This is Sister Slaugh's last mission letter! It's so exciting! She's coming home!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY STU!!!!! =D
So because I am cheesy and cliche, I just reread my first email that I sent as a missionary. My thoughts:
- Did you guys ever continue/complete the "Walk to Thailand" that Lorri suggested? haha :) To see how far along we got, check out the chart on the right of this page. It is a record of how far we got.
- In my first letter I mentioned how I was lost without my planner and watch. Haha wow and that was only my first week. And I mentioned how cut off I felt from the real world. Imagine how I feel now. I may have taken an extra planner so I can use it at home. Literally it is my life. Without it I have no idea what is left or right or up or down. haha oh no. :)
- At the beginning I thought the Thai Bible was translated from German. It's actually from Spanish.
- In my third letter, I asked that you guys take pictures of the house because "I have a feeling that things will change during these next 18 months"—haha how right I was. :)
- In my third letter I also mentioned how my German was better than my Thai. HAHAHAHA oh man. My German is soooo gone. Hopefully it will come back quickly if I start reading in German. But really, I'm going to focus on mastering my Thai. Though it would be nice to be able to speak German too, it's just not as important anymore.
Wow. Last letter. On one hand, a mission is all I can think about—I feel like I can hardly remember life pre-mission. On the other hand, I feel like my mission was so soo sooo short. Some of the best 18 months ever. I've been doing a lot of reflecting lately. It's been kinda nice having someone else in the district who is ending his mission—he and I have kinda bonded over that. If that makes any sense. We can talk about it. Don't worry, we are still working hard. :) I really really really want to leave this area off well for the next sisters. We had two baptisms yesterday and we have a good bunch of progressing investigators. One even calls us to set up her own appointments. That like never happens. She is really cool.
To answer some of Delsa's questions first.
- What am I going to miss the most? I am going to miss being a missionary. I have this amazing opportunity to help people change their lives. I get a front row seat to the Atonement. I'm going to miss the Spirit that I feel—I eat, sleep, breathe the gospel. This is what I do. Now I have to do other stuff. I was talking to my companion about this the other day and I really like her response. She said that nothing needs to change. I can still see the Atonement change lives—mine and the lives of people around me. Also, I can keep the gospel as the most important thing to me.
- What I am most looking forward to? Naps and cookies. Haha joking (but if you guys wanted to make chocolate chip cookies before I got home—or at least had the ingredients—there would definitely be no complaints from this girl:)). Family. friends. Family. And I know that I should be looking forward to the rest of my life. Haha only 20. My companion says that I can work hard to have another life-changing 18 months. Sister Peck has some really good advice. haha :)
- Three words to describe my mission?: the best mission? haha :) um... I've grown to understand more about God's love, the enabling power of the Atonement, true repentance, and what truly matters most. So maybe What Matters Most. Haha no clue.
Haha I haven't cried yet at all but writing this letter kinda makes me what to. Just reflecting on my mission. I'm excited to come home but man am I going to miss this.
Dad, I really am grateful for your letter. It puts into words what I'm feeling. What next? I had my last interview with President Senior today. He gave me four things I have to do when I get home. Many people say that the MTC is the training center for the mission and that the mission is the training center for life. Today I studied my patriarchal blessing. I have no idea what comes next. haha. Luckily I have school again in January to give me some structure. And I don't mind that the house isn't done yet, that will give me something to do to keep busy. As a missionary, I was soooo focused on others—on my investigators, my recent converts, my companion. Now who do I focus on? Ahhhh.... haha :) At least I'll have Facebook to talk with the people here ...
Mom: That's sad that the sisters leave right before I get there. I was looking forward to helping them. Are there just not enough sisters so they have to close the area? About that whole cooking Thai thing ... I did it. But whether I remember it? That is a whole other question. Luckily I have made friends with many people that are really good at making food. Yay Skype and Facebook. Also, I can follow a cookbook—even if it is in Thai. :) I am planning on making Thai food at home—I'll miss it too much if I don't. I'm really glad that we have stake conference. Church. That's something I can do now. But ... if anyone asks me to pray it will have to be in Thai. Haha. Sorry Barbie. I mean, I can try in English but ... it's more meaningful in Thai. But really. Usually my personal prayers are in Thai or at most Thaiglish (Thai-English). And yes I can help with the candy problem. Just sliding it in there but candy corn and peanut butter M&Ms are't something you can find in Thailand. :) (But if I had to pick one, chocolate chip cookies). Also, we just had a whole zone conference on the sacrament. Did you realize that it is supposed to be a spiritual experience every time? Pre-mission it definitely was not that important to me. I mean, I knew. But I didn't understand. I feel like my mission has taken a lot of things that I knew and changed it to understanding. Ah I love my mission so much. I feel like I have so much purpose as a missionary. Truly the way to find yourself is to first lose yourself in the service of God and our fellow-men. I'm pretty sure that I will think about my mission every single day. It has literally changed me so much. Ahhh I don't feel like I can express my feelings as much as I want to. If anyone in seminary is debating about serving a mission, I suggest that they prepare to serve. God will stop you if it isn't right for you or if you are supposed to do something else (like get married, convert your boyfriend, or anything else - a mission isn't for everyone). If He doesn't stop you, I would say to go for it. It will change your life in more ways than you could imagine. It is one of the best things you could do for yourself, your future family, and for all of God's kids.
Well, I feel like everything else I can tell you in person. Wow. Weird.
Haha I have already told Barbie that I request a coat for when you pick me up. I'll already have a scarf with me so I'll good in that sense.
Also, if anyone feels like making pizza for dinner someday soon, I definitely wouldn't object in any sense. haha :) or anything. I'm good with everything - but literally I am. :)
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!! =D