March 1, 2017
Well, it has now been 4 months since I stepped off that planes and ended the greatest journey I had ever set out on. My mission was by far the hardest thing I had ever done up to that point nothing could have prepared my for the crazy times that awaited me on that small island in the western end of the world. My friends and family asked my to write about what are some of the things that missionary talk about right before coming home. Trust me in the 2 weeks before I came home almost every minute we were not working was spent talking about getting to the airport or the first date we go on when we get home. I thought it would be educational if I answered a few of those questions right here in my final blog post.
The second I got on the small plane to leave my small poor but humble home for the last two years, I knew my time there was up. When the plane got up to altitude I remember seeing the island for the last time and tears where rolling down my face. All the people I had met and the places I had been came rushing back into my mind and it was almost to much to handle. But I was able to gain composure and think of the long trek I had in front of myself. In less than 30 hours I would be able to see my family and hug my mom for the first time in two years.
Right as the plane landed in L.A. we all got a huge culture shock. There where so many people and they were all different nationalities. It was amazing to see what diversity we have here in the United States of America.
I have heard so many stories about elders and sisters who when they got to see their families they cried or where not able to move. Well let me tell you that was not the case for me. I remember being almost on cloud nine, my body floating towards the gates where I knew all my family would be waiting with signs and banners. I remember the second I saw them letting out the biggest CHI-HOO I could muster and then when we got closer I was just running around hugging and kissing all my family. You could almost say that I was high on happiness because I could not help but run around and just talk my family to death.
The Post Mission Life
I think that was one of the hardest things was accepting that everything was not going to play out as I had planned it in the mission. Every day when you are serving is planned almost down to the minute and when you get home there is not plan. You can wake up late, or stay out with friends, there is no one telling you not to do things. That was the hardest thing was adapting to a new schedule of sleep and work.
We all think the second you get home you will just find the perfect job that lets you work and make great money but also have tons of time off to travel and have the summer off. Well, I'm 4 months into this home life thing and its not that easy. Working takes up most of my waking hours and that is just so I can pay my way through college. As it turns out school is not very cheap in fact it costs an arm and a leg just to go and pay for classes you don't really want to take.
Just like when I first got to the mission I was humbled really quick the same kinda thing happened the week I got home. Things just don't always work out and sometimes we don't get a do over on life.
Not a day goes by that I don't miss the people that I was able to meet and become apart of their lives. I miss the places I traveled to meet people, the mountains and rivers that where crossed just to bring a message to the world. I loved every minute of my time in the Philippines and would not trade it for anything on this planet. It taught me how to work and not complain, it taught me how to be humble and how to ask for help when I need it. It taught me how to lead when others need someone to look up to. Most of all it taught me how to love unconditionally the people that have become my heart. So if any of you are planning on serving an LDS Mission pray that you go to the Philippines. Thanks for coming on my journey with me.
Elder Jacob Swanton