I love my family.
I feel like this is one of the most important things that I always need to begin with as they are the beginning and the reason behind why I do many of the things that I do; my family also supports me with their full heart. Today, they were able to show this to me by throwing my Farewell Party--a little earlier than normal, but considering the holiday season, I wouldn't have it any other way.
For the past couple weeks, I have seen my mom putting together the centerpieces for the tables because she wanted the farewell dinner to be as perfect as possible. For the past couple days, I have seen family friends come together to offer their support for my mission in small acts of service and their well wishes when I tell them about what I am learning about Mongolia. Today, it was the culmination of love as my friends, family, and friends of my parents came together for my Farewell Dinner to spend some time with me during this dinner and I felt SO supported.
Everywhere I looked, there were friends, family, and smiles. It was perfect.
One amazing thing that I experienced was the sheer desire to speak with everyone that attended, even the friends of my parents who spoke only Spanish, because I wanted to let them know how much I loved them and appreciated their support. So, one of my tragic shortcomings is that I do not speak Spanish fluently, but that absolute desire helped me communicate more than I normally would be able to do. I feel like this is what it is going to be like when I make it out to the field in Mongolia: I will want to talk with these wonderful people however I can regardless of fluency. In Spanish, I was putting together words and sentences with any words that came to mind in order to communicate my gratitude, not feeling self-conscious any mistakes that I made. In fact, the more mistakes that I make, the closer I get to being able to speak fluently, right?
Being surrounded by members in a family ward also helped to give me a sense of peace about possible scenarios when I come back to Colorado after my mission is completed. I was able to spend a couple minutes speaking with a family near the end of the dinner with their daughter who was in the Young Women program (ages 12-18) and a feeling came to me of how I WANT to be able to be a leader to younger women, this is not anything that I desired before. I think that I will be okay when I come back and have to leave the YSA ward, how could it be otherwise when I know that there are other places that I can serve others.
Basically, this post is about saying thank you to my family and friends. I love you very much and cannot wait to share stories from the other side of the world of new friends that I am making and lessons that I could only learn by the wonderful people of Mongolia and fellow missionary companions and leadership.