Friday, October 7, 2011

Return With Honor

 The time has finally come. 
 As much as a missionary can try not to think about it, the steady march of time presses forward.  Some days the tempo seems to be at a crawl, other days it can proceed with alarming accelerando.  For me, the day of my release always seemed so far off (and still does), but I know better.  Time will continue on, and the sun is setting over the horizon of this chapter of my life.
 Because this is my last post as a full-time missionary, I'm trying to figure out exactly what to say.  I feel like Moroni, who decided to leave some final thoughts at the end of his service on those plates of gold.  His words, almost an afterthought, have been some of the most special and powerful in all of the Book of Mormon (for me, anyways).

 So what counsel do I have for you?  What sage spiritual insights can I possibly offer? 

 Well, let me tell you. :)


~Don't ever study in a recliner.
~With lunch meats, you get what you pay for.
~No matter how much you prepare, you will still get a flat tire.
~Children know a lot more than we think they do.
~Never, EVER argue with somebody about scriptures (aka "Bashing")!
~Don't eat things that were in the apartment before you.
~Always check expiration dates!
~If you are on bike, don't go into gated communities at night.  Just trust me.
~Wear biking gloves.  They are the cheapest form of bike insurance.
~Laundry is Not something you can put off.
~The people you don't want to talk to are the people you need to talk to.
~Early to bed and early to rise makes a missionary happy, healthy, and obedient. :P
~Peanut butter is good on everything.
~You won't be happy until you stop worrying about how happy you are.
~If you think you can do everything on your own, God will let you do everything on your own.
~You can't do everything on your own.
~You don't tell someone you love them, you show them.
~Companions can be your best frenemies.
~Dogs will love you if you love them.
~Dog hair goes away if you don't worry about it.
~Dog drool doesn't go away.
~If you want to look professional, shine your shoes.
~The best days sometimes have the worst beginnings.
~If you are afraid to change, you are in the wrong place.
~Don't be afraid to be original.
~Don't be afraid to be unorginal.
~If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right.
~You can be a teacher for people 2-4 times older than you.
~Always pack a towel.
~Your scriptures are your best friend.
~Shower first if you can.
~Planning is key.
~It should always be about the people, and never about the numbers.
~Take pictures!
~Your family gets bigger with every area.
~Double dinners are Not a good thing.
~You will never be happier than when you are serving others.
~Jesus Is The Christ.

 Obviously this list could nearly go on to infinity.  To quote Elder Matthew O. Richardson of the Seventy,     "I... feel that my mission was the best two years for my life." Though my service ends now, I know that who I am and where I'm going will forever be changed because of these short two years.  I pray I will be true to all the wonderful people I have met and who have changed me for the better along the way.  I have faith that everything I've learned here will help me every day for the rest of my life. I'm grateful for the blessing that being a missionary has been, and I implore that everyone who ever has the chance will do so.
 If I can do it, so can you.

 The ways I have changed and learned and grown are countless, but the things I have learned are simple.
I know the Book of Mormon is true.  I know that God speaks today.  I know you can be happier than you are, right now, through Jesus Christ.
 He is my my Savior.  My exemplar.  My teacher. My redeemer.  My best friend.
 He lives.

 In the name of Jesus Christ,


  1. Thank you for your post. It truly is amazing how much you learn and how much you change, and most of all how much your testimony is strengthened. Truly it is a singular event, and truly you made the most of it. Thank you for your service and your example.

  2. Elder Williams! I am happy that you have reached this point in your life. You should be excited for what is to come but always keep in constant remembrance the things you have just shared. They are beautiful words and the spirit radiating from them have lifted me this morning. You have always been a wonderful missionary and a good friend to all. I pray you will have a sweet reunion with your family and loved ones in Utah. Thank you for your charity in serving our brethren of the California Santa Rosa Mission :')

  3. I like that list. A lot! The things you learn on your mission really is an endless list... but thank you for sharing a few of them. You really are awesome Elder and you really do serve well. You're an example to everyone. Thanks for all you've done and enjoy the transition!!! (It's a fun one!)