is though, Christ is and always will be, Christ. Forgiving, patient, loving and loyal. They will all have the chance to accept him. Whether it is now or later, they will all have the chance to really learn of him and consciously make the decision for themselves. I will never forget this lesson. He did it all, expecting nothing in return. Purely motivated by love. I will not take him for granted ever again.
Another lesson that I have learned it that I’m not as great as I think I am. I have more faults than talents. Which also means there is a lot of room for improvement! What really counts though, is who I want to become and the efforts I’m making to become that person. In these last 2 years, I’ve changed more than ever before. I’ve gone through some strange experiences where I have many times had to look at myself and change some strong characteristics and opinions, to make everything go so much better for the greater good and to become more like the person God intends me to be. Its so worth it.
I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that he loves us all. God still acts the same way as he did before. Yes, he does still call prophets, yes, revelation is a real thing and yes, you can have a relationship with him. … I know [God] is there. I know it. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know Joseph Smith did not lie. I know it with all of my heart. I know that we can find peace and refuge from any of life’s storms through the teachings and gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that God loves us enough to let us make decisions, whether wrong or right. I know that if we are sincere, there is a way to be forgiven and be reclaimed by Christ. I’ve done it myself. There is a purpose in life. The people that are the most dear to us can be with us eternally, even after death. families can be eternal. I know that God knows us all and wants to help us, but wont force himself upon us.
I will always be grateful for France and Switzerland. The mission has changed my life, and it has been a blessing to change the lives of others. I dont want it to end, but I am ready to see my family.
Matthieu 16:25 Car celui qui voudra sauver sa vie la perdra, mais celui qui la perdra à cause de moi la trouvera.
Jean 15:13 Il n’y a pas de plus grand amour que de donner sa vie pour ses amis.
Mosiah 18:30 Or, il arriva que tout cela se fit à Mormon, oui, près des eaux de Mormon, dans la forêt qui était près des eaux de Mormon ; oui, le lieu de Mormon, les eaux de Mormon, la forêt de Mormon, qu’ils sont beaux aux yeux de ceux qui parvinrent là-bas à la connaissance de leur Rédempteur ; oui, et comme ils sont bénis, car ils chanteront ses louanges à jamais !
Que l’amour de Dieu soit avec vous. A bientôt.