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Saturday, September 28, 2013

the days of our many lives

as a kid i remember missionary farewells.   i remember wanting to speak at my uncle's farewell but being to scared, (i was like 6ish), and being so sad that i couldn't actually speak.   everyone was sad and yet happy to see the missionary go and so happy to see him come back.   as i got older, i enjoyed having the missionaries over for dinner and was sad to see them transferred,  but that is kind of part of it.   it wasn't until here in germany that i made another connection.   we still had the missionaries over all the time, but now, when they went home to america, they went to my home too.   i was sad to see them go because we enjoyed having them over.   i also enjoyed having fellow americans over.   then, as i kept up with them on facebook, i saw the welcome home they received, and it hit me.   it was one of those, "AH-HA!" moments that kind of makes you go, "duh!" at the same time.

a person is born into a family with parents that teach them.
they grow and learn as much as they can.
then they go from one place to another to have experiences that they cannot have where they have grown to this point.
they go.
the people around them have lost the presents and communication with them for a while.
it seems like an eternity but is actually a very short part of their entire existence.
they learn and they gain experience.
then they leave that place and return to their place of origin.
the people where they have been serving, learning and gaining experience, are sad to see them go and lose their presents with them.
the people who welcome them home, rejoice and celebrate their return.
they bring that experience with them into their life at home.

what i realized is that this story is the same for missionaries and every person that leaves their pre-mortal home to come to earth.   go ahead, read it again with the thought of premortal, mortal and afterlife in mind.   obviously, there are some differences.   one of the big ones is that the missionaries that go home, leave mortal life, and we can still keep up with them through facebook, email, etc.   this is painfully clear when you have friends or family that have moved onto the afterlife.  but it has reminded me that those people are still there and just moved onto another place and not just gone.   it has made the reality of an afterlife more tangible for me actually.

honestly, i think this realization also took me having family pass to the afterlife to really take hold.    of course i knew that my family was not gone, but this helped me really comprehend and accept it with my mortal mind.   we will see how it does when i have missionaries leaving my own home in years to come.