I only have 10 more days left here in Houston before I head up to Utah and then on to Russia. I still have so much to do!!!
Reality hasn't quite hit me yet, but things finally started to become a little more real this week when I worked the last day at my job. It was bittersweet to say goodbye to my co-workers who really have become like a second family for me! Working there was really helpful in preparing me for my mission, because it not only helped me financially, but it helped to set a precedent of the sort of early morning routine I'll be living on my mission. It also provided me with so many amazing opportunities to talk and get to know many wonderful people I wouldn't have known otherwise.
This weekend, my aunt and uncle and their two adorable angel boys are coming into town for my mission farewell. I will speaking in church this upcoming Sunday, and then having an open house at 6:30 to say goodbye to family and friends before I leave.
After I head up to Utah, I'll be putting my sister in charge of maintaining this blog and posting all of my emails, stories, pictures, etc. So this blog will be a record of my mission and hopefully an uplifting source of inspiration for others who may need it.
Speaking of uplifting...I cannot help but to share this woman's story.
"I am Stephanie Nielson...and I am not my body."
If this doesn't reduce you to tears, then I don't know what will! Stephanie Nielson is the most inspiring example of courage in the face of adversity! I had the opportunity to hear her speak at BYU fall 2010, and have followed her story on her blog: http://nieniedialogues.blogspot.com/
In August 2008, she and her husband survived a nearly fatal plane crash in which she was burned on over 80% of her body. Her and her husband both survived and have recovered, although she will continue have to have surgeries and skin-graft treatments for the rest of her life. What is so amazing about her story, is how she has still managed to raise and be a mother to her four children, and she and her husband just miraculously gave birth to a fifth child this past month!
We live in such a beauty-oriented society (I know, I worked in a tanning salon), but to me Stephanie Nielson exemplifies a beauty of far greater importance than outward superficial beauty. She loves her family perfectly and they love her, despite the devastating pain she has endured.