Thursday, September 29, 2016

Dinner at Bishop Kau's house

The last couple weeks have been an emotional roller coaster as we have said farewells to so many people who have been dear to us in preparation for our departure and return home to the USA.

Tonight we had dinner at our Bishop's house  The Kau family are such good people!  Oh how I will miss associating with our brothers and sisters from the islands.

We have felt so truly loved during our time here in New Zealand.  We are eager to go home to return to our home, our family and our friends.  Still, there is much about our mission life we know we will miss.  This time of getting ready to leave is bittersweet indeed.

I've been thinking a lot about what our church teaches regarding the plan of salvation.  Our doctrine says that we all lived as spirit beings in the presence of God before we were born into this earth life.  In the pre-existence we were taught many things about how to become more like our Heavenly Parents and follow their plan.  Then we had a choice to come to this mortal existence where we would gain a physical body and have experiences that would instruct and test us.  How we lived our lives here would determine our progression after we died.   Part of that plan included a veil of forgetting that would be placed on our minds when we came into mortality.  We would have no memory of our time with God or of the promises we made there.

In the past I have at times resented the veil, wishing with all my heart that I could recall even a small fraction of what it had been like in our pre-existent home.  It felt deeply unfair to me that I would be held accountable to covenants I made that I now have no memory of.

But I feel very different about all that now.  My heart is so heavy as I prepare to say goodbye to all my New Zealand friends.   I know I will miss this season of my life for many years to come.   I now recognize that the veil of forgetting over our Pre-Existence life was a loving gift from our Father in Heaven.   He knew that if we could remember the tremendous beauty and love we experienced there it would be nearly impossible for us to deal with the empty feeling of being cut off from our Heavenly home. We would be so homesick for Heaven that facing the hardships and adversity of this life would break our hearts.

So instead, we came down to this world not remembering.  Sometimes we may get a fleeting sense of deja vu when we meet someone that we are just sure we knew before.  Or, at times we get deep comfort from the Holy Ghost reminding us we are beloved children of our Heavenly Father.   But for the most part, in this life we journey through it on our own, walking by faith rather than recall.

When this life is over and I return to that place I do not now remember I suspect I will feel a lot like I do today...so excited and grateful to return to the place I truly call home, but heavy hearted for all leave behind.

I have so loved this mission experience.  I hope I will be able to hold on to the feelings and lessons forever.

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