Well, in 2 days I'm 1 year old in mission time! I've been thinking about this for a while now. But now I actually have been out here a year.
IT's a weird point in my mission, because there are so many missionaries I know who have gone home, who have finished their missions, and then there's a TON of new kids, too. I don't know how to feel. I just gotta keep going.
Everyone has told me that the longest part of the mission is the 9-12 month time space, and while I didn't believe it at first, I believe it now. It's because in all of that time, you just keep thinking about what's gonna happen when you've been on the mission for a year. (things like where are you gonna be, what are you gonna do, who's gonna be your companion, what happened to your home while you've been out, etc.) That's why it feels so long... Now that I think about it, how does a missionary feel when he's in his last 6 weeks of the mission? It's gotta be wayyy worse, but I'll tell you guys about it in a year.
In this past year I’ve experienced: 2 areas, 8 companions, 9 changes, and 8 baptisms. One of the most interesting things that has happened to me this week is the number of people that have asked me for blessings. (FYI for all those of you who are not familiar with the Mormon church we believe [and I know from experience] that this church possesses the Holy Priesthood, or the power and authority to act in the name of Jesus Christ on the earth, just as Moses, Elijah, and the apostles had it. This priesthood is given to all those who are worthy to use it to bless the lives of others, and do not try to unrighteously dominate others). I have had the opportunity to give blessings on various occasions, and it is one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had, to be able to give a blessing. I do not consider my faith to be particularly strong, but when I have been called upon to give a blessing by the authority of the Priesthood, the Spirit takes over. Literally, the words that I pronounce are not words or ideas that I invent. When I give a blessing, I can feel of the Lord's love for the person. It is a very sacred experience for me, and I'm very glad I've been given the God-given priesthood to bless the lives of others. The priesthood is real, and only works if you are as much a servant to your fellow beings as Jesus Christ was.
Elder Jeffrey Reed