My dear family and friends,
It is hard to believe that this will be the last email I ever write home from the mission field. The past week has been incredibly emotional as I`ve been going through serious denials about leaving this amazing country and the life of a full-time missionary. I have loved it sooooo much and had the most fulfilling and rewarding experience that anyone could have ever asked for. Yes, there were some pretty rough times and some might say a few downsides to having served; I`m pretty sure I`ll have skin cancer someday from the six months I spent in Okinawa; I weigh probably about 15 pounds more than I did when I entered the MTC; The only people I`ll know at BYU when I get home are the Elders I served with... most of whom are about 4 years younger than me....creepy...; I`ve gone completely out of style (my companion has informed me that wearing socks on your head is a thing now...?); after using candy flavored toothpaste and toothbrushes made out of pig hair I`m not sure how much longer my teeth will stay in my head....
HOWEVER, all of those downsides DON`T EVEN BEGIN to compare to what I`ve gained on this amazing journey! I have come to know my Savior, and seen his loving hand guiding me and allowing me to do His work. I wouldn`t trade the past 11/2 years for anything.
This email is short, but I`m not sure what else to say. Through this blog I have been able to record just a few of my most memorable experiences, and my hope for these past 18 months has been that you who are reading felt excitement of this work, caught the fire, and blessed those around you through serving and sharing the gospel. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ and my Father in Heaven who have allowed me to see so many miracles and witness the gospel changing the lives of those around me. Out of all of the people I taught and saw baptized, I know from the bottom of my heart that through it all I was really the one being converted and strengthened. Once again, thank you all for your amazing emails and support. It has meant the world to me.
I still have three wonderful days left to work as hard as I possibly can and find new people to teach! How cool is that?! You never know what might happen in three days. Oh yeah, there`s the airport, too! Yipeeee. I`ll see you soon!
Love, Tingey Shimai