I didn’t expect finishing the mission to be so hard. So many mixed feelings confuse and try to distract me. In other words, It’s hard to not feel “trunky.” With the holiday season in full blow (which in Argentina means crazy parties and lots of drinking, haha), a week left of missionary life, my last baptisms of the mission this past Saturday, and knowing that a huge change is about to hit me hard, I’m honestly quite frightened at first thought. I ate at McDonald’s today and people watched as I ate my salad…I’m not ready to come back to reality. I love what I’m doing so much…this is my reality…and to think my daily routine will change in just a few days scares me.
I trust in the Lord. My mission has blessed me with two things, if I can be so bold as to try to sum it up so compactly: An unshakable faith in my Savior, Jesus Christ, and a testimony tried and true. I, like Luke, believed I had always known the gospel to be true. I had always felt it and tried to always live what I believed. I thought I was born with a testimony. And I still think I was. But now, I have been blessed to be able to polish some of the rough edges. Wet my feet a little before the waters parted. Take a few steps in the dark and rejoice when I saw my path illuminated before me.
I have learned obedience to the Lord and His commandments. I treasure my covenants and plan to always honor them. I look forward to the future covenants I have yet to make. I recognize that the greatest gift we have in this life is time, and how we use our time ultimately determines our happiness. I also have come to know that when the majority of our time is spent in the service of others, and less time spent on ourselves, true happiness is enjoyed. Tonight, we don’t have plans to pass the evening with anyone, but I’ve invited a few other elders to join me in the bus station to sing hymns and Christmas carols to lift the spirits of those who can’t spend the night with loved ones. The spirit of service is the Spirit of Christ. I love it and can’t wait to receive a calling and serve with all my might. After all, I have covenanted to dedicate all my time and talents to the Lord. It’s a welcome obligation.
I treasure the relationship I have with the Savior. As I have now spent close to two years as His representative, I have grown closer to Him and I love Him. Christmas is something very special to me…my Savior came to this earth to save me from the bonds of sins. What a blessing. I have many thoughts and feelings running through my mind as I’m sure you can imagine…so I’ll leave it at that for the moment. We will be talking tomorrow after all.
I love you all so dearly. Merry Christmas Eve.
Elder Steven Reid Walker
Our visit on Christmas Day was wonderful, to say the least. We had been expecting his call all morning, but didn’t get it until we were at my mom’s for Christmas Dinner. He called just before we were to eat and I jumped up and down and ran outside, then upstairs to settle in for our conversation! It was the first time we’ve SEEN him in almost two years. We got to SKYPE him and what a blessing that was! His English was broken and he had to translate his thoughts from Spanish into English! It was so cute, and a real blessing knowing that he has truly immersed himself in the culture, language and entire mission experience. We talked about his day, his next adventure of coming back to a new reality and the whirlwind turn-around he will have when he gets home. He leaves Argentina January 2nd, arrives in San Diego January 3rd and must be in Provo, Utah January 6th for school to start January 7th…We get him for all of two days, but they will be the BEST two days ever! Thank you all for following this blog and Steven’s Adventures in Argentina. I expect just one more letter from him, but if he is too busy packing and preparing, I hope your days have been brightened by his faith and testimony and the hope in what truly matters. It is the greatest joy to be his mother…now and for eternity. 🙂 Smiles, Marsi