This is my last email on my mission. I have made it to the end. I'm grateful to all of you who support me, and prayed for me. I could not have done it without you.
My mission has been an important part of my life. I'll admit, I left to serve a mission reluctantly. I was not excited. I knew that it was my duty as a priesthood holder to serve a full-time mission yet I wished that it could be otherwise.
That is no longer the case. As it was said in the most recent General Conference, "Twas I, but 'tis not I". I did not want to serve a mission, but I am now grateful that I did. It will always be a cherished part of my life. My patriarchal blessing had stated that it would be, and I suppose I never believed that statement. I believe it now.
I've grown to more appreciate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through my study of the scriptures and the words of the prophets; I've gained an understanding I never thought that I could have. I feel that I know who God is and that I have a relationship with our Savior. I have faith in them. I have faith in the Holy Ghost who testifies of truth. He has testified to me many times and testified through me even more. I have seen the effects of the Spirit on countless lives as they have come to know their Savior.
I have a greater appreciation for the commandments of God. I understand their purpose, and I am not afraid to follow His counsel. I know that they have benefited my life and will continue to do so. I'm so grateful for the knowledge of the Restoration of the Gospel that I've been blessed with. Christ's true church is on the Earth. I know it.
I've had so many people that have influenced me for good. My grandfather, Joseph Hodgson, who spoke to me of the blessings of a mission and helped me to make the final decision to serve.
My uncle, Ken Hodgson, who before my departure told me, "Do not come home early. You have younger cousins and relatives looking to you, and they need your example. You need to finish." I never forgot those words during the entire two years. That exhortation kept me on a mission.
My sweet sister, Amanda Moore, who would be really upset if I didn't include her name in my list. She was one that I could always tell exactly what I was feeling. I didn't always hear back from her, but I knew that she would always listen.
My father, Mike Kirk, who always supported me and kept me going. I'm grateful for the many times that he helped me see things clearly.
And my dear mother, Sheryl Draper. I could not have done anything had it not been for her unending confidence in me and the strength that she exhibited. The man that I am today is evidence of her firm testimony and her Christ like love.
I thank you all for the things that you have done for me, and I hope that one day I can be as good an example to others as you all have been to me.
I love the Lord. I am grateful for the time that I have been able to serve Him. I love the truths that I have learned and the experiences that I have had. I love all of you and I look forward to thanking you in person.