Monday, May 23, 2011

Fernandina Beach, Final Letter #17 May 23, 2011

Wow is it all done??
It does not quite seem real, the time has gone by so fast. I look back on the two years I have served the Lord and my heart swells with emotion with all of the people I have come to love and respect. No matter what anyone says about the South they can slam it all they want, however I have had the privilege to serve these wonderful people and they have become part of my family. A piece of me will always dwell in the humid, marshy swamps of Florida where I grew as I served the people I love!!

The South is not without its oddities, but those very oddities is what makes it so unique and why I love it with all of my heart. I am very honored that God choose me to serve amongst this people, my fellow countrymen, to bring them into the fold of God!

Oh, how I truly love this work, my mission has meant everything to me. These people mean everything to me, from the hillbilly redneck, to the Brotha' in da hood, to the ritzy upper-class citizens... I love them all. Sure, we sometimes joke about the crazy people from the South, with those crazy preachers that try and hunt down missionaries, (even that too I will miss). And we get a chuckle from the way they talk... but one thing that can't be replaced, that is the wonderful good ol' southern hospitality! Where complete strangers welcome you in…and call you their own. I know for myself, that we as members of the church whether it be a Southern member or Northern member or even my homies (the western members) we are all one family united in purpose... that pure Christ like love unites us; we are all one, which amazes me and yet it should be that way; and will be that way in the goodness where does the time go?

Well this week I have come to realize I am an one amazing planter! Every time I leave an area, people that I taught are baptized! And tradition has not failed me yet; we just set a solid baptismal date with this way cool guy, who loves the Book of Mormon! After our first lesson with him, he was already contemplating the thought of baptism...(something that we didn't know). Therefore he was shocked that in our Sunday lesson we invited him to be baptized! He agreed and put in on his calendar for June 12!! Man I am soooo excited! I found the miracle I have been searching for this whole transfer!!! (finally) and I am sooo happy!! My goodness...
I am just in a state of awe and wonder at this moment; with everything that is going on around me... The mixture of emotions is intense but so wonderfully amazing!

But hold on…did I read that correctly in your letter? The Barbers are moving to Utah!!!??? Yeah baby!!! and Sister Gainey is sending me a tie? Sweet!! I loved the trunky monkey box this last week!! Seriously, those cookies and stuff was amazing!! Elder Parker also loved his purple box!!

There is nothing I need before I fly, I have everything all set. I got everything all packed away and I am bringing ya’ll a southern treat (I mean besides myself…ha!). I am pretty much ready to talk on Sunday; I think I have everything ready for the full 40 minutes... I am glad you got the boxes I sent home with my stuff last week, sweet!!!

I love ya’ll and I will see you in just two days!!
Love, (for the last time) from Elder Blair