Going on a mission was quite the adventure. I could start another whole blog just about my mission stories..maybe I will! But this one is about Josh and Cody’s sappy love tales. Leaving for my mission was surprisingly not as hard as I thought, but being on one was. Whenever times got tough, I would certainly miss Josh. It’s hard to be miles away from someone you could always turn to before. Now that I was on a mission I could only communicate through hand written letters. I could only call my family twice a year (Christmas and Mother’s Day). If you would like to read a little more about my mission and what they are read this blog I wrote last year.
The first few months were probably some of the most rocky in my mission. I could no longer just call Josh up when I got upset. I truly had to dedicate my time to the Lord, and Josh had to take the backseat. It was hard getting these rather sappy love letters almost weekly but trying to stay focused on what I was really supposed to be doing, serving others. An LDS mission is not your standard Christian Mission trip. Although manual labor is involved, it is a full time dedication of seeking people to teach, serving others, and being messengers of Christ. In a nutshell it is hard to explain the intensity and importance of those 18 months.
If I wanted to focus all my time as I had always wanted, Josh had to be put on the back burner for a bit.
I remember I had been fighting it for some time. I didn’t think I could live without Josh’s letters. I didn’t think I was strong enough. But I had given everything to the Lord, and Josh to me was a sacrifice I was willing to make. I prayed about it and walked out into the living room where I told my companion Hermana Haslam, I was going to write off Josh. She was shocked, as was I. Tomorrow was P-Day the day of the week I could write letters and I told her tomorrow I would try to not do it, but she couldn’t let me talk myself out of it..it had to be done.
So, the next day I sat down and tried my hardest to explain to Josh why I couldn’t correspond with him anymore. I tried to explain that of course I still loved him and wanted to write him, but I just felt like this is what God wanted me to do. I felt like it was a good letter and he would understand but would be hurt, and that’s what hurt me the most. I didn’t want to hurt him. We sent the letter and went to the coast that day.
I felt really good about it until I got a letter later that week. Josh had sent a scrambled letter that I could tell came from a heart broken boy. Apparently I had not made it clear that I still loved him and wanted to write him. He thought I was writing him off because I was done with him. He thought I was sending him as what is known as a “Dear John letter” which for those of you who don’t know.. meant I was done and he needed to move on.
I quickly wrote him back saying no you stupid boy I still love you and of course I still want to marry you when I get home. I just can’t write you right now. I can’t focus with us just talking about how much we love each other and how we can’t wait to get married in every letter. It makes it really hard for me to want to be here and not with you. His next letter was of course relieved and wasn’t happy about not writing anymore, but he was just glad I wasn’t Dear Johning him. He said when he got my second letter confirming I still cared for him it was like he could finally breathe again. He felt like his whole world had been shattered, that there was no direction anymore without me in his future. I of course felt terrible that I had given off the impression I was ending it with him, but thought it was also really endearing that he was so devastated. I guess I’m just kind of evil like that.
After that, I felt like I really could focus again. I invested more time into the people we were serving and felt more love for the area I was in. I knew that God would take care of me for doing what He asked. I also happened to know that I’m a pretty cool chick and there really wasn’t another girl like me in Cache Valley..or anywhere for Josh to fall in love with. You can call it conceitedness, I just call it realism. 😉 No really, I knew Josh and I were soul mates. So the sacrifice to not write him was hard, but it wasn’t the end of the world. I knew it was meant to be, and he would be there when I got home.
My mission president, once he found out about Josh asked me, “So what would keep you from marrying this boy when you got home?” I responded, “Well I guess he could die..?” Good thing he didn’t.
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