Let me tell you what. My new area is sweet. My companion is a goofball!! My district is sweet. The sisters are so great. At district meeting they were even helping me teach by asking other missionaries questions. It was great. We caroled after district meeting with the two Williamsport districts. It was great. I got super sick this week. It was horrible. My stomach was all messed up, I felt like I was going to throw up, I had a mad fever, a headache, and the chills. It was bad. So we had to stay in the apartment one day because I just couldn't do it. So I had a lot of time to think. I got to start thinking about why I was out here? What was the real reason for me serving? And it all finally clicked. I understood the importance and the simplicity to my purpose. It was great. Who knows, maybe I was sick so that I had time to ponder this. But what I had come up with really struck me and I decided to write it down and this is it:
When I was young I would always say "I want to be a missiomary when I grow up." As I kept growing older I started making decisions that were poor. I made bad decisions. I didn't know who I was and I was trying to find out who I truly was. I struggled with depression and I just didn't know how to deal with that. Because of that I made some crazy mistakes. Thinking about who I was and the things I did is just shocking. I had some friends that were great influences on me and parents who never gave up on me. I saw that my friends who lived the gospel were just so happy, they had a glow to them, they shined. I wanted to be like that and I knew the gospel their source of light. And through that I was able to have my heart softened enough to give the gospel a try. So after time as I continued to be around these wonderful examples I had, my best friends, I started to gain a testimony. I pulled out my scriptures every once in a while and I would say a prayer every once in a while, and I mean like once every two months or so. As time went by I found myself doing that more and more. And over time I began to read the scriptures daily, pray daily, participate in church, and I had a desire to be the example to others that my friends were to me when I was struggling. I had gained a testimony. A solid testimony over time. There was never a specific time when i realized I had a testimony, or that I was changing, beginning to be happy, or anything. It all just kind of slowly became clear, as if a thick fog was getting thinner and thinner until the fog was completely gone. I found out who I am and who my Savior is, I found true happiness, I found out that God is real and that He loves me, I found out that Jesus Christ truly did suffer for me and my mistakes, and I've found that this gospel is true, that even though I've made these horrible mistakes I am still loved and that I can be forgiven and cleansed of my mistakes. This gospel is happiness.
So with my new testimony the missionary idea came back. My friends and I always talked about going on missions and how excited we were to go on one. I don't think I actually ever thought about why I wanted to go on a mission. I knew God has asked all young men to go on a mission. I knew all of my friends were going on a mission. I knew my parents wanted me to go on a mission. But I never thought about why I wanted to go. I didn't even know what to expect about a mission. But it was enough for me to accept the call I received. And being out here serving I've been happier than I ever have before. I've come to have a Godly love for His children. Ive come to love to serve others and to help them in any way I can. But I don't think I ever really figured out why I am serving or at least why I am still out, until now. It took me 9 months to figure out why I was still out here in Pennsylvania serving. The reason why I am out here is because this gospel, the message that I try to share with everyone, has changed my live in such a dramatic way. I struggled so much trying to find happiness when I didn't live the gospel. But with the gospel in my life I have found joy. Pure,simple, and authentic joy. I have found out who I am and what my worth and potential is. I am a child of a loving Heavenly Father and because of that I have infinite potential and worth. I have found out that I don't have to dwell on the mistakes I've made because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ paid the price so that I can receive forgiveness, even have my sins washed away. And thats why I am out. I want to help others come to know who they truly are, that true happiness can be found, and that Jesus Christ has suffered for them. It's so simple but its so beautiful. What we go out and try to share will change every single persons life. There are people in dire need of happiness, forgiveness, and a knowledge of who they are.
I'm just so grateful to be able to share the message we share. Our purpose is so important. There is nothing more important than this. We are literally saving lives temporarily and eternally. I love the people of Pennsylvania. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love this work. It is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
The ward here is awesome. I love it here, despite how disgusting this apartment is...
Sorry about this weird font... I don't know how to fix it..
It also snowed a bunch last night. Pretty crazy.
Love Elder Segon