I realized this week that it has been a long, long time since I had broken out the old mission scrapbook, so I whipped it out, remembering those 1 1/2 years in the Philippines. I must admit, I have both really good and bad memories of my mission. It was, without a doubt, the most difficult 2 years of my life, but it was also a time in my life when I felt the most purposeful, clear sense of priorities and joy. I was also really surprised while looking at my scrapbook how many of the difficult times I had forgotten (no running water, bucket showers, piles of dead cockroaches in our apartment, the unbearable humidity, and just the daily, grueling work). I was also brought back to a particular zone conference when somehow I was convinced to sing a solo part of a group number, in front of our whole zone. We sang, "Oh Lord, My Redeemer." Wow, what a flood of memories. Sometimes, I really ache to be back there- to feel that peace, determination, and burning desire to share the gospel.
I must say that the whole reason that I even got up the courage to write this really mushy, emotional post is that I was reading in this month's Ensign, a talk by Elder Ballard about sharing the gospel using the internet. I am fighting myself even as I write, but I just wanted to share these things. I know the Lord is mindful of us. I know He hears our prayers and will comfort us in times of pain, heartache, or difficulty.