Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Missionary Experience.

Let me tell you a little story.  A few weeks ago I was in the temple and asking for guidance on what to do about my writing.  I had an answer come - write the mission story of the girl who thanked Heavenly Father for her shoes every time she prayed.  But to do it, I would need to get my mission journal out so I could make sure the information was correct.  And hey, how about a name for the girl?!  So I dug my mission journal out.  I thumbed through quickly and realized I couldn't even remember what area I was in.  So I began at the beginning.  Here is a glance at the thickness of the journal.   
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!!


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you've been able to find the JOY in your mission! It took me a while to find that too. Good luck on your writing. Katie

Kristi said...

Thank you for sharing, maybe I'll have to dig up my old journals now . . .