Thursday, May 7, 2015

The faithful four and other thoughts

It's been two weeks now since my siblings and I were finally reunited after all serving missions at the same time. That's right, my family had FOUR missionaries out at once. :) And no, one of us were affected by the missionary age change. It just worked out this way! 6 out of the 7 kids in my families have served full time missions and I think that's pretty cool. :) If you want to read more about that, check out my mom's blog here.

This was us then..

And this is us now, just over 2 years later. :)

It's fun having us all home again and in a lot of ways it feels like we never left! I think we're all happier, more mature and more converted to the gospel but we're still the same quirky siblings we were before. :) Bethany, Mark and Matthew seemed to adjust to normal life right away. I on the other was very much still in "missionary mode" my first week back. I didn't like listening to the radio or watching TV, I kept the missionary schedule and I spent a lot of my free time doing chores around the house and reading church books. :) Which isn't a bad thing! I even went to work with my mom the first day back because I didn't want to be alone! Ha. But my siblings seemed to dive right back in to secular life. I guess I've always been the awkward one though.

It's fun going to church together and talking about our missions all the time. They appreciate my stories because they know what's it's like! We're all pretty close still and I'm very grateful for that. :)
I can't believe I've been home from my mission for 6 whole months!! But let me tell you, the past 6 months have been some of the happiest of my life. I've just been so blessed. :) 

I've also realized something these past 6 months. A lot of returned missionaries will say that they miss the spirit they felt on their mission. They make it sound like they'll never feel it the way they did ever again. But I've realized that just because I'm not longer a full time missionary, doesn't mean I can't still have the wonderful feelings and experiences I had on my mission! I definitely still have them.

I feel the missionary spirit when I make the time to study my scriptures everyday. When I stay study, I don't mean just reading a chapter and being done. I mean, really thinking about what I'm reading and how it applies to my life and then writing down the insights I've received. I've received wonderful insights since being home. Scripture study continues to be the best part of my day! 

I feel the missionary spirit when I go to the temple which is usually at least once a month. :) It's even more special when I bring family names.

I feel the missionary spirit when I perform my church calling as Sunday school teacher.

I feel the missionary spirit when I share my testimony with others.

I feel the missionary spirit when I participate in institute.

I feel the missionary spirit when I serve those around me, whether in big ways or small ways.

I feel the missionary spirit when I sing and listen to hymns.

I feel the missionary spirit when I write blog posts like this!

I've said it before and I'll say it again but I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ! I'm grateful for my family that helps me to live it more fully and are such good examples to me! Life is good and I am so blessed. :)