Has time flown for all of you back at home? It is so crazy to me that I now am more than half-way done with my mission–less than nine mobnths left. That is so strange to me. I can’t believe how my days here have slipped from me in a blur. On February 26th of next year, I will be coming home. When I do, I hope that you don’t recognize me.
I’m very different from the person who flew out of Seattle to the MTC and still different from the person who flew into Busan in November. When I come home, you’ll spot some changes and differences in me: I have bangs, I’m super awkward around men (we don’t even shake hands with them here), I bow to people, some words come more easily to me in Korean than English, I smell like kimchi, my sense of style has changed, my clothes will be even more faded and worn than they are now, I hate wearing jeans, I’m quieter, I worry that you won’t think I’m fun or interesting, I’m less spontaneaous, I’ve picked up some weird English phrases, I want to watch Korean dramas, I won’t ever want to be alone and the list goes on and on, those are just the ones that I thought of off the top of my head. But that’s not why I hope that you don’t recognize me when I step off of that plane. I hope that you don’t recognize me because I hope to be changed.
Nine months from now, I hope to be a different person. I hope to be someone who has come to truly understand the Atonement of Christ and been made different because of that knowledge. I hope to truly understand the principle of faith. I hope to know my Savior and my Father in Heaven. I hope to be more patient, humble, dilligent, charitable–I hope to be more perfect. I hope that I am very different from the Jenessa you knew before her mission. I hope to be different from the Sister Markland I am now. I hope to have become a saint. I hope to be a true disciple of Christ. I hope to be better.
The new me might not be as fun or interesting to some of you. But I hope to be better. To be changed. I hope to become more like my Savior. More like His vision for me. Even if that makes me less “fun” in some of your eyes. I hope that when I come home, I will be vastly different from the me that I was nine months ago and the me that I am today. I hope that you won’t recognize me.