Preparing for my mission has been a joyous process. Since the time I have turned my papers in, my testimony has grown from what I thought was a large tree into a towering redwood. I know that this has occurred because I have been attempting to put the Lord first in everything I do. I have now seen with my own eyes, when prioritizing the church, everything gets better.
When I got my call and saw March 20th, I was extremely discouraged. I thought I was going to be sitting at home, like a lame duck. However, this is not the case. I have benefitted from my time preparing for my mission. I received a calling in my home ward, to teach the CTR 4&5 class. I have grown to love the children of the church more than imaginable. I feel a special connection to my primary kids, and although they are not "mine" I love them so much and feel a minuscule portion of the love the savior has for them. They have taught me many things. While being home, I have had time to serve in the Oakland temple. This is, without a doubt, the greatest thing I have ever done in my entire life. I have never felt so close to the savior. I also have never been so motivated to wake up at 4 in the morning. I have very much enjoyed spending time with the missionaries. I love going out with them, they radiate the spirit and have shown me exactly who I want to be. I have also loved the opportunity to spend more time with my family. I feel that we have grown closer in a spiritual way. Being in communication with my friends on missions has been exciting. I love hearing from them and the adventures they have been taking on. They were good at making me a bit jealous (but mostly excited ;) ).
Overall, I really benefited from being home. I was forced to be patient, probably because Heavenly Father knew I couldn't learn to much patience on my own. I learned a lot of lessons that will be able to help me on my adventure. Now as I set off to enter the MTC I am filled with excitement as I know Heavenly Father has taught me what I needed to know prior to entering the MTC. Now it's my job to continually listen, because he is continually my teacher.
I know there is no better place for me to be then in Europe for the next 18 months of my life. I know this church is true. I know the gospel is the only way to true happiness, and this is what I want to share with others. I know I can make a difference in the lives of those german speakers, so they better get ready, cause I am teaching them whether they like it or not!
Here's some quotes I REALLY like:
"In Germany, Switzerland and in Austria there will be hundreds of stakes, HUNDREDS! And we want you to count on that, look forward to it and help with it. In Europe there can also be dozens of temples if you start to prepare yourselves and the people around you." - President Spencer W. Kimball
"In the name of Jesus Christ, I prophesy that among the Germans there is a great work to do. Bigger than in all other countries and in a short time this work will have more converts to the Kingdom of God than in any other nation." -Orson Pratt