time flies

i came home a mission ago. today marks 18 months; i've been back as long as i was out. isn't that super weird?

yep - a whole year and a half (plus some) since this picture was taken on my last pday.

and 3 years, plus some (3 years - that's like basically all of college!), since i posed for the obligatory (but i loved it) mtc map photo.

still, 547 days later, everyday i marvel at the miracle of the mission. everyday i thank heaven that it was right for me. everyday i pray for those people i met and taught. everyday i use the lessons i learned. everyday i try to live like i was empowered to then. every single day a bit of me misses being a missionary! i loved the mission an abnormal amount. i think i loved it so much because before i left i made a promise with god that i would not waste a second or an ounce of energy. and i did not. it is the one thing in my life that i have zero regrets about. i gave every tiny sliver of myself.

in my farewell talk, i spoke about sacrifice. the things i was giving up to serve a mission seemed so huge to me! gigantic. they were real and significant. i spoke like i was a martyr. after, a family friend approached me and graciously complemented me on my passionate talk, and then he said, "but i think you made one error in your remarks, and you will come to find this is true in the next 18 months - it is no sacrifice. the mission not a sacrifice at all." i shrugged his comment off, insisting to myself that he had no idea how huge (gigantic!) my sacrifices were, but it took me a lot less than 18 months as a missionary to realize he was right. the blessings (such a quaint word for what i am talking about) outlandishly outweighed the sacrifices. and they still do. (p.s. to read more of my blogging about the mission, click here and here and here.)

the coming-home day 18 months ago was so surreal. i had buried myself alive in missionary work. i'll never forget standing with a clump of elders at a corner in the salt lake airport. after a long journey, there we were on home soil, and we nervously scurried out of the terminal towards ground transportation. then, we stopped, knowing that once we made a little turn we would see our families. it would be over. it would all be over. 30 seconds. no movement. a beating heart. one elder broke away and we had to follow and the "real" world hit us in the faces. that was 18 months ago today - i just can't believe it.

crazily enough, this same day also marks one year since i left for india (...and left behind a boy i loved). i've been thinking a lot about that experience lately (both). that's a post for another day (just india). but woah, time flies! i like milestones like this. i like the perspective of looking back over a span of life.

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