So this is going to be really quick. We have next to no time, but I just wanted to tell everyone how grateful I am for all of the support, love, prayers, and letters/emails these past two years. This whole experience has been amazing and I know I owe a lot of my being out here to many of you. I've had so much support, not just during these two years, but even before from my family, friends, and youth group leaders. You have had more of an impact on me than you can imagine.
My last week in the mission was great. Tuesday was awesome. With New Years curfew, temple trips, interviews, and other events, I knew it would be my last full day of work in the mission field, so we took full advantage of it and had a wonderful day. We found a few really cool people and it was awesome. I was a little bummed at the end of the day because I knew it would all be over so soon. The next day was the departing temple trip for all missionaries getting ready to go home. It was awesome. It was really cool to see all of the Elders that I came in with. It was also a really good time to reflect and think back on my two years here. We were in the temple, still feeling a little bummed about it all being over, and I just felt an overwhelming sense of love and appreciation. During those few minutes, thinking back on everything that I've been able to experience for the past two years, I felt stronger than ever that God loved me and that he was happy with me. I can't even describe how that felt. There really is no greater feeling. I will always remember it. While it is a little sad that it is all coming to an end, I feel totally at peace with it. After that day, I have been feeling great. I know that my days of service aren't over, just my time as a full time missionary.
I cannot believe I will see you all so soon! I love you guys and I have missed you all so much! It really is a crazy feeling. I'm going to miss these days, but I know that my time is up and I am okay with that. I will always be grateful for my time here in Bakersfield, California. I had my final interview with President Wilson and he assured me it's time to move on to a new chapter in my life.
We have to get going. We still have lots of people to say goodbye to and I have to figure out how I am going to fit two years into a couple suitcases. I love you all so much and I really am so grateful for your support and encouragement. Take good care until I see you again!
Elder Chad Thompson