So, I can honestly say I never thought this day would come! I guess I always knew it would have to.. but I never thought it would really come for me. I feel like one big bag of a million emotions and thats probably the best I can do at explaining how I feel in this moment. 18 months of giving it your all is so hard to walk away from, but at the same time I know its time to go home. I think the only thing that makes it hard is knowing that when I leave here, I wont be able to come back as the same person. I will come back as Charlie instead of Hermana Cole. This calling has been and will be the most precious calling I will ever have. Being set apart not only to be a servant of the Lord but to be a representative of Jesus Christ is a feeling you cant get anywhere else. I know part of that calling will never leave me though. Even though the tag has to come off and His name wont be there on my shoulder, it wont ever leave my heart.
There have been both the goods and the bads for sure! But even through the greatest "goods" and the worst "bads" I have been able to look back and find gratitude for both. It has helped me to learn so much. I never thought that I would grow SO much in EVERY SINGLE aspect of my life. The mission truly has been a miracle for me and for my life. Looking at who I was before the mission compared to now is very humbling and I know it is only possible through allowing my Heavenly Father to shape me through experiences He knows that I need. Hahah but accepting that He can see the bigger picture when we cant, can be hard sometimes. I know each and every experience I have had, has been for a reason. I know that each and every person that I have met has been for a reason and I know they have changed my life more than they will ever know.
That is one thing that I was not expecting at all! I came out here because I knew how much the Gospel has blessed me and ultimately how much it has just made me HAPPY. I knew I didn't know everything (not even close!) but I knew that I wanted what I felt for other people and I knew that I could love them... What I didn't realize was how fast I would come to love each and every person. As missionaries I feel like we are blessed to be able to look at people and see people through Heavenly Fathers eyes and we are gifted with the ability to feel just a sliver of the love that He has for every single one of His children.
If nothing else, I hope that others have been able to feel of their Heavenly Fathers love for them through my service. I know that He is there. He loves us. It doesn't matter who we are or where we are. It doesn't matter how far away we are running or how close we are trying to get to Him. It doesn't matter what we are doing or what we have done. It doesn't matter if we don't know or if we know of a surety that He is there. He loves us. He loves each and every one of us. I know that my Father in Heaven knows me by name, because He is my literal Father in Heaven. I know that I have a Brother who is my Savior. He suffered for me and all of us so that we don't have to. I know that I will see them again one day and I know that they will be waiting to call each of us one by one into their open arms. I know that the first and greatest commandment is to love God, our Father. But, the first and greatest truth, is that He loved us first.
Sending the last Potato land love that I can,