Sunday, September 11, 2016

09/11/2016 - Well This is It...

Good-bye ritual??

Well never thought it would come, but it's here. I'm pretty much done. I don't have to much time left. (81 hours, but who's counting). Sorry I don't have a lot of time to email today. Still have some "funeral arrangements" to take care of. But I will definitely sit down when I get home, and type out some of my final thoughts, and send out 1 last email. This isn't the last! mwahahahaha! "I'm not dead yet... I feel Happy" -Monty Python.

Well as I do wind down, of course, everyone asks, if I'm excited to go home. My answer, of course. Yes. I miss my family and friends, I'm excited to start school, I'm excited to eat a real AMERICAN hamburger, I'm stoked to get to watch all the movies that I've missed, I'm ready to play Minecraft, and other games again, I'm excited to get to date again. I am excited to come home. But honestly, what I have told everyone, is that it is a mix of emotions. Yeah I'm excited, and just like the rest of my family I've got a countdown going on (80 h 53m), but I'm not just looking forward to it. At the same time as being excited for all of those things, I am really sad. I don't want to leave. I love Hokkaido. 

I love working for, and representing my savior. I love the spirit that you can feel in this work. I have so many friends here, the bonds of which are a lot stronger then other friendships. I love the language, I've come to like it more than English and have even come to forget a lot of English (for those that hear my talk in church this Sunday, I apologize). I don't want to leave the wonderful Japanese people here, that are so kind, and so loving. I don't want to go home. I said it. I don't want to go home. 

I gave my final testimony, and remarks in church yesterday, and I bawled like a baby. I don't think I have anymore tears in me. I really don't want to leave. I have so many "Mothers" and "Grandmothers" here in Hokkaido that don't want me to leave either. It breaks my heart to leave them. But, just as I talked about a few weeks ago, Life doesn't end on a mountain. That's for later. I've got to continue on. I've got to come down the mountain, no matter how much it pains me to do so. But, I will not, Cannot forget the things I've seen, learned, and done here. 

A couple of month's ago, a good friend of mine from the MTC (Missionary Training Center), had to go home a little early because of medical issues. He didn't want to leave either, but he did send one last email out, and part of it was this poem he wrote, that I thinks describes my feelings better than I can write, so I'm jut going to use that.

It Won't Be the Same
By: Kengo Adachi

It won't be the same after you go back
On Wednesday night at 6:30 there will be no Eikaiwa(english class) to prep
Monday's won't really be a thing that you look forward to
Thursday's will just become a day and not the day where you plan your week
Lights won't have to be on at 6:30 or off by 10:30
You won't have to check the clock to make sure your lunch isn't going over an hour
You won't have to always have someone within sight and sound
You won't have to play Rock Paper Scissors at the door before you leave
When you meet with someone you won't have to worry about what message you will share
Suddenly no one needs to know about the conversations you had with someone
When you get home at night you won't have to plan your next day
There will be no more reporting what you did that day
The clothes you wear won't be the same thing over and over and over
People will no longer call you sister or elder
Your name will no longer be written on your chest

It won't be the same but that doesn't mean it will not be similar
What will be left of your 18 months or 2 years
Not stats, transfer numbers, how good your language is or, leadership positions
But friends, seeds, influence, example, and change
What kind of mark did you leave on your mission?
Do you have people to follow up with for life?
Will you go back to the life you had before?
Will you waste hours on your phone "liking" life?
Not talk to people around you and seeing who's day you can change?
Will you just worry about what you want and not how you can serve your roommate?
Will you watch what you say and what you do?
Will you jump at a random opportunity to serve someone?
Or will you hesitate and think... I don't need to do that someone else will
Will you read the good word and discuss with God your plans and problems?
Will you go back to a prideful life asking what can I get not what can I give?
Will you take for granted the way of living or the family and friends around you?
Will you view everyone like you did before? Or will you view them as you learned so well on your mission as a child of God?
Will you continue the Christlike attributes you worked on and studied so hard?
Or will you say that's not something I need to worry about anymore?

I hope you keep the change you made and don't lose it
Because even if you changed the place where you served it doesn't mean much if you didn't
If it won't be the same now that the badge comes off did you really change?
Or was it just a good act for a little while
There's much to think about when you go home from your time
But I hope you go back and you don't say I'm excited to get back to my life
But rather can say with confidence... It won't be the same

And then I'd like to add "It won't be the same. It'll be better"

I will not, cannot forget this experience. It will define my life from here on out. People talk about just how much their lives have been influenced by their missions. Mine will be the same. This is God's work. This is his Church. It is true, and I know it. That'll be about it for now. Look forward to my one last email next week. 

Until then, God we with you.
Elder Eliot

PS. Looking forward to seeing all that can make it to my homecoming this week. Love you!
Sunday 09/18/2016, 1:pm, LDS Chapel 259 E Alpine DR, Elk Ridge UT

Plane takes off in 80 hours, and 33 minutes XD