Wow is pretty much all I can say right now!! I can't believe 2 years is already up. This has been a crazy little experience for me and now it's time to start the next stage! As I have been reflecting on my missionary service for the past couple of days I feel a whole lot of peace. I know that I have worked my hardest and gave my very best for two whole years. I don't regret anything. It's weird because I have definitely done some things I have regretted on my mission, just little things here and there, but as I look back on what I have done I don't regret a single thing. I know that God is pleased with what I have done and has and will continue to bless me for it. I really hope I feel like this come judgment day.
Serving a mission has changed me. I used to always think about how much of a sacrifice it is to serve a mission, to put your whole life on hold for 2 years, but I now know that that isn't the best way to put it. The price I have paid, or the sacrifice I have made, to become acquainted with God and the Savior and His Atonement is nothing less than a blessing. I don't feel like I can call it a sacrifice because of how much God has paid me. He hasn't paid me in money or in food or anything like that, in fact, it's really hard to describe how He's paid me, but I know that He has. There is nothing about me that hasn't been bettered or completely changed though my missionary service. God is good. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve Him.
I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the same exact church that Jesus Christ established when he was on the earth 2000 years ago. I know that He still leads and guides this Church and that the Prophets and Apostles are called of God and inspired of Him to help us in our lives. I know that if we follow their counsel, coupled with the counsel we receive from the Word of God we will come off conquerors of all. I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior of the World. I know that He lived a perfect life to show us that it really is possible, the perfect example, and I know that He died for us to make the goal of living with God and our families forever in happiness an obtainable glory. Each trial we have in life is just another stepping stone to getting us there, if we can just trust in the Savior. He's experienced all things and He will ALWAYS be there with His hand outstretched NO MATTER WHAT. All we gotta do is reach out and take hold. It is never too late and no one is ever too lost to become acquainted with the Savior and His love, and as we do so we will change for the better. Don't y'all ever EVER forget any of this, OK?!?! If you ever struggle then just come talk to me, haha. I leaned on my parent's and my siblings' testimonies for 18 years or so, but now I can finally say for sure that I know these things are true. So if you ever just need a little crutch, use mine.
Thanks to all y'all for your love and your prayers and your support. I am really excited to see and talk to y'all real soon! I love you so much!!
May God Bless Y'all!
Elder Caleb Porter