Today, I gave my homecoming talk. It was actually quite a good experience, even though it was the first time I had given a talk in English for 18 months. There were 3 youth that bore testimonies, a talk from another brother in the ward, a song from the Primary (seeing as it's Mother's Day), and then...20 minutes, all to myself.
The theme for my talk had been the Primary theme for this month. "I Choose the Right when I am Baptized and Confirmed" which was actually pretty great, because I mean, that's what missionaries do! Help people choose the right! In fact, as we recited each week in district meeting, our purpose is to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." I decided to share a couple of stories from my mission, illustrating the different principles and ordinances, like helping Blanca to come to church and how that helped her increase her faith in Christ, and how Brenda was able to repent, be baptized, and use the gift of the Holy Ghost in her life. Then comes enduring to the end...unfortunately there wasn't a whole lot of time left, so I just read a scripture in 3 Nephi 15:9, and then talked a little about just a few of the things I had learned from my mission....
- God loves ALL of His children (myself included!)
- I don't need to be perfect to help someone else out.
- God answer prayers-my prayers, investigators' prayers, members' prayers...everyone is heard by our Heavenly Father.
- The scriptures hold the answer to EVERYTHING!
- The Spirit is the most important person in missionary work.
- The Bible and the Book of Mormon testify of each other, and both are TRUE!
- The ways I want to raise my children, and how I don't want to raise my children.
- How to love random people that I had never before met.
- How to start talking to strangers on the street.
- And most importantly, how Jesus Christ is my Savior, the center of everything. Without Him, I am nothing. I can do nothing. But with Him, I can do everything. I can be who He wants me to be.
My mission was amazing. Incredible. Ridiculously difficult, but ridiculously full of miracles. I'm sure that the blessing will just keep on coming. Now it's onto the next adventure....school, work....potential future families....you know, the whole shabang. Me encanta la vida :)