Weird huh? How time flies so fast. This last week I was thinking about what I could say in an email to describe my mission. Then I realized that I couldn't. But there is a very popular song that we listen to out here as missionaries called, "The Hardest Thing I've Ever Loved To Do". I am pretty sure I have told you all about it before but it basically how I look back on my mission. I want to go through some of the lyrics (in bold) from that song and relate it to my mission. Go look it up on youtube..its a good one.
The hardest thing I've ever loved to do, was letting go of everything I ever knew.
Alright lets just be straight up here. Madison McBride has a very know-it-all personality. I had to get some huge slices of humble pie to realize that I really don't know anything. In the MTC, during my mission, even now, I have had to realize that I don't know most things. I had to learn to be humble on my mission. Pride is the root of all evil. And although I am still not perfect at dropping my pride, I have learned to be better.
The hardest word I've ever loved to say, was goodbye to my mom and walk away.
Man oh man, pulling up to the MTC. That was a trip huh family? Honking the horn, screeming out the window, announcing to the world that I HAD ARRIVED! Although we were stoked, saying goodbye to the ones I loved was so tough for me. Through the struggles and the joy, I wish that each of you could have been right next to me through it all. But I know that I wouldn't have been able to learn the things that I have if it was any other way.
The sweetest song I've ever loved to sing, filled the MTC on angels wings.
Despite the awful food, I will forever be grateful for that spirit prison in Provo, UT. That is where I found my testimony of the Book of Mormon. After days and nights of doubt, I recieved my answer that Joseph Smith really was a prophet of God and that he really did translate the Book of Mormon by the power of God.
The firmest hand(s) I've ever loved to shake, were my trainers with big grins on their face.
Hermana Jones. Hermana Pierce. You have all heard many times how much these two people have changed my life. I will forever be grateful to my Heavenly Father for giving them to me. I learned so much from them that will forever have an impact on me. But not just my trainers, but to every companion that I have ever had. I know that they were with me for a reason. I ended up having 14 companions. That is a whole lot of learning right there! I have learned so much from each and every one of them and their different gifts and talents.
The hardest tears I've ever had to cry, came as I opened up my mouth to testify. Between the tiny walls of strangers' living rooms. The spirit told them that my words were true.
There have been countless occasions where I have opened my mouth and the words of the spirit touched an investigator/member/less-active. In those moments, I know that this is HIS work and not mine. In each one of those living rooms, whether it was way to hot or freezing or too small or no furniture, heaven was in those lessons. I will probably never see most of these people again until after this life but I am grateful for each of the hearts that I was able to touch.
The sweetest sound I've ever loved to hear, is the sound of water running in the church. While someone you came to love gets dressed in white, and my eyes see their first glimpse of heavens light.
From Nathalia all the way down to Hollman, I will forever be grateful for the moments that I got to watch someone make that special covenant with God.
The hardest thing I've ever come to see, is a man down on his knees in agony. A drop of blood falls down on olive leaves. And for a moment he suffers there for me.
The most important thing that I have learned on my mission is The Atonement of Jesus Christ. That sickness and depression that I was in was awful. I hated every minute of it. There were so many moments that I was ready to call it quits. I was done. But then I realized that someone a lot greater than me felt the exact same way. He didn't quit on me and so I didn't quit on him.
The hardest thing I've ever loved to do, is getting on this plane and coming home to you. In a million ways completely torn apart. Because a land so far away still owns my heart.
Luckily for me, I have kinda already the experience of leaving a mission. I can't really explain what it felt like coming to California from Washington. I was so torn but so grateful for a new start. I know to this day that Heavenly Father needed me here in San Diego. He needed me in Kennewick as well. But God has this way of doing things that sometimes we just don't understand.
Coming home is a little different because I am getting back to the normal things. Again, I am torn but I am very grateful for this experience that I have had and grateful for the loving arms that I will soon get to hug.
The most sincere prayer I will every pray, I will thank my God for each and every day. For the blessings of the woman that I have come to be.
In those last moments as a missionary, I will humbly pray to my Heavenly Father for this incredible opportunity that he has given me. I know that I will forever be changed from my mission. It has truly made me who I am today.
I will cherish every single last moment with the name tag on and work until I can't anymore.
I want each of you receiving this email to know, that I know with all of my heart that this is the true church. I am grateful to 3 loving parents who taught it to me as a child but I am also grateful for them loving me and my siblings no matter what. I know that God is loving. He loves each and everyone of us NO MATTER WHAT. I know that The Book of Mormon is the truth. It has all the answers even though we might not understand it all. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he sacrificed his life and time for the restored gospel. I know that we have a living day prophet and he has 12 apostles that hold the priesthood authority here on the earth. Families can be forever. The temple is the house of the Lord. The church is true. The book is blue. And that is my simple testimony.
I love you all so much. Thank you for your love and support over these last 18 months.
My mission truly is the hardest thing I have ever loved to do. And I will forever be grateful.
xoxoxo. be you.
-hermana madison mcbride
(P.S..i totally scored some San Diego zoo tickets for my last p-day from my girl Lupe Garcia..aw yaa :))