Monday, January 23, 2017

The Best Two Years

Hi everybody! 
This is officially my last email home. I didn't think this day would ever come, but I made it! I'm so grateful for all of your love and support in these two years. I can say that they were definitely the best two years. Saying goodbye to everyone in Ixtepec on Friday was hard but I was excited to come up to the city on Saturday to see other great people that I've met and became really close to. 

Since Saturday I've been staying in the mission offices with the other three Americans that are leaving with me. We are pretty much on vacations now walking around Oaxaca buying stuff, eating whatever we want to and going to old areas to visit. It's pretty relaxing not having to ask permission for everything now :). Tomorrow we have our final interviews with President Madsen and the dinner at their house. Early Wednesday morning, we head out to the airport. I still can't believe I'll be home in 2 days.

I know that this work is the work of The Lord. I have been able to help more people than I've ever imagined, and seeing how the gospel changes lives has been an amazing and unforgettable experience. I know that we have the fullness of the gospel in the restored church. As I have served others and taught these eternal truths, I have become my own convert. Before my time here I believed that the church was true, and now I know it is. I now understand what faith and repentance is and I have applied it personally as I've taught these principles to many people in Oaxaca. I love the gospel and I know that it's through serving others and living the teachings of our Savior that we can be happy in this life and for eternity alongside our families. The mission changed my perspective of everything and I hope to apply everything I learned when I get home.

Love, Elder Smith

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