Madagascar is finally coming to an end. I won't trouble you with descriptions of how excited, or sad, or depressed I am. I'm human and the regular emotions of leaving a place you know and love are pulsing through me. It's expected, and natural. You probably already know about how I'm feeling. Put yourself in my shoes; I'm sure it would give you an accurate illustration of what's going on.
This last week was good, but thankfully uneventful. As much as I've enjoyed the adventures of my mission, a crocodile to snap at my neck and possibly catch me, or that bull from Antsirabe coming back for round-two are things that I've had enough of, and I just want to get on the plane unmaimed and of sound mind. The idea of getting on the plane without one of my appendages that was there when I first came, or having to nurse a wound until I get to a real American hospital is not what I'd call ideal. No, no; not very nice at all. So, for the relaxed but still focused week, I am grateful. It was a good week to say goodbye to friends, investigators, recent converts, and a good week to say hello and then a quick goodbye to brand-new investigators. "Hi my name is Elder Cryer....well, I won't be seeing you again. Hope you get baptized! Bye!" - the week went something like that.
We got to watch General Conference this week finally, so Saturday and Sunday were completely blocked out for the sessions and goodbye-dinner appointments. I'd like to watch the whole thing in English so that I can get the real stuff that the General Authorities were saying.
The Mission Wrap Up - a full summary of my mission is simply not possible at the present. What can I say? It was sensational. It was incredible. It was hard as all get out. It was the best two years. Now when people say such things about their missions, I know for a fact that there is always someone out there who says either aloud, or to themselves, "Oh gimme a break. That's what everyone says." But really, this mission is incomparable to anything else in my life thus far and will stand as a milestone in my eternal progression for, that's right, eternity. If you don't believe me, get out there and go the two years. The first few months may be a bit of a pain, especially if you are lucky enough to speak something crazy, but I guarantee you that this thing is life changing.
Does the fact that I've given the past two years the title of, The Best Two Years, mean that for the rest of my life nothing will ever overtake its greatness? Well I most certainly hope not! I pray that more adventures and spiritual epics are looming in my future. But of course, we shall see, as that is why it's called the future.
One of the best things I've seen on my mission is that radical change for the better is yours if you want it. I can't say that I'm 100 percent different or anything, but things are not the same as before. Spiritually, physically (I'm skinny now, but with a gut. Hooray!), and mentally I am a different person. The best thing is that this change and preparation for adult life (ahem...marriage?) comes almost completely free of charge. Someone has to sacrifice actual money to get you on a mission, and there is the tremendous amount of work that goes into it, but when all is said and done, those things are an honor and a privilege to take part in, for all involved. I'll spare you a recitation of glory tales and just say that a mission really is all that, and a bag of chips.
I know the church is true. I testify, and stand as a witness, that Christ lives and that the Book of Mormon, a true testament of Him, can draw us closer to our Savior, even him who was "the Word." I testify that when the prophets, those holy mouthpieces of God upon the Earth, tell us that "missionary work is the lifeblood of the Church," they are correct in every way possible. I will never forget my mission. I love my mission. I love the people of Madagascar with all my heart, and I know that they, despite their extreme poverty and lack of temporal success, are among God's finest and most choice souls in existence. There is no place like Madagascar, and I thank my lucky stars that I was one of the few privileged ones that has been able to serve here.
I made a starter list of things I'd like to eat when I get home:
Roast with Extra Gravy
And any deserts that you would like to make
My tastes have been much expanded since my departure from America, so feel free to cook anything you like. I'm sure it is all delicious. By the way I ate some completely curdled milk this week called Abobo. It made me want to kill myself. It was literally just milk that had sat out for like two weeks. Hopefully this may prove to you that I will literally eat anything you serve. I'll even eat plain bread if there's nothing else...I'm sure it's fantastic...
It is seriously so hard to believe that it's all over. Am I really going to see you on Friday? Me and the rest of my group have this idea that we actually aren't going home, but we're just going to be placed back into the MTC to go serve in like Germany
or something. I'd like to give an especial thanks to two people who are so dear to me - Charles Cryer and Lou Ellen Cryer, my parents. Without them none of this would have been possible. Thanks Mom and Dad. I would like to thank you for aiding me so much on my mission. Literally, I couldn't have done it without you and Mom. Every single time I pray I thank my lucky stars for a family like you guys, and also try and ask for special blessings on everyone - even the grand babies.
I love you guys so much, and will see you soon. What are we doing on Friday
afternoon, by the way? Oh wait, I'm sure you'll tell me at that time.
I'll see you all soon. I love you.
PS: Should any of you like to contact me about my experiences as a missionary, about what a mission is like, or if you just feel like shootin' the breeze, feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or add me on Facebook. Thanks to all of those who have been reading my blog over the past two years.