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"I have fought a good fight" (2 Tim 4:7)

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Amigos, elderes, familia,

This is it, the last email. Two years, 7 areas I've called home, and one heart changed at a time. This has been the greatest experience I could have ever asked for, and it's finally come to an end.

I've experienced a variety of strong emotions as I've approached the end of my full time missionary service. Sadness about leaving Guatemala behind, excitement to see my family again, etc. I know that the Lord is willing to guide us, not just in the mission, but in every aspect of our lives.

This last week has been a whirlwind of goodbyes and testimonies. It's been a little overwhelming. Today for pday, all of the missionaries that are going home the same day as I am traveled to the capital, and we went bowling together. We got to meet our new mission president, and he gave us some really good advice for what to do when we get home.

But during all of the travels and packing and goodbyes, I've been reflexing a lot on what I've learned during my mission. The experiences I've had. The ways I've changed as a person. And I jotted down a quick list of some lessons I've learned on the mission, I wanted to share some really fast here

1. Revelation is real. The Lord is willing to "make these things known unto all"

2. Because of grace we see answers to our prayers, after all we can do.

3. Everything will turn out OK in the end if we take the Holy Ghost for our guide

4. God is a God of second chances.

5. Spiritual gifts are given to qualify those whom he has called

6. In so many ways, by small and simple things, great things come to pass.

7. Joy comes from forgetting ones self and losing your life in love and service

8. Inner peace is a by product of knowing the truth and obeying the commandments

9. We tend to allow ourselves to be "objects to be acted upon" instead of "agents unto ourselves"

10. Regular and meaningful scripture study and prayer are the most basic but most essential habits of a disciple

11. The worth of a soul is infinite in the eyes of God

12. Your power as a leader and as a missionary is determined by how you live and how you act when no one is looking

13. Is is impossible to serve 2 masters. Your motivation can't be charity and recognition simultaneously.

14. Be quick to apologize and patient with the faults of others, even if they don't return the favor

15. It's all true. This is the Church of Jesus Christ.

We are called to teach, but in a lot of ways, when you serve as a missionary, you're a student. We are here to learn and to become. I have neither the time nor the ability to express in writing all of the things Ive learned by serving as a missionary. But the most important thing I have learned is that the power of Jesus Christ is real. He loves us, He died for us, and because of Him, we can be saved. Each of us can change.

I learned that He still leads and guides his church today, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Christ's restored church. Thanks to many times I've felt the spirit on my mission, my testimony has been strengthened so much.

Friday morning I'll be boarding a plane and heading home. I'm looking forward to seeing so many of you on Sunday. I'll be leaving a piece of my heart here in Guatemala, but I'll be coming back one day soon.

I want to end with these words that Paul wrote at the end of his mission.

"The time of my departure is at hand.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."

Keep the faith.

Elder Telford

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