That blue thing sticking out is a hospital wrist band. I was in the emergency room before the terrible illness with no name took over. Now I need to clarify some things. It was 20 years ago that I left for my mission. I have been back for quite a while now. This is the very first time I have opened my journal to read it. I have not read it because I have some memories that literally make my toe nails curl. I'd get a stomach ache every time I would think of my mission. I didn't want to talk about it. Or even think about it.
I began to read with the goal of finding this girl and all the correct information so I could write it and send it in to the Friend magazine. What happened was very surprising. I read. And read. And read. And read. And I remembered all the wonderful experiences I had. I remembered all the incredible people I met and taught and laughed with and cried with. I remembered all the wonderful missionaries, companions and elders, who I served with. I remembered what an incredible experience it was to serve a mission. I grabbed my mission photo album and put all the faces with the names and remembered the houses, the food, the kids, the smells, the spirit, the greatness of it all.
I have had more than a week to digest all that I read and remembered. And guess what?! I don't get a stomach ache. My toe nails have yet to curl. I smile when I think back on those 18 months of my life. I love my mission.
It only took 20 years. 20 years and wanting to clarify details of an experience so I could write about it. 20 years and an experience I never even actually wrote down. 20 years and the cleansing of my memories of a life altering experience. I received an amazing answer in the temple that day. The power of a journal and the way it can clarify events from 20 years ago. And leave me with a sense of Joy where there was once fear and muck. Go ahead... ask me anything about my mission!!