I've given a lot of thought to how the mission has changed me. In all honesty, I have changed in too many ways to count. I have a greater understanding of the Gospel and the scriptures. My testimony has grown stronger. I have a better work ethic. I am more wise with my time. I have even learned to cook new things and speak a little Tongan. I came out because of a spiritual prompting, a desire to work, and a desperate need to set my priorities in order, to put the Lord first. However, I stayed out here because I grew to love the people. It's usually very hard for me to open my heart and become attached to others, so I prayed every night to have more charity. It took a while to develop, but I can now say that I truly love the people I serve, and the missionaries I serve with.
I am a very different person now then I was when I first come out. Along with more charity, I have been blessed with greater confidence. For the first 6 months, or so of my mission, I was very shy. My companions always had to talk more in lessons, to pick up the slack. I was scared of tracting and talking to people on the street, but I did it anyway. It was tough. However, as I saw the Gospel change the lives of others, and felt the influence of the Lord more in my own life, my testimony of this work grew stronger. As my testimony in the Savior, His church and the Book of Mormon grew, so did my confidence. I grew more bold in promising blessings for keeping God's commandments, because I had seen many witnesses that God will always keep His end of the bargain. My testimony of each and every commandment has been strengthened as I have seen others abide by them, and be blessed. I have also come to realize that I was called and set apart to be a representative of the Lord by His priesthood authority, through my leaders. As my confidence grew, so did my humility.
I have come to realize that I am only a small part of the big Plan. The most exiting and rewarding times are when I realize how little I've done to help the people I work with, and how much the Lord has done to aid in their progression. It has nothing to do with my knowledge, charisma, or talents. I just do the work, and let the Lord cover the rest. My confidence in the Lord has grown tremendously.
I am very grateful for the opportunity I have to be a part of this work, and to see light enter into the lives of others. I know this is the Lord's Church, and that He is moving the work forward. There is no place I'd rather be, than here in the Mission field. It is absolutely amazing. These things I leave with you in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.