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The 2 Year Journey of a Lifetime

June 21, 2015
Well, I am not sure I can really use words to describe how I am feeling right now, nothing seems adequate. All I can say is that these past 2 years has been the most intense time of my life, on the good side and on the bad side. I cannot even count the amount of things that I have learned out here on a mission, but I am soo grateful that I made the decision to come out here. I am so grateful that God gave me this chance, that He allowed me to serve him full time for 2 years, being a representative of His Son, and I hope that I did everything that He sent me here to do. One of my goals for my mission was to just be a vessel, a tool in the Lord’s hands, and to not get in the way of what He wanted me to do. To let His light shine through me. While I stumbled along the way, making mistakes occasionally… ok well, a lot, I hope that I did that, that I was able to let His light shine among the Taiwanese people, so that they could feel of His love for them and His desire for them to return to the fold. I have felt the pure joy from missionary work from time to time on my mission, and there is nothing, absolutely nothing that can compare to that feeling; to know that God is looking down, smiling upon you. All the miles you bike up mountains, all the times your butt gets sore from riding all day, all the gallons of sweat, all the rejections, they all melt away, and you cannot even remember them anymore once you feel of that happiness and joy that comes from serving the Lord.
This past week we actually were on exchanges like all week, we had 4 of them. Haha my companion wasn’t in our area from Tuesday to Saturday afternoon, except for 3 hours. We were going to have a baptism on Sunday, but he had some family problems and had to cancel it, hopefully will get baptized in July. It was a little sad that I didn’t get a baptism my last week here, but its not that big of a deal. It wasn’t the Lords will, because we did everything we could for him, fasted and visited everyday, we did our part. So I don’t feel bad about it at all. Am I sad? Heck yes, but you can’t let stuff like that get to you, if we are doing everything we can and being obedient and worthy, then anything that happens to us like that is the will of the Lord, so knowing that I did everything that I could makes me happy.
Yesterday at church was when it really set in that I was leaving, it hadn’t set in too much before that, but getting up in church and bearing my testimony, knowing that I will never see these members again, or get to hear them sing the hymns in Chinese, was a really bittersweet experience for me. This whole thing is bittersweet, because this place is now my new home, and now I have to leave home all over again, I am so happy and excited to see my family again, but so sad to have to leave these people.. and especially the mangoes. Oh man how I will miss those!!!
Being out here on a mission, I have learned that it is not easy. Not in the slightest bit, but like Elder Holland said, “I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.” I absolutely love my mission and it has changed me in so many ways that I couldn’t even begin to count. I am trying really hard not to be cheesy or cliche, but I think I am failing… Anyways, I love you all. Missions really are the 2 Year Journey of a Lifetime.
Elder Mansell
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