The past 18 months has just flown by. I can’t believe I am sitting here. I am the one going home. In a few days, I will have to, HAVE to board a plane and sit there for 14 hours doing pretty much nothing for the first time in 18 months.
I am grateful. I am just so grateful. I have felt the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I have carried my companions when they couldn’t walk, and they have carried me when the load broke me. it has been the easiest and the hardest 18 months of my life. I have never felt such a rollercoaster of emotions all at once.
I am so grateful I have been able to build a relationship with God. He is my Father. He knows me. Strengths and weaknesses. I have loved being able to help others build that. And they do it, on their own! A light comes into their lives and it’s one they’ll never forget.
I am so grateful for my mission president. He is literally a miracle worker. He was called by God. he knew me before I even sat down with him in my first interview. And as we sat down for my last, we cried together. How a mission president functions, I don’t know. But they are so strong.
I am grateful for all my companions. It’s hasn’t always been easy, that’s for sure. but I have learned so much from every single one of them. I hope their lives are continually blessed.
I know that this gospel I have been teaching is the truth. I know if you try it out, give it a chance, you will feel it. It will change you and alter the very fabric of who you think you are. I have seen it change people who didn’t want to be changed. I have seen it lift those who were down. Strengthen those who were already at peace.
My joy has come from the moments or seeing people do things on their own. Hira, when she had a nightmare, picking up the Book of Mormon in the middle of the night to find comfort and peace. John, Von and Franz, newly baptized and already quoting Preach my Gospel, expressing desire to go on missions, and baring their testimony to others who are learning. Nicole getting her patriarchal blessing. Sensi who keep on trying even though it was hard to believe. And so many more.
But life has to move forward. I don’t want it to, at all! but I know I have to go on. and so a new beginning. An opening. I will go back to being Holly. Only now I will be Holly McKee, returned missionary, with a Canadian accent, a desire to serve and someone who isn’t afraid to share and invite others to see what I do and who I am.
I am a disciple. I have literally given all I can. More than I should’ve because it almost killed me, but then I was lifted to keep going. My mission President has been breathing down my neck saying “take it easy! take your foot off the gas Sister McKee!” but I think he knows me a little better than that haha. I can’t stop. Why sprint to the finish when you can sprint your whole mission?
Anyway, I’ll close with some final awful photos of me. Enjoy!
Sister McKee, Canada Vancouver Mission, July 2014-January 2016