2 years.24 months.105 weeks.730 days.17,532 hours.
however you'd like to look at it, having someone you love leave you for 2 years doesn't sound great right? well as you probably know my best friend has been gone for 6 months now. i've hit my half way mark....crazy right? well i feel like a million bucks but i have a feeling these next 6 will be the hardest of our journey together, but it's the end goal that keeps me focused. perfect right?
matt and i have been dating for 2 years now. long time right? honestly it's been the best 2 years of my whole life. we've been through everything you could think of, the good, the bad, the ugly, and times where things couldn't be more perfect. on april 28th 2011 matt received his mission call to santiago, dominican republic. well as i tried to act excited and happy, the thought of my best friend, the person who knew me better than i knew myself, the person who could make me smile no matter what was leaving me for 2 years. matt was in school in arizona until may and we made the most of the time we had together, i'm pretty sure we spent every day together. i still remember saying goodbye to him. it was one of those hugs that you just didn't want to let go because you felt like part of your world was leaving for a bit, but deep down i knew he would come back and everything would be okay. he kissed my forehead and with tears running down both our faces he whispered quietly in my ear, with a shake in his voice "be strong lauren, never stop smiling, remember i will always love you, and please whatever you do don't let go, what we have is worth this fight and this wait" he pulled away, kissed me, we said "see ya in two" and off he drove. the words he whispered in my ear i'm reminded of on a daily basis. sure being a missionary girlfriend isn't easy. it gets lonely and sometimes it just plain sucks. but it's one of the most rewarding things i've ever done......i know a lot of you will say "well you aren't done yet" and yes i know that, but if you don't mind i'd like to share one of many experience i have had with you.
i go to my home ward because well i live at home and second because i hate, hate, hate singles wards. anywho in my home ward i have a calling to teach the 9-10 year old girls. i have 5 girls in there, and one of those 5 girls is autistic. well about 3 sundays ago she brought a friend to church. a little boy in holy jeans and a dirty hoodie, who timidly walked into my class room and sat quietly in his chair. as i asked him his name and where he was from there was no thought in my mind that this little boy wasn't a member of the church, i just figured because he was visiting he had forgotten church clothes and came in simply what he had. as i sat and taught the lesson on lehi's dream this little boy caught my attention. he was quiet and engaging in every word i said. he was buried in the scriptures i had given him, asking questions and responding to the questions i asked the class. at the end of the class i asked the girls and this little boy to draw a picture of something that they could do to help them return to live with our heavenly father again and also something that would help them stay on the strait and narrow path and hold tightly to the rod. as the girls drew pictures of being nice to their siblings, and reading their scriptures i glanced to see that this little boy was drawing a picture of a boy in water, with another boy. i asked him what his picture was of and he said "well you see, i'm actually not part of this church, but i know i will be someday" caught off guard and not really knowing what to say, i responded with "well that sounds like a great goal to me" we later went into sharing time where he did the same thing he had done in my class. he also sang every primary song we sang during singing time...although he didn't know the words to most, he would hum or even try to sing. i left that day first feeling extremely grateful for my calling, but for the opportunity the lord had given me this little boy to help appreciate what matt, and millions of other young men and woman do everyday.
i'm sorry if i bored you with my story of this little boy, but it wasn't until that sunday that i realized the importance of missionary work. don't get me wrong, i've always known how important it is, but to experience something like that first hand made me excited and proud of the missionaries of our church. so girls, encourage the young men to go on missions. i know it is hard without them here, but the people that have yet to hear the gospel need them more than you do, i promise. and you will be blessed! just remember in due time you'll get to be with them. in the mean time, finish school, go travel the world, work your butt off so you have lots of money when he gets home, and by all means date if you want to, it's healthy and will help you to appreciate your missionary even more. keep your head up, you can all do this. but please remember they need your support just as much as you need them, so be there for them, love them and let them know that what they are doing and are planning on doing is so important. i found this on another MG's blog and i had to share it, it makes me cry everytime. hope you enjoy.
"The following event took place in a ward in Salt Lake City in 1974. It occurred during a sacrament meeting and was told to me by a Regional Representative of the Twelve who was in the meeting. A young man, just before leaving on his mission stood in sacrament meeting and bore in essence the following testimony:
Brothers and Sisters, as you know, the past two weeks I've been waiting for my mission call. During the time I was waiting I had a dream. I knew it was not an ordinary dream. I dreamed I was in the pre-existence and awaiting my call to come to earth. I was filled with the same anticipation and excitement that I had before I received my mission call. In my dream I was talking to a friend, and I felt a special closeness to him, even though I've never met him in this life. As we talked a messenger came and gave me a letter. I knew it was my call to go to earth. In great excitement my friend and I opened the letter. I gave it to him and asked him to read it aloud. It said: "You've been called to earth in a special time and to a special land. You will be born to the true church and you will have the priesthood of God in your home. You will be born into a land of plenty, in a land of freedom. You will go to the earth in the United States of America."
My friend and I rejoiced as we read my call, and while we were rejoicing the messenger returned. This time he had a letter for my friend. We knew it was his call to earth. My friend gave me the letter to read aloud. His letter said: "You've been called to go to the earth in circumstances of poverty and strife. You will not be raised in the true church. Many hardships will attend your life. Your land will be fraught with political and social difficulties - which will hinder the work of the Lord. You will be born in Costa Rica."
We wept, my friend and I, as we read his call. And my friend looked at me with tears in his eyes, and said, "When we are down on earth, you in your choice land and me in Costa Rica, my friend, please come and fine me."
This young missionary, with tears in his eyes, said, "Brothers and Sisters, I have received my mission call. I am going to Costa Rica."
There is a sequel to the story. About a year after the sacrament meeting, the bishop received a letter from the missionary in Costa Rica. The letter had one sheet of paper in it and on that sheet written in capital letters were four words:
I FOUND MY FRIEND