Monday, June 11, 2012

Last Letter from Chile - 6/11/2012

Taylor saved his best for last.  Thank you to everyone for supporting him and us throughout the last two years.  We are so proud of him and are grateful for his service.  He will be coming home on the 19th and will be sharing some of his experiences on Sunday, June 24th at 11:00 a.m. at our church in Orem.  The church is on the corner of 1000 North and 600 West.

Dear Family and Friends-

The time has come to write my last email from the mission field. Obviously, it is hard to write one big email that could sum up what my last two years´ experience has been. However, I have been reflecting a bit on what it has meant to me. As I have reflected upon the experience of my mission, I have realized that it comes down to one thing--fruits. Christ once said that "By their fruits ye shall know them..." (see Matthew 7:20; 3 Nephi 14:20; Moroni 7:5-13). After thinking about it, I noticed that everything in the mission has to do with fruits--the changes I have seen in myself, the changes people have made to follow the Gospel, the impact I have been able to leave in the people I have served, etc.

With that said, I have realized that God gives us opportunities to interact with others so that both we and they can bring forth fruit. I have loved seeing the changes in other people and I hope that I have sufficiently changed my own life to be an acceptable offering after these 2 years. I fully acknowledge that the mission is not everything, but I know it will have an impact on me for the rest of my life.

I know that the Savior lives. I know that He died on the cross to give us the chance to live with God again. I have loved being a missionary and am sad to leave it behind, but we all have to move on. For those of you may still be following my letters after 2 years (I know it is a long time), use every second to your advantage. If you have for some reason lost the testimony you once had, do everything to get it back. If you are still firm, stay firm and never go off of the straight and narrow path. I echo what Mormon once said to Moroni, " let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God." (Moroni 9:6). I have loved serving the Lord for these 2 years and I am glad He gave me the opportunity. I love you all and I thank you for all of your love, care, and advice over the past 2 years.

Elder Taylor Thomas