My Last Day at the MTC

 Two weeks ago I walked into the Missionary Training Center completely oblivious to how truly life-changing this entire experience would be. Indeed I can say with a surety that a mighty change of heart has taken place within me. 

Every single waking moment and second that passes by, the Carlo that I thought I knew is disappearing... Elder Jalla is becoming. 

Two weeks ago I could not open my mouth to share a single doctrine in front of just six people. Now I can get in front of an entire zone with just 5 minutes of preparation and teach an entire lesson. I knock on "mock" investigator's doors and actual investigator doors with faith, hope, and charity, knowing full well that the Lord is on my side. I've waxed bold in my speech and feel as if my body will be consumed by the spirit. I've learned to love people whom I just barely met with real sincere love. I can recite scripture as if I have just read them. I know the doctrine of Christ. I know my purpose as a missionary to invite all others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I feel my Savior's love. 

I know full well that as to my own strength I am nothing, but through Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ all things are made possible. No unhallowed hand can halt or impede this work. It will move forward, ever onward. 

I am the very last missionary from our zone to leave. I can almost feel what Moroni and Ether must have felt. I am surrounded by fellow missionaries, but this district leader without a district feels very much alone. Yesterday I said goodbye to my companion at 4AM and it felt like my best friend was dying (yes that sounds very dramatic) but honestly I never realized how much capacity to love I had and how meaningful companionship was until I asked him to lead us in prayer. As the Elders in our zone huddled all 7 of us with arms around each others shoulders, I could truly feel the love we all had for another. I went back to the residence room with the other two Elder's in my district unable to go back to sleep. Today I said goodbye to those two Elders, our prayer huddle was down to 5. Now I sit here e-mailing with the final 2 Elders in my zone who are set to leave today. Tonight will be very difficult to endure. I was the fist one to arrive in this zone and personally welcomed all 12 members in our zone: I've watched them grow, learn, and become the missionaries they are today, I've led and taught them principles and important missionary conduct, I've heard and felt their powerful testimonies, I've shed tears with them, laughed and sang beautiful hymns, encouraged and loved each one deeply. How blessed I am to have been in the company of these missionaries! I truly consider them my eternal friends, brothers and sisters. How ironic is it that I am the first to arrive and the last to leave, it is a bittersweet thing.

To end this e-mail I wanted to share something I wrote in my personal journal. It goes without saying, that as each missionary under my care left I added and edited the following phrase:

"Sometimes we wait far too long for the "perfect moment" to show our gratitude or express our love --insomuch that the very moment just passes us by and we would plead and beg and would have given everything for even the worse yet relevant circumstance when we could have said, "thank you" or "I love you". Stop waiting for a pillar of fire or a chorus of angels to SHOW you what you already know in your heart that you must do. Faith is not in seeing but believing. For indeed "ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith" Trust in the Lord-- Don't Let The Moment Pass You By. Trust in God. Believe in good things to come."

Alright peeps, family, friends, brothers, sisters, loved ones, acquaintances...I love you. 

Until we meet again, this is Elder Jalla signing off for the last time at the Provo Missionary Training Center.

Your eternal brother and friend, 

Elder Jalla 

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