Well, I guess this will be the last letter I write to you from Tokyo, my last one... that still hasn't quite sunk in yet, I don't think.
We went to the temple today, I love the temple. It was bitter sweet though, because I know it will be probably the last time I'll see most of the missionaries who have become such dear friends and people I highly respect.
Looking back on my mission, things have gone by way too fast, I've learned so much, but feel I now have so much more to learn. My last day of actually being in the field, occurs exactly one year after the earthquake and tsunami. So many things have happened since then. I never could have imagined the point I'm at now during those unsure days in Kichijoji.
During my mission I've kept a quote from the TV show "Scrubs" above my desk. In it one of the characters said, "Nothing in this life that's worth having comes easy". How true this is. I've seen investigators, members, people I care about struggle over different things, but if they have the desire and they've fought for what's right, each has overcome. My mission has by far been the hardest thing I've ever done, and yet from it has come the greatest rewards.
I've come to know for a surety, that God knows and loves each and every person in this world, even if they turn their backs on Him. His arms are always outstretched in mercy towards us.
I've learned that if you rely on God and pray for His help, you can get through anything.
I've learned that even on the coldest of days, a smile can melt someones heart.
I've learned that no matter how much you wish you could sometimes, you can't change other people's opinions and you can't force yours on them. God has given each of us freedom of choice and we have to respect when others choose something that breaks our heart.
I've learned that everyone needs a friend and someone to love them. And most of the time, those people who really need that friend are too sad to reach out.
I've come to know that families are a gift from God and that mine is one of the best!
and I've learned never to say something is impossible; somehow I learned Japanese.
Heavenly Father lives and He loves us. He gave His perfect Son for us, so that we too may be made perfect. He wants us to live with Him again and the only way to do that is by following the path that Jesus Christ laid out for us.
I know my Redeemer lives and that He is always with us.
I love you all and I'm so thankful for the support that you have given me on my mission. Your emails have lifted me up and helped me through the storms.
While I'll miss Japan and hate to leave so many that I love, I am looking forward to seeing you all shortly!
Until I see you in America (or Mom and Dad, Japan!)!
Love (for the last time),
Sister Erin Benne