The Assistants called us on Friday morning for our travel plans going home. There is 14 of us going home and 15 new missionaries coming out. 6 of us are in New Brunswick. 7 of us are in Nova Scotia. 1 in Newfoundland. That is a lot of missionaries going home and there's not enough room in the transfer van for all of us. Because of that, the 5 of us that are in New Brunswick will be traveling in 2 separate vehicles up to Halifax tomorrow morning. We'll be staying the night in Fredericton tonight with the 3 Elders going home and traveling to Halifax early in the morning. We'll be having our exit interviews with President Pratt upon arrival in Halifax.
On Thursday we will attend the temple and then go to the mission home for a big feast. After the feast we will have a huge testimony meeting at the mission home. Tears will be shed that night. Then we will sleep, have a big breakfast Friday and then travel to the airport.
I have been having the hardest time accepting that my mission is over. You live your whole mission living for this moment and then when it gets here, you think to yourself, "Where did it go?". For the last 2 years, I have gone from area to area, from companion to companion sharing the most important message that the people will ever hear. The message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have been teacher and testifier of important gospel principles. I have been sworn at, had doors slammed in my face, been mocked at and spit upon. I have been in heated disagreements with companions that later turned into a strong bond of love. I have been in the homes of the Saints of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. I've been blessed by my association with them. I served alongside fantastic missionaries that I call my family. This mission has been my family. I love each and every single of the missionaries I've served with. I have had hard days and I have had good days. I have gone through all of that just to share the gospel. That's a pretty good price to pay.
Last Wednesday was my final district meeting and I had the opportunity to give my last doctrinal discussion on a topic I feel very strongly about. I gave it on faith. You gotta have faith in order to make it through a mission. Missions aren't for the faint of heart. If you don't have faith, it will be very hard for a missionary to make it through a mission. It'll be hard to gain exaltation for that matter.
One of the biggest lessons I've learned on my mission is patience and having Christlike love for everybody. I gained patience through some companions and certain experiences with them and with the people as well. I have to come to know that God loves each and every single one of his children. I've had plenty of experiences where I have been at the right place at the right time that is in need. God loves his children. This I know to be true.
I am so grateful for 2 loving mission presidents that loved me like a son. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I had to be a representative of Jesus Christ for the 2 years. These are stories, experiences, and lessons that I'll carry with me for the rest of my life. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for me.
I have loved reading your letters every Monday. They have inspired me and motivated me throughout the week.
THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!
See you in Calgary!
For the final time this is your son
Elder O'Brien (the older) checking out.