Tuesday, July 16, 2013

18 Months Gone in a Blink of an Eye

I'm back from serving a 18 month mission in the Salt Lake City Temple Square Mission!

So I'm back, I don't really know what to think, it was super fast! The emotions when I first got off the plane were so mixed I felt like I was trapped in a glass case of emotion! 

When I saw Mom and Dad tears instantly filled my eye sockets, I could not help it. One of the many things the mission did to me was make me a cry baby, but that would not be the last time I cried. We met my sister and her family and ate with them, hung out for a while then it was time to go to the Stake President and get released. 

I knew that this was going to be hard but I wasn't expecting how hard. As soon as I sat down in his office I broke down in tears knowing what was going to happen. I wasn't ready to hear the words "I release you from your calling as a missionary" but nothing I did was going to stop it, it was time despite how I felt. Well it happened  I had to take off my name tag which had become as apart of me as my arm, and then I had to walk out and face the world again no longer as Sister Larsen but as Kirsta. Ugh, just writing about it again slightly depresses me. 

So that was 5 weeks ago almost to the day! And needless to say I am doing much better now! Its still hard occasionally and there are things I still miss but I know that the Lord is helping re-adjust to living a normal life. 

What have I been up to recently you ask? Well I will tell you! NOTHING! Ha, I have been sleeping.. a lot of sleep.. catching up on all the sleep I lost while on the mission. But also I am going to start working at McDonald again (joy of joys.) and start preparing to move to Boise in September. I am also helping my parents with some stuff; my dad with his business and the books, and my mom with organizing the house. I have tried my best to keep productive. 

So even though those 18 months went by fast I feel like I have learned enough to fill 50 years worth. I know that is saying a lot but its true and you can ask any missionary you meet if its true and I promise they will agree. I walked into the Missionary Training Center the woman I was and came out of the mission field a woman much different than the one who had started the journey. I know that is part of the mission process, that's part of the Lord's process. I thought I knew who Christ was before, I thought I knew my gospel, but I was so wrong in so many different ways and I think the thing I have learned most is that there is still so much more for me to learn still, I will never stop learning! 
There is a poem I would like to share that really describes how I have changed. 

Fellowship of the Unashamed
"I am part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals. 
I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I now live by presence, lean by faith, love by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power. My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. 
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go until Heaven returns, give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He comes to get His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My colors will be Clear. 
I am not ashamed of the Gospel. 
(Inspired from Romans 1:16)

That statement "I am not ashamed of the Gospel" I think is what has changed the most. I used to avoid religious topics like the plague. I guess I was scared of offending someone or seeming like some kind of crazed Jesus freak. But I realized something while on my mission; I don't have to be afraid to be religious. This is as much a part of me as my lungs or my heart, it is was drives me to do what I do, its my line of logic. I owe everything I am and everything I have to the Lord and His gospel, why be scared of mentioning it?

Now that doesn't mean that I am going to go all crazy christian on everyone. I understand that everyone has different opinions and there are times and places for certain conversations but I will no longer avoid the topic like I used to. I am grateful to the mission for giving me the courage I lacked and the integrity I needed.
So because of all of this I am going to try to leave a spiritual thought at the end of each blog entry. (no matter how random or bizarre the entry may be) I will not be perfect at this but Imma try!!

I love you guys so much! Thanks for your support and until next time..

-Kirsta Larsen

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