Christmas break gives you a chance to look back at things you haven't even thought about for a long time. In organizing some of my old, stored away items, I found a little plastic tote with some of my old mission items in it. Looking through it has been a treat in some ways, and a pain in others - for better or worse I remembered the good and the bad parts of my mission (though not all of them).
One thing that is for certain, though, is this: the painful memories of the past fade away with time, and the good memories seem to get brighter. I remembered my companions - Elders, Perry and Hembree (I can't remember how to spell his name :P) in Kariya, Elder Watson in Hikone, Elder Heath and Elder Miyara in Yamato-Koriyama, Elder Taysom in Hanayashiki, Elder Shurtz and Elder Dangerfield in Matsuzaka. They were all good people, and they were doing their best to fulfill the calling they were called to. None of my companionships were perfect (and I'll bet the worst of the problems I had in my companionships were my own fault...), but there were good memories in all of them. I just hope my companions can find it in their hearts to forgive my foolishness - then maybe they can remember the good parts of their mission with brightness, as well.
If I've learned nothing else from my reflections on my mission, I've at least learned one thing: have fun. I was stiff, foolish, and generally stupid for the majority of my mission, and while I don't recommend taking pictures like the one on the left (called a purikura), I do recommend being yourself on your mission, whatever that entails. The people in this picture are from the top left: Elder Robison, Elder Dangerfield, (middle) Elder Fitch (a new bean-chan from the MTC at the time), myself, (bottom) Elder Blair and Elder Graves. Good people all.