Giving Thanks, part 10: Mission

Today I am thankful for my mission.
I served in the Ireland Dublin Mission from 2005-2007.
It was the most incredibly sacred adventure I could have ever hoped for.  I learned more about myself, about God, and about His children than any other time in my life.  I worked so hard, I was tired all the time.  I had health issues that inhibited me from working as hard as I thought I was going to be able to when I decided to serve, but my mission was perfect for me.  Even with all the heartache that comes when people you love reject the Gospel.
Missions are amazing.  They can be like a purifying fire if we let them be by serving diligently and faithfully.  I use the term “fire” intentionally.  They are not easy.  In fact, the above picture was taken within a few weeks of John’s brother, James, dying while John was serving his mission in Canada.  My precious husband didn’t go home because he wanted to finish serving his mission and knew it would be unbearable to leave his family again to return to the field after attending the funeral.  Little did I know what was going on with my future family when we took this picture.   I didn’t lose a loved one on my mission (although I really did but just didn’t now it yet), but my mission was as hard for me as I could imagine, in its own ways.  Never had I before experienced such physical, emotional, and spiritual fatigue.
And I wouldn’t change a single part of it.
Thank you to all of my Ireland family.  You know who you are.  I love you more than I could ever express.