Hello again my beautiful family!
Thank you so much for your emails. I love to read them! I miss you all so much! I promise, however, that I do not miss you enough to want to leave the mission! Hope you don't think I'm being calloused and rude, but I know that this is where I am supposed to be:)
Wow. As the day of departure draws closer and closer, I have a confusing mixture of emotions. Part of me is sad to leave this wonderful place. The experiences and the time spent here have drawn this campus close to my heart. As I walk the concrete paths and look into the rooms I remember everything that happened there. The feelings of nervousness as I prepared for a lesson or the peace I felt during personal study. The sounds and the people, the smell of sweat of so many bodies crammed into the devotionals as we breathed in the words of the apostles. The frustration with the food (NEVER seemed to have enough bagels although everyone wanted one...) The stir crazy feeling you get when every building in this tiny campus looks the same and nothing changes and the world is so small and you're cut off from those you love and you have to spend nine weeks here. All these things are vividly in my mind as I nostalgically roam the halls of this small world. I have changed so much. I have grown so much. My testimony burns and my love of the Lord blazes in my chest. My gratitude hopelessly but diligently tries to repay a debt that can never be settled.
I marvel at the faith of the many young people that roam these grounds with me. After all, this is a journey of faith. Faith that the Lord will bless you in ways that you can't imagine. Faith that you will be able to become an instrument in the Lord's hands and a medium to the Spirit that through you it can touch and lift and heal the lives of those you teach. Faith that you can learn a language that is foreign to you. Faith that this is all real. There is so much faith here and so much progress made because of it. I can't imagine where my life would be without faith. Faith is the key to becoming everything the Lord wants me to become and I'm so grateful to have experienced all this.
So the next big leap of faith for me is stepping onto that airplane, going to Japan, and trusting that everything will be alright. I am so nervous for that. The logical side of me can't believe that I would even consider doing something like that. I can't speak the language. I can't know what the people I meet will need. Alone I can't invite and help people accept the gospel and take the necessary steps for baptism. I need help. I probably need more help than the average missionary. I need the Lords help. and the only way I can get that is by walking in faith. I have a lot of work to do if I want to have the Spirit to be with me and if I want to speak the language, but I know that if I have faith that Heavenly Father will help me and work as hard as I possibly can, I can do all the things that I need to do.
I am so sorry I have used all of my time! I love you all! Thank you so much for the letters and the packages. Your words of encouragement are certainly a strength and your reminiscent comments on what missions are like are enlightening. Thank you for the love that you have shown me. I thank God every day for my wonderful, thoughtful, and beautiful family. There is no one dearer to my heart.
I am so excited to call youmorning! My flight leaves at my time, so I will probably be calling anywhere from is to 9. I will do my best to maximize our time.
Your Son, Brother and Friend,
Elder Sterling Siebach