Like I just mentioned, I got to Skype home with family last night. It was so wonderful! I haven't seen them in nearly a year (almost to the day, in fact!). As I reflected on getting to talk with them again in the past couple of hours, I've realized how grateful I am for my relationship with them. I've also realized that there is really only one relationship in our lives that doesn't ever need to change. For missionaries, we're gone from our families for two years--they change, we change, there will always be that awkward few weeks in trying to readjust to regular life once we get home. For our friends and acquaintances, there will be times when we don't see eye-to-eye, times when we can't even stand each other. All of these relationships are amazingly important, and are some of the only things that we are able to take with us into eternity. But the one relationship that doesn't need to change--or rather, that DOES need to change, but only for the better--is our relationship with God. Even if our families are half a way world away, we can still remain close to God. Even if we're struggling in the depths of sin, despair, trials, or sorrow, we can still remain close to God. In sunshine and in shadow, the Lord is our constant friend. That truth kinda hit me like a ton of bricks earlier this morning.
I'm so grateful for the chance we have each and every day to strive to come closer to our Savior. I'm grateful for the relationship I do have with Him, and for the fact that I can improve it in the upcoming year (yeah, I nearly forgot to mention:=Elder Mitchell's YEAR MARK! lah! :) Crazy how fast time flies by!).
I love you all and hope that this day and week bring nothing but blessings to you. God be with you till we chat again,
Mai Zhanglao :)