Well, I think I have a few more blog posts in me before I retire “The Life I Leeds.” This is one of the first posts that I am actually physically posting since 18 months ago here in my hometown of Holladay, Utah. How strange. In looking at the stats of my page I came across the information of what countries it has been viewed from and how frequently. I was shocked to see that it has been viewed in 49 different countries (including Suriname, and Bahrain) since I’ve been gone! Of course most of my hits were in the US and England, but nonetheless. I hope people have drawn some inspiration from this space, regardless of what religion you profess, if any, or whatever lens you view the world from. I hope maybe it has helped you reconsider really just what your purpose in life is and what the meaning of life is. In terms of religion, I hope you don’t feel like all religion is just “doctrine in cold storage.” President Hinckley’s father once said, “Religion can have very little significance when removed from life. In other words, a man’s religion isn’t worth much and it will never save him, if it does not carry over into the details of his daily life.” Although I have been living a very unusual life for the past year and a half, a life some might think impractical and a bit outside of reality, which it is. BUT the experiences I had on my mission helped me take the doctrine I profess to believe, out of cold storage, and into the details of my life. That changed my life, in that it changed the way I will live my life from this point on. That’s not something I could’ve bought with gold or silver, that came straight from experiences and people I came across, and it is priceless to me.
So are you wondering what exactly I did with my last week in England?? Well it was an absolute blast even with being sick, exhausted, anxious, emotional, excited, etc. It was a wild ride, but made so much fun with Sister Prawitt by my side. We tried to live it up, and I am so grateful for that final time in Leeds. I felt like there were some loose ends there that needed wrapping up. In Leeds 1 we spent some time with Maria, Holly, the Parrs, Jane (and her parents from China), Susan, Clio, the Boycotts, and others. Not only that, but I got to meet many new wonderful people that Sister Prawitt worked with in Leeds 4 area, and that was great. In a twist of cruel irony, during my TEN hour flight from London to Dallas, my TV monitor for my seat was inoperable the whole time! What is that?!? But with the zen patience I developed as the Lord’s missionary for 18 months, I proceeded to harass the stewardesses and glare jealously at the girl next to me who was enjoying Maze Runner. And then I decided it was a perfect time to take a small moment to reflect on the last week in England and the end of an era. So I took out my journal and put pen to paper. Just a small excerpt:
“Well I am on the plane now headed for the homeland for the first time in a year and a half!! Sister Prawitt and I had a great week (when we weren’t breathing into paper bags due to anxiety attacks.) I was thinking about my departure all week, trying how best to get closure and express my gratitude to the Pilkingtons and all others that helped me through…I’ve been feeling nervous all day, but I guess that’s normal.”
There is this brief moment as you return home to your old life where you have this irrational fear that you won’t fit into the niche that you used to occupy anymore. You know that everyone else has moved on and changed, and that you have changed, and it is a scary moment to get thrown head first into all of that. I almost melodramatically felt like Esther when she is about to enter the king’s chambers and says well, “If I perish, I perish.” I remember feeling that way going into the mission. How weird to feel the same returning. All I can say is it is great to be home! Although you have only gotten bits and pieces since I have been gone, believe me when I say, it is a miracle I made it the whole way! Enjoy some last moments through some photos!