This experience has been an incredible blessing for our family. We've definitely seen Sean change - grown up and up and up. He is coming home as a man of God. He has been a devoted missionary who loves the people and His Heavenly Father.
We realize that this is no different from the thousands of other missionaries who complete their missions each year, but for us it is. For us, this has been such an incredible and personal thing.
I would strongly encourage any LDS young man or woman to serve a mission. If you serve for the right reasons, you will never be the same. The people whose lives you bless will never be the same either.
For those who are not members of the Church (and I know you're out there because several of you have written to us), please consider the potential blessings the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ would have for you and your family. We cordially invite you to come unto the blessings that Jesus Christ has for you. Contact the missionaries, your LDS neighbor, or Brenda or I, and let us show you how the truth of all things can be made plainly manifest to you.
Finally, I came across a passage of scripture tonight - it just so happened - that fit so perfectly for the conclusion of Sean's mission.
"And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be." (1 Nephi 13:37)
I am confident that Sean has served his mission faithfully, that lives have been altered for all eternity, and that many descendants of Lehi will rise up and call him blessed for his service.
In about 2 hours, Brenda and I will head to our home ward in Bend. Sean's good friend, Nate Rau, is speaking. He returned from his mission in Rosario, Argentina last Wednesday. After Sacrament Meeting, Curtis will have the Aaronic Priesthood conferred and he will be ordained as a Deacon. We will then head to Portland for a stay overnight and then off to Peru - leaving very early.