Before we get into the real deep nitty gritty, let's just...
Aaaaaand we're back! Thanks for joining us ladies and gentlemen once again, for another episode of Emily add n. It's been a great 18 months of mission emails and pictures, and I really feel like we've been through a lot together. I mean, remember that one time when that cat gave birth during a lesson?
...Did I not send that story into the blogging universe? Hmm. True story though.
So, FAQs, blah blah blah, I feel like I'm adjusting well, yes I miss the mission, I'm working, planning on school in the fall, and I'm not allergic to peach fuzz.
GREAT! On to the good stuff. First, an official notice.
Please take a moment to breath in deeply and let the celebration relax from your system as the mood of this blog is about to change drastically, and we'll need your full and deep attention. Thank you. ~Blog Mood Safety Committee
Four years ago on the eve of my sixteenth birthday, I sat on my bed contemplating the meaning of this great event. Sixteen. What an accomplishment. What excitement. What exotic adventures lay ahead. Driving, dating, and...I guess that's basically it. But wow, was I excited. I felt like Samwise Gamgee, passing the farthest stalk in the cornfield of my life and leaving my childhood Shire behind. I felt the need to do something. Like Neil Armstrong, place my flag down before taking this small step and simultaneously giant leap. So, like in all important moments of inspiration, I snatched up a paper and pen, and started to write.
I wrote myself a letter. I included thoughts, goals, fears, habits, pet peeves, advice, drawings, jokes, whatever tickled my fancy. Then I signed it, folded it into thirds, labeled it, and threw it in the box under my bed to open up the following year on my seventeenth birthday.
The following year in I want to say late March or early April I just so happened to clean out the box under my bed, and I came across the letter labeled, "Do not open until at least 2012, February the sixteenth! Thank you." I remember reading the label over like five times before realizing that the date had past, and I was allowed to open it. I couldn't believe that in the course of just one year, I had forgotten not only that I had written the letter, but half the stuff that I even had said, and how much I really had changed during the year. There were opinions I had changed, worries that had long faded away, and excitements that had long since downgraded on my importance list. Probably much less due to the metaphorical cornfield I had left behind, and more due to the fact that a year is actually a long time. Sure it's full of months, days, hours, and seconds. But more importantly it's full of experiences, feelings, lessons, and moments.
So I wrote myself another letter, as I had promised myself in the first, to open up the next year. Then I've done it every year since so that today I have five letters, plus the sixth that I'll seal up for next year. #gettingaroundtoit
So as I, twenty one year old Emilyn, sit down with a few leftover pages from an old college notebook to write personal epistle number six, I'll share twenty one points from my past letters.
Emilyn at 15: Sixteenth Birthday, for Emilyn at 17
1. Ideas of things to do while breathing helium: Tell stories, try to go really low and see what happens, stand on your head and talk, rap Justin Bieber.
2. I think about boys too much, though perhaps that is normal.
3. I get up in the mornings at 5:45 to read scriptures
4. Spend time with God by serving Him, reading his holy word, and speaking to Him.
Emilyn at 16: Seventeenth Birthday, for Emilyn at 18
5. I like pencils more than pens
6. I LOVE how straight my teeth are now that I've had braces for a while and HATE how I can't floss them every day.
7. Personal goal: try to talk to other people by asking them about themselves.
8. I enjoy driving everywhere but the freeway.
9. I have a bruise on my chin from when Joe and Tage were spinning James around by his hands and feet, then I tried to jump over him when Charity came running around and we slammed into each other.
Emilyn at 17: Eighteenth Birthday, For Emilyn at 19
10. Being aggressive is necessary and sometimes the best answer. Working at Wendys definitely taught me that. Although being gentle is great, things get done more efficiently when you are aggressive.
11. Be prepared and don't blow off the stuff that isn't staring you in the face. you'll never get anywhere without preparing first and getting things done on time.
12. You got your braces off this past year and pearly whites suit you quite well if you do say so yourself.
13. Remember, you need food more than clothes.
Emilyn at 18: Nineteenth Birthday, For Emilyn at 20
14. You love english and writing. Especially on your blog. And it's dang good and dang funny.
15. You just took a long break to play Jet-Pack Joyride because, frankly, this letter is HARD WORK.
16. You know, they say at 19 you know just about everything about the world. So have you learned something about the universe, or anything that I won't know in a week from now? Most likely.
17. Humility. It's pretty essential for important relationship aspects including listening, being aware of others' feelings, being aware of others' problems/needs, and being thoughtful and kind.
18. To be serving a mission and focusing my whole life on Christ's church and building Zion... It's going to be amazing. I can't even imagine the good it will do for my life, for my future family. I am so excited!
Emilyn at 19: 20th Birthday, For Emilyn at 21
19. So I hear it's pretty hard to be home the first little while. How ya doin kid? Ya got a job? A boy? A plan for your life? You using your agenda? Daily prayers? Scripture study? Hey, don't you forget all those little things. Ever. You got to stay spiritually in shape. You've finished the marathon, but that doesn't mean you stop practicing, or you'll lose that manso spiritual six-pack you spent a year and a half working on.
20. You're gonna make mistakes. The mission didn't make you perfect.
21. And for point number twenty on, I found some returned missionary advice I had given myself, which I will share with all of you.
- Watch the RM. It happens to everyone. There are other RMs out there going through the same...whatever it is you're going through. It's a process!
- Chill out. That doesn't mean sit around on your behind playing candy crush and taking siestas. Go find someone to watch a movie with. Play a game. Read a book. Go sight seeing in Salt Lake. To the Zoo. To the temple. Call up your buddies and have a party! Forget yourself and go have a day! Make happiness happen.
- Be spiritual. Just cuz you're home doesn't mean you have to stop being spiritual. In fact, please don't.You can't. Can't afford to. read your scriptures! Pray for like 25 minutes! Go to the temple! Attend institute, church, get a calling. I don't know. Oh, and don't pack Preach my Gospel away. Keep livin' it bro!
- Get busy. Get a job, figure out schooling, try out for a play, sing a song, play the guitar, but mostly GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! Don't sit around idle letting Satan in.
- Enjoy it. Yes, you worked your whole mission to find joy in every moment, don't stop now! There's plenty to be grateful for, to work for, to live, and to love there with your family, friends, and even strangers. Don't let those moments pass by! Ether 7:27 "And there were no more wars in the days of Shule; and he remembered the great things that the Lord had done for his fathers in bringing them across the great deep into the promised land; wherefore he did execute judgment in righteousness all his days." Remember the great things God helped you do in Argentina. He continues on in that work, the work of you. So you stick to him, okay?
Well, I hope you've enjoyed this little moment spent in the thoughts of my past. It's been a blast. A past blast.
...Okay, we're getting punny, so that's my cue to wrap things up.
I'll just end with a quote that I composed in my study journal. Yes, I am going to quote myself. Actually it will be an edited paraphrase because I wrote it about this mission, but I'm going to edit it to be about just life in general, also I don't remember the exact wording. But I guess if i'm saying it now it's still technically a quote and not a paraphrase since it's still me saying it. But then again I'm paraphrasing a former quote... *drowns in the sea of political correctness and technicalities.
"The more times you say that [life] goes fast, the faster [life] will go. But cherish and fill every moment, and [life] will last you to the eternity."