Today I have had tears. I read my daughters last mission email. She bore her testimony of her love for our Savior Jesus Christ, of the atonement, of Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the Gospel. It was a simple, beautiful testimony.
She will be home in 5 days, as many fingers as I have one one hand. I can't wait for her to be home, and yet I am sad that her mission is over. As mixed as my feelings are I can only imagine hers.
Malynne has been gone for 18 months. She has missed a lot of firsts. She missed her younger sisters first year at girls camp, her excitement of having her braces removed and all the Chinese words she can speak, her other sisters first date, first prom and first driving experiences (although she will still get to experience this as Makennas driving is still like a first time experience every time). She has missed seeing her brother grow and grow and grow. She missed seeing him get the priesthood and serve the sacrament for the first time. She has missed family vacations, family get togethers and our first “family” temple trip (everyone old enough to go). She has been missed and she has missed a lot. However, while serving as disciple of Christ she has “seen” so much. Montana! They call it Big Sky Country and from the pictures she has sent home the name fits. She has seen the majestic mountains, wilderness, wildlife and beautiful people of Montana. She has seen miracles, see the Spirit as it has touched the lives of her new found brothers and sisters. She has felt!!!! She has had a real sister.... and a second sister, and a third.....some were easy to love and some not so easy to love, but she learned how to love them. She has eaten buffulo, elk, caribou, rabbit, pheasant, and venison (which she thought was a bird until she was served venison stew and asked if it was steak). She has tasted a new life. She has lived 18 months with ear problems and still listens to the spirit. She has lived without hot water, and without heat for a short period of time in the middle of winter. She has changed wards, branches, broken hearts and lives. She has changed and she has lived.
So...When I cry that it's the ending.....I also realize that it is the start of a new beginning. A new daughter is coming home. One I have never met. She is stronger and a stranger. Her shoes and clothes are worn out, but knowing my Malynne she will be wearing a smile. I'll know her face, it's never left my thoughts but there is a new light in her eyes (look at her pictures and you will see it too).
As she prepares to come home my heart aches for her. My prayers have been answered. She has been blessed, protected, provided for and loved. Saturday I will have my girl home.
Yes, there are tears!