Thursday, September 3, 2015

one year

"The Wait"
by Haig Pinsent

I left on September 4th 2012 to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Minneapolis Minnesota Mission. At that time I knew only very little of what the next two years would contain. I knew it would be hard, but how hard I knew not. I knew I would struggle, but how hard I knew not. I knew I would grow, but how much I knew not. I knew I would miss her, but how much I knew not.

You are told a lot of things growing up as a young man of our faith, specifically around serving a mission. You are told that you will grow, you will change, you will mature, you will be converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. You are even told by some that the girl you leave at home will become someone else's wife. These notions become truth to you, as if they will just happen. As if you don't have a say in the matter.

It's not quite true.

The truth is, you can do all of those things. You can grow. You can mature. You can change, and yes, the girl you leave behind can leave you for a much more handsome, mature and put together young man. 

However, I am completely convinced that the outcome of your mission, in these ways and many more is dependent upon your faith. You may be the missionary, the loving father or mother. You may be the brother. sister, aunt or uncle. You may even be the missionary's girl. But a missionary's success is dependent on the faith of everyone involved. 

My experience stems from the obvious, "boy leaves girl" scenario. When I was serving, I was often asked questions like; 

"Do you have a girlfriend?"
  yes I do
"Do you miss her?" 
"Will she be there when you get home?" 
Yes. Yes she will

The truth is I decided early on that I would refuse to miss Alyssa. I knew that I loved her, and she loved me. I decided to place my faith in that love and move on. I am not perfect from time to time I would have an "Oh my goodness I miss her" moment, but I refused to let them stay. To dwell on it would mean that my faith is weakening. Worrying shows no faith. Doubt is opposed to faith.

During my service we both changed. Change and growth come rapidly when you are serving the Lord in such a dedicated way. Myself as a missionary and Alyssa as a loving supporter. Through all of our change and growth we were growing closer and more alike. Missionary service teaches a young man a great deal about dedication. Never before in my life had I been called upon to dedicate this amount of myself to anything. A missionary gives more than can be measured. You can measure the time, the money, the suits and the shoes purchased. You can even measure doors knocked, and lessons taught. Some may give up employment, scholarships or other opportunities. Some give up precious time with family, friends and loved ones.  But you cannot measure the most important things. The love given to those whom you serve, the heartache that comes when they turn away.

I gave all of these things. As my mission came to a close, I needed something to continue to give to when I could no longer give to my mission. I gave my all to Alyssa.

I am convinced that God kept her for me because I never allowed myself to doubt that she would be there for me when I got home. I loved too much to doubt her.

I am grateful, and will be forever to her for her faith in me. My success came from her faith, just as her success came from mine.

I came home September 3rd 2014, one year ago today. We were married in the Halifax Nova Scotia Temple, for time and all Eternity on February 21st 2015. Our success continues to be dependent on each others' faith and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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