My letter this week is a copy of my last letter to President Sorensen. Every week we write a letter to our Mission President to let him know how things are going (a form of return and report). I had a great week. Not too much to report on. Bonnie is great and will be baptized soon. God is good. :) Here's the letter:
Dear President and Sister Sorensen,
I'm sure you, more than I, cannot believe how quickly this week has come upon us all. I'm so grateful for the blessing it has been to serve and work around you both. I have learned so much from your examples and have grown in ways that I didn't know were possible. I'm grateful for the redeeming and enabling power of Jesus Christ's Atonement in our lives that allows us to change, grow, and become.
You have asked the mission the question, what have we come to love about our missions? I could write you a novel about how I have loved every experience, whether it be full of adversity or joy, every gospel principle, my Savior, my Heavenly Father, my purpose, teaching, doing everything by the Spirit, being a leader, learning, loving, and so forth. I loved every second of my mission. I'll just share about two principles that I have come to better understand and love which are principles that will play a role in my life forever. Those are the Holy Ghost and the Atonement.
I have loved the Spirit on my mission. I love the comfort found, knowledge received, and joy given "by the Spirit" - that phrase which will stick with me forever. I love being able to communicate with the Spirit. Through our worthiness (obedience and consistent repentance) and reverence in our lives, we can constantly be guided and comforted by the Holy Ghost. I have seen this countless times in these past 21 months. I love being much more sensitive and familiar with the Spirit than ever before in my life. One of my favorite things to do in a lesson (other than invite someone to be baptized) is pause the lesson and allow them to discover the Holy Ghost; asking the question: How do you feel? I love being able to witness and feel our Heavenly Father's love through the Spirit. What a beautiful phenomenon.
I have also come to love and appreciate the Atonement so much more than I can voice in a letter. The Atonement is real. It's powerful. It's effects on our lives are incredible. I have come to know, so deeply, that Jesus Christ's infinite Atoning sacrifice is the only way to acquire happiness and joy in our lives. It's the only way. I love that I know that now. I love it! I have loved every second of my mission because that's what we are doing very day - inviting others to come unto Christ and experience His Atonement! We can become what our Heavenly Father intends for us to become through this Atonement. We can change those things we wish to change and develop self-mastery even as the Savior has. I have also loved every opportunity that Heavenly Father has given me to witness the Atonement take place in others lives. Through baptism, the sacrament, repentance, whatever... I have loved it. It is real. The power of the Atonement is real. And I love that.
It's with tears in my eyes that I tell you how much I love you both. You have changed my life and I will never forget the things you have taught me. Thank you for changing my life and blessing the lives of so many others. I hope I can be as good missionaries, parents, and disciples as you two have been to us. I love you. This isn't a goodbye, it's a "see you later!" And as a member in Findlay once told me, "Don't be sad you're leaving, be glad that we've met. And if I don't see you again in this life, I will see you in the next." Thank you.
Love, Elder Dransfield