I have been released as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for 1 month and 17 days. Ugh! How does time go so fast! When someone is called as a missionary for the LDS church, they are set apart by the priesthood power (authority to act in the name of God) just like Paul and Barnabas were in Acts 13:2-3. When someone has finished their service (usually 1 1/2-2 years) they are released from that specific calling as a missionary. So when I was released, I had to take off my name tag and the mantle of a missionary was taken away. It was a tough experience but a memorable one. And I still miss wearing my name tag. :)
Being a return missionary has not been easy. It is so hard to go from serving full time to acting for yourself, especially in college! Although I have had a crazy amount of trials in my short 1 1/2 months being back to "normal life" I have also witnessed so many miracles! I know that God is definitely aware of me and my struggles because he sends me love and miracles that I wonder if I deserve. Last week a fellow RM from Temple Square left me some yummy cinnamon rolls and a note. I needed that to get through that week/day. (Thank you Sister Schill) I am so grateful. God uses normal people who are listening to the Holy Ghost to create miracles and answer prayers. I am happy that I was able to see that clearly for 18 months and that I am still able to be a part of creating miracles and having them happen to me.
I love the opportunity to serve God with all my might, mind, and strength for 18 months. Although I gave everything I have, I feel like all of the favors were done to me. I was able to change who I was into someone so much better. I say this because I now have a close relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ and God my Heavenly Father. I understand the gospel so much better and understand how it is a part of everyday life- and that is the way it should be. I have seen the difference and the power that the gospel brings into our lives when we follow the commandments and council from God and his prophets (ancient and modern). I could go on an on about the many things that I have learned and before I start to ramble I will just say that my knowledge and testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been strengthened so much. I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in upstate New York in an answer to a simple prayer of searching for truth. I know that Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet of God exactly like the prophets of old. Because of this, The Book of Mormon is a true book. It really is the word of God and it changes lives. I know this because it has changed mine and I have seen it change other's lives. Jesus Christ lives today. He died for each one of us so we could choose to live so we can be with Heavenly Father again. He loves us and that is why he atoned for us.