Elder Dallin McEwen

This is a letter written to Dallin’s family just before he got home from his mission.  We went out to New York and worked along side him.  His sister is my sister-in-law, Allison.
Hey everyone!
I can not believe how fast the mission has gone by. I know that is what every missionary says, but every returned missionary thinks that exact same thing. It is incredible, in these short two years, how much my testimony and me as a person have grown. Now that I am at the end of my mission, I have been trying to reflect on what I have learned. Sadly, I haven’t had too much time to think about it so I look forward to my plane ride home and time to just be able to ponder on the past two years. I have thought of some things recently that in particular have stuck out over these past few weeks that have really blessed me.

Some of the most important things I have learned since being out here on a mission is to love everyone, how to love them, and the power in prayer. When it comes to loving people, I have encountered hundreds of people who have not felt the love of Christ in their life and often because of the people they are around. It has been such an amazing blessing to show them the love Christ would show them. To see their hearts be touched and sometimes being able to witness them make a lifelong change has been some of the most rewarding things to me. Also, my experiences with companions on the missionhave taught me how to have Christ-like love for others. I have learned to really care about them for who they are. I have been blessed to have such great companions. Some of them had their struggles, but those were the ones where I was able to grow the most, and I am sure I gave them their share of opportunities to grow with me as well. I absolutely love all the companions I have had in the mission and I know that the Lord put me with each one for a reason. I can pin point multiple things I have learned from each one.

Now, the power of prayer is one of the things that I have continually learned about throughout my mission. Sometimes when it seems I forget the lessons I have learned the Lord reminds me and teaches me more. The latest reminder and lesson I have learned with the power of prayer is through the Hurricane clean up we have had here. We have had the opportunity to not only work in the homes of these people who were hit so hard, but to actually hear their stories, to let them vent about what happened, and to help them feel loved through their hard situation. Multiple times while talking to an individual that was effected by the storm they would tell us that they have never prayed in their life or that they haven’t prayed in years and after the storm when they saw all the devastation they didn’t know what to do so it brought them on their knees in prayer and the next thing they knew there was a group of people in yellow vest walking up their street and asking them if they needed help. So many people said we were a God send and answer to their prayers. I feel honored that the Lord would use us as tools to answer their prayers. I learned alot about prayer from the people’s stories and one of the things I learned is that God loves ALL of his children no matter who you are, what you have done, or even if you don’t love Him. Many of these people didn’t have faith in God or might not have been doing the right things in their lives, but God knows his children and knows their sorrows and he is there to help any of us in times of need. As we pray, like the people I have talked about, God will answer our prayers just like he answered theirs. It is amazing and heart warming to me to know that God loves us to an amount more than we could ever imagine. He is there for us at all times and being able to talk to him daily, through prayer, has been the greatest blessing in my life. I shared experiences of others having prayers answered, but I also have many different times of having my prayers specifically answered and it has helped me gain such a strong testimony in God, in the Savior, and in prayer.

I am sorry that I was not able to email last week. There were alot of cool experiences that happened, but I can’t remember them all at this moment. However, one of the coolest experiences of my life was being able to work along side my sister, her husband and some of his family in the disaster clean up. It wasn’t anything planned for me to see her or anything, but she was coming down to help out with the clean up efforts and asked if I could help her find a place to stay. I asked my mission president if she could stay with him and he said of course. Then he said she should work with me as well. I had to kinda blink, shake my head and pinch myself to make sure I heard it right, but he told me I should have that experience at the end of my mission. A week ago on Saturday and Sunday I was able to work alongside my sister and her husband and his family through out the day. Being able to clean out houses of the people I have come to love so much and to do it alongside of people that I have loved for so long was a priceless experience (well for me at least, she got to fly out of here;) haha! I just can’t wait to be with all my family so I can be with the people I have loved for my entire life again. It will be an experience never forgotten, just like how my mission is an experience to never be forgotten.

I look forward to pushing hard after the mission. I look forward to the struggles I might have, but being able to ask for and recognize the Lord’s help in it all. I look forward to exercising my faith in different ways. I look forward to being an example to others. I look forward to being with friends. I look forward to studying the scriptures daily. I REALLY look forward to being with family!!! And most importantly I look forward to continue to serve the Lord.

Thank you all for everything! I love you all sooo much and I am truly gratful for all the support, love and prayers you all have given me. Sorry my email was lacking on the funny or cool stories and more on some of the things I am feeling or have learned, but I feel like these are some of the more important things in life. These last few days I am going to go out and end with a big bang! Love you all!

Elder Dallin McEwen