|Our nephew Elder Brady Johnson in Boston, MA serving a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (closest to the camera).|
It would seem that all my creative energy has gone to the new little son growing inside me, hence, I haven't posted anything for many months! But I cannot resist sharing the final missionary letter of our nephew, Brady Johnson, with all who will read. Brady is the son of my husband's sister, Lisa, and grew up in St. George, Utah, one of five children. His two year mission for the church was in the Boston, Massachusetts Mission, Cambodian speaking. His message below is evidence that our young men and women count their full-time service as nothing but a great & beautiful privilege. And just look at what it can shape them into when they go out prepared and willing to give it their best! No doubt Elder Johnson has made the world a better place by this service...and no doubt he will continue to make the world a better place! His testimony of service for the Lord is one that each of us should be working toward in our families and as individuals!
Mine Last Epistle as a (full-time) Missionary
"Well family and friends, it's finally here. I can't believe my mission has come to an end. What an adventure it has been. An adventure filled with learning, growing, spiritual experiences, testimony, hard days, wonderful days, complete exhaustion, stress, lots of traffic, disappointment, peace, comfort and the love of God. Friends have been made. Best friends. Many cherished memories have been shared. Discouragement and doubt were washed away by truth, joy, and light. Not to mention lots of laughter. I have been a part of something way bigger than just me. I have been a part of a brotherhood, part of the Lord's army, and part of the greatest and most glorious work this world has ever known. I have been a part of the work of Salvation.
I have seen many amazing things whilst on my mission. I have seen lives change, people change -myself included. I have seen how the Holy Ghost really works and how to use this special gift we hold. I've seen how vitally important it is to follow and act on promptings. I've seen wonderful things, weird things, funny things, sad things and unfortunate things. I've seen the great impact the gospel can have on the individual and the family when applied properly. And on the contrary, I have seen the great impact on families and individuals who reject the gospel and the darkness and sadness that is part of their lives. I've seen the light that comes into people's lives as they embrace the gospel. I've seen people come and go but the gospel and truth remain constant where ever I am. I've seen prayers answered. In short, I've been a witness of many miracles throughout my time here in the Massachusetts Boston Mission. I will not forget these moments and memories. I can't. They have made me who I am today.
I still have a long way to go and lots of work to do but I have become many things on my mission. I have become independent but dependent on the Lord. I am more charitable and more aware and thoughtful of others. Instead of thinking about what I want to give others, I have learned to rather think about, find out, and give people what they need. I am more patient and understanding than I was before. I have become a missionary and a missionary I will be throughout my entire life. I have become one that will not ever compromise my values or standards. I have become one that will stand for his beliefs even if that means standing alone. I have become, and am continually working at it, someone the Lord can trust. I have become someone that acts on all promptings, regardless at how awkward it may be. Now I'm not perfect but I have become more humble, much to my parents pleasure I'm sure. But more important than all of that, I have become a disciple of Jesus Christ and I will never go back.
I have always had a testimony of this gospel but my mission has definitely strengthened and solidified that testimony. I know and solemnly testify that God is our Heavenly Father and we are His children. He knows us and loves us incredibly so. He has a plan for each one of us and what a wondrous plan it is- SALVATION and HAPPINESS for all of us if we will but do His will. Can there be anything better? I submit to you that there is nothing better! We are so blessed to have the knowledge that we have! We have something that a lot of people don't have, and that's hope. We have the hope in good things to come. We have the hope that we can change because of the infinite power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We don't have to keep making the same mistakes every day. We can change and be better. As a representative of Jesus Christ I testify that He truly is the Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer, and He lives. What an incredible blessing it has been to share this testimony daily with everyone I come in contact with. I love this. I'm gonna miss this.
I don't quite know what is in store for me as I get ready to move into the next chapter of my life but I go forth with faith and excitement. Each ending brings new beginnings. So bring it on :)
Love,Elder Brady Johnson