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Monday, December 1, 2014

Always a missionary.

" We had dinner at the Weihnachtsmarkt in Konstanz on Saturday and drank some Kinderpunsch."

It's the last one, my last email home from my mission!  Crazy.  I really don't think it has sunk in, and I don't know if it will sink in until I step out of that plane and see SUVs and fast food everywhere.  I don't even remember what America looks like anymore, because I assume it looks like Europe.  But we don't have castles in America, right?
     But it is good.  Everything is good.  I ask myself, why is it good?  Aren't I supposed to be freaking out?  But then I remember that I have already freaked out.  And there's just no point in freaking out anymore because I am leaving, and that's that.  I was talking with the Lees about it last night, it's like you are on a slippery slide and about to the bottom.  There's no going back now!  And that is okay, because life is lived forward.
     I also just feel so much peace and hope for the future.  I really feel like I have come to better understand who I am and who God is.  I have come to know my relationship with him in a new way.  I really feel as if my Heavenly Father is truly there and truly aware of me.  I have learned so much about just getting on my knees and talking with him through prayer.
     Actually that's how I handle emotional bumps now.  I go into my room and pray until I feel better.  I am so glad that I had the experiences on my mission that taught me to do that.
     I think I also am comforted about going home because I know that I will see everyone again.  I just have to.  There is no way for me to stay in contact with all of the people I love on my mission.  Even with technology it is impossible.  And that is OK!  Because I know without a doubt that after this life, I will see them again.  It will be them, my friends, and we will recognize each other and laugh and hug and just be happy to see each other.  I don't know a lot of things, but I do know that when we live righteously, we will have the opportunity to see all of our loved ones gain.  It just makes sense.
     The Gospel gives me so much hope and optimism in life.  It truly gives us hope.  I have so much hope that the future will be okay.  I have so much hope that everything is going to move forward in the best of directions.  I love the quote I think from President Monson, "The future is as bright as your faith."  Because it is true.  If we exercise faith in our savior and trust that he will take care of us and provide for us, then the future is so bright.  If we just let go and make the effort to trust in him.  To grasp for his hand, he will lead us to a happier future than we could possible dream of.
     I think of the things I have seen these last 18 months, the people I have met, the experiences I have had and I just can't help but shake my head and say, "Only God could make such a wondrous thing possible."  I couldn't have planned a better adventure even if I had had all of the creativity and money in the world!  These last 18 months have been better than any movie I have watched, better than any book I have read.  I truly know that if we let God write our story, he will take it to places we can't even imagine. I wanted to say that in the German way (wir können uns nicht vorstellen) because it makes even more sense.  We can not comprehend what the Lord wants to do with us, it is so magnificent and glorious.  I mean, truly just glorious.  I think of the things that I have seen and they are glorious.
     Oh I love my Savior so much.  I love my Father in Heaven so much.  I love my mission so much.  I love my friends and family here so much.  I love my friends and family there so much.  I just can't even describe how much goodness fills my heart because of the choice that I made to come on my mission.  It is the best choice anyone could ever make.  I think these 18 months are one of the greatest gifts God has given to me.
     I love you all so much!  Thanks so much for the emails and letters and packages and prayers over this last year and a half.  I love you.
Sister Henry

Hi Daddy!
I am so excited to see the Christmas lights on the house when I come home on Friday.  I can't believe I come home on Friday!  I can't wait to share this experience with you.
     I gave my last testimony at church yesterday and one of the members came up and said, "You are the first missionary that has given their testimony that has said they will still be a missionary when they go home."  I thought that was really good, because I really don't feel like my mission is ending but that it is in a way just starting.  I am all trained and now I get to adjust and learn how to be a real tool for the Lord, you know?  And I am sure I will be learning my whole life how to do so.
     Oh I wanted to ask, can you give me a Father's blessing when I come home?  Probably on Saturday after I have gotten some sleep ;)  I just started this time with a Father's blessing from you, and I would love to end it and start my next phase of life with a Father's blessing from you.
     I love you so much Daddy.  Ah!  I get to give you a big hug and watch football and chit chat with you and Tori and Mommy and Tina and cousins and everyone else!  It will be really great.  I love you!  I love Germany too, just wait until I get home because I will talk your ear off so much you will love Germany Austria and Switzerland too!

This beautiful family is being baptized this week!

And so is this handsome gentleman!

One last pigeon picture ;)

Getting beautified courtesy of Sister Kutschke