Monday, May 12, 2014

The Opportunity of a Lifetime

Dear Family & Friends,

It's hard to believe Jacoby's missionary service has come to an end.  I will admit, I cried through this whole letter.  Tears of joy to have the honor to be his mother, tears of joy that he will be coming home soon, yet tears of sadness that this wonderful experience has to come to an end.  This is the last email you will be receiving from him as a full-time missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It has been a wonderful two years of watching our son grow and mature (through emails) in ways that he couldn't have experienced anywhere else.  We appreciate your letters and prayers and support to him throughout his mission.  As most of you already know, he will be returning next Tuesday, May 20th at 11:25am.  He will give a report on his mission on Sunday, May 25th at 11:00am, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel on 4300 Dale road.  You are all invited to attend.

Thank you again for all you have done for Jacoby, we truly appreciate each and every one of you!

Darlyn Remington family

Family and Friends,

Last week I went to my last leadership conference. It was incredible. They are usually just with the zone leaders but this one was with all the district leaders too so I got to see and chat with a lot of great friends for the last time. It was a blessing. In the middle of his training, as he was teaching important principles of working with members, President Amaya gave a little pause smiled and said that we all need to remember the training that Elder Magill and Elder Remington gave in October about the three keys of working in unity with members: image, communication, and attitude. He then asked Elder Magill and I to come up and give that training again. Very surprised but happy and ready, we both stood up and (although we hadn't given the training in over 7 months) without even skipping a beat we gave the training together and it went super well. President has NEVER done anything like that before with any missionaries. That training of the three keys with members is the only training of assistants that he has asked for to be repeated a second time back in October with the new missionaries so we were super surprised then but THREE times asking for the same training is something insane so we were both shocked. We weren't sure how much time he wanted us to take up of his training so just in case we gave a much briefer version and skipped over some parts at first. Haha but then we we finished he just kept staring at us and said, "Continue please." So we both smile and nodded at each other and went over the other parts in greater detail with quotes and analysis from PMG. We finished with our testimonies of the importance of these principles, backed up each other's words, taught smoothly and in unity, and promised blessings to all who applied these three keys. President thanked us. We sat down. My buddy Elder Strang gave me a fist bump and whispered, "Killed it, great job man." I then looked over at Elder Magill and he gave me a wink and smiled. Good stuff. 

At the end of the conference all of the missionaries from my group and I gave our last testimonies. President told us all to keep it just to 2:30 minutes and we did and it was much more direct and powerful that way instead of some Elders who go on and on and on. It was one of the most spiritual and powerful moments of my life. Several missionaries were in tears and the Spirit was thick. I felt a strong burning in my heart and happiness and joy. Elder Garzon shared a brief experience of how he had practiced preparing the Sacrament when he was 10 years old and compared it with the fact that his whole life he had prepared himself for this moment... to be a missionary and serve the Lord and how wonderful it felt to have done so these last two years and to have done it well. His feelings were mine as well. Elder Maddock shared a great testimony of how he suffered a huge injury that prevented him from going to the Olympics but lead to him deciding to serve a mission and testified of how trials and pain can lead to growth and blessings. Elder Randall gave a tender and sincere testimony and started to cry at the end. You could feel the love and sincerity in his voice. He shared that a good attitude will bring you success in all that you do. Then it was my turn. I shared my testimony of the love our Heavenly Father has for every single one of us, that we are His children and thus we all have divine gifts and talents and the divine potential to become like Him one day. I know that Jesus Christ died for me and saved us all from sin and redeemed us and through His atonement we can become clean and be born again and have joy in sharing this glad message with our dear brothers and sisters (Alma 36:23-25). I know that Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the Restoration and that he translated the Book of Mormon. I know that it is the word of God and truly changes hearts and changes lives. I know that Thomas Monson is a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and that if we apply his teachings in our lives we will be better and be safe. I know that this is God's true church. These last two years have been the happiest and best two years of my life. I know that with marriage and children even better years are to come but I know that these two years will always be the best two years for my life. I know that it is a privilege to be a missionary and that anyone who serves with all his heart, might, mind, and strength will be blessed more than you can possibly imagine. I closed my testimony and then heard a powerful and moving testimony of my dear friend Elder Magill. He testified of the three lighthouses of President Amaya and of what a privilege it is to be a missionary. He said that he wasn't going to cry yet. Then we sang the last hymn "Called to Serve" with all our heart. When we finished before the last prayer, President Amaya stood up and called up Elder Magill and I and thanked us for all that we had done and said that we were like Nephi because we had been born of goodly parents and were exemplary men. He said how much he loved us. It was very moving. Elder Magill cried. It was a very tender and spiritual moment. I am so thankful to have had such a wonderful mission president and to have served by him for six months with an amazing companion. 

At the end of the prayer, dozens and dozens of missionaries asked to take pictures with Elder Magill and I. We were astounded by how much each of them remembered things we had done for them or things we had said so long ago. They thanked us and we likewise thanked them and complimented them for specific and important things they had done. These were very tender moments. The recognition wasn't what really mattered, what most mattered to us both is that we knew and felt and the Spirit confirmed to us that we had done a good job and that the Lord accepted our offering :) a wonderful feeling. I am happy to be in an amazing area with such a wonderful companion like Elder Galvan.

I love you all. 

Elder Remington