Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The First and the Final -- 29 July 2014

The strangest feelings ever. Weird thoughts. Deep fear. Abiding hope. Going home... what?
Hello, All! This will be my last email to you as a missionary....
I think there's a lot I should say... there's definitely a lot that I could say... just...
Don't rob yourself.
There. That's what I would say.
If you're serving a mission, don't miss a minute, not a single moment, because the end comes---so much faster than you could ever bear to want it to. I think That's been the harshest reality of the past few days, the reality of the end.
But it's not really over, is it?
Honestly, when I'm home, you may not recognize me. You may not know who I am anymore, and I think that's okay. Maybe you won't like who I've become, or how I act differently. You might be surprised by my testimony, my maturity (one way or another), or how I look. I am different than before, you know---the things that were good are better. The things that were bad are slowly departing, and two years is a long time for medication to work its wonders on the human soul.
This really doesn't make any sense... :) Haha
I've been asked a lot the past few weeks what the biggest lessons I've learned are. If I could list them they'd look like this (color coded for your benefit):
1. It doesn't matter nearly as much what you do as it does who you are, because who you are will completely determine what you do.
2. Jesus Christ is the Son of God---that statement is too overused and not well enough understood, but it is eternally significant---essential, and it is He who has determined who we could, and should be.
3. The most important thing you can do is be obedient to everything that God asks you to do.
4. If you live by the power of the Holy Ghost, you will become who you are meant to be and do what you ought to be doing.
5. God's plan is bigger than our plan, and if His plan is more important to us than our plan, we will be bigger than we could ever dream in this life and in the next.
6. Understanding the first 5 things, means understanding that "giving up" your favorite sins, weaknesses, broken mission rules, and incorrect behaviors is an essential step to achieving complete joy in this life and eternal life in the next.
7. We are the sum total of the choices that we make.
8. We are all gods with the potential of being a lot bigger in this life than we allow ourselves to be.
9. We have the ability to choose who we will become.
10. We are our only limitation to our potential.
I feel like if you get this, you get why I've grown the way I've grown. If you don't get it, study it, because it will change your life.
Finally, I just want to say that I know that God lives, that Jesus Christ performed the Atonement---that He is who He says He is.
I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true. Therefore, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's kingdom on the earth, and no man is capable of reaching heaven except through the authority that was restored to its first leaders through the prophet Joseph Smith---that authority, which came from Jesus Christ, is now held by Thomas S. Monson.
I will never forget or turn back.
I really really really love you all! See you soon.

Rock on. Believe Him.
Peace. Love. and Temple Marriage. In that order.

Your friend, servant, son, and brother,

Elder Taylor J. Hill

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