From: Ethan Cade Brimhall <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, May 7, 2018 12:23 PM
This past week, I joined the struggling stake choir that performs my last Sunday in Sierra Leone. That is a tender mercy from God. I love singing, and I get to do it as a goodbye to my beautiful country. I also went on exchange with Elder Vine, one of my TC’s. It is wonderful working with missionaries who are really experienced and still willing to put in the work.
I can’t believe it has come to an end. My work as a young full-time missionary is over (of course, I still plan on serving a couple’s mission or two down the road). What an incredible journey this has been! The highest of highs, and the lowest of lows, that I have ever experienced in my almost 21 years of life have been in a country over 6000 miles away from my birthplace. Love is learned. It is acquired through work. It is a gift from God. I know God lives and is aware of us and is actively engaged in each of our lives. His engagement increases as our willing obedience to his commandments increases. I know what it means to “lay it all on the altar”. I know how hard it is to repent. I know, at least to a greater degree than before, how much suffering there is in the world. But I also know that Jesus Christ has quite literally overcome the world. Every drop of pain in everyone’s life was paid for by a drop of his own blood. I know and love my Savior. Like the men of God that have gone before me, and the ones that will come after, I testify that God lives. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Joseph Smith is a prophet. This Church is all that it claims to be. It is true. I know it.
See you all in a few days!
Excerpts from other letters…
When I get home, I need to start slow. I’ve been in a culture that is nearly the polar opposite of what I lived in before. I miss you tons and what I want is your company, not necessarily activities to take my mind off of things or keep me busy.
I do think this will be the last letter I write. Next Monday, I will be traveling to Freetown, having a dinner with the leadership and my tc’s, shopping for souvenirs, and finalizing my leave. Tuesday will have similar activities.
I don’t think the food will taste bland. Spiciness is not the only kind of flavor. I’ve had food here without spice and it’s fine. But I may have to carry a Tabasco bottle around with me just in case 🙂