Okay now to answer your question. This topic has actually been something on my mind for a while now. I think of Alma 29 and how Alma wishes to be an Angel to travel the world and preach the gospel to everyone. I have been pondering how horrible of a missilery I was back at home. Yes, I feel like I lived a pretty good life and lead by example, but we all know how I feel about that whole example thing. Mom, I am so sad that during my high school years I was not a better missionary. I had such solid friends that I was close too. And yes there might be things that I did that influenced them for good, but did I share my testimony in the way I should have? NO! Did I keep my baptismal covenant in the way I should have by being a witness of Him, YES and NO! Like I said, yes I was a good kid and lived high standards, but I did not express my feelings of the truth like I should have or at least not enough. I did not extend enough invitations to people to change, to join me in activities, to come to church, to read the Book of Mormon. Now I can say that a big part of that was because of the level of my own testimony and how there was still doctrine behind missionary work that I didn't understand, but now that I do I am saddened by it. Everything I am saying reminds me so much of Alma 29. And I am happy with where I am at now and how I am preaching the gospel and I understand I can't go back in time and I have learned from that, but oh how I wish I could have been better. If all those youth in your class could understand the true joy that Alma talks about they would be on missions in no time. One experience I wish I could have had and that I wish everyone can have is to see a close friend of theirs get baptized and gain a testimony of the truth. I don't care if it is a girlfriend, a best friend, a complete stranger that you get to know through going out with the missionaries, but the joy from taking part in such an experience is the greatest thing known on this earth. God tells us this same thing in the D&C. How great will be our joy? Alma said Now, when I think of the success of these my brethren my soul is carried away, even to the separation of it from the body, as it were, so great is my ajoy.
I hope this answers your question Mom. I know I could have been better. I know I wasn't horrible or the vilest of sinners, but I could have been a better missionary and in reality I could have experienced more joy. And isn't that what this life is all about? JOY!!!
I love you all very much and I sure hope everything is going well. I am excited to hear how things go. I love you soooooooooo much!
P.S. Ryan resolve to send your testimony or a BOM or an invitation to some nonmember friend before you leave. Invite everyone to your farewell, especially nonmembers. Leave satisfied.