This is my mission blog. It's called Ode to Estonia because sister in Estonian is Õde. Ode to Estonia... sister to Estonia... Get it? At least I think I'm clever.
In just two weeks I'll be an official missionary! With a name tag and everything--I'm ridiculously excited about that name tag. It's finally becoming a reality. But on the other hand of things, I'm getting slightly frantic thinking about all of the things I have to do and all of the people I need to spend quality time with. It's exhausting. It all started this past Sunday. Church was great. My ward is absolutely fantastic. I love them so very much. But everything that was shared in testimony meeting and the lessons were screaming at me, YOU'RE LEAVING. Needless to say, I was a tad bit emotional. Just a bit.
Now I'm in a state of "this is your last time doing this... you can't listen to this for eighteen months... you might (you will) have companions who won't get your movie references..." I also hate it when my iTunes on shuffle will play Christmas songs by Nat King Cole.
In the midst of all of this, my lovely friend shared a wonderful article with me. Read it here. READ IT. Please. It clears up so many stereotypes about mormon missionaries. If you're not a Mormon, read it and learn why so many young people (generally ages 18-21) choose (please note: I'm not speaking for everyone who makes that choice) to serve a mission. If you are Mormon, just read it. If you're like me, read it to remind yourself why you're serving a mission.
I'm serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Baltic Mission. The mission includes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Belarus. I have been assigned to learn to teach the gospel in the Estonian language. Be prepared to see lots of pictures of old castles, wonderful people, and snow. Expect lots of snow. And lots of pictures of me bundled up like Randy from the Christmas Story.
Meanwhile, here are some photos Sarah and I had taken. I'm kind of in love with them. Look up our photographer at brookestapleton.com. She was wonderful to work with.
"She is the light that guides me home. Yes, that is from one of our cards.
No, someone else wrote it. Doesn't make it less true."
Name that movie. I love you, Sarah.
P.S. Nat King Cole's "Joy to the World" just started playing on my iTunes.