Today, I was privileged to attend the farewell meeting of two of my very dearest friends. I hate writing cliche things, but it's so true; I have learned SO MUCH from these two fantastic (and goofy) young men.
(I really like these two boys.)
As I sat and listened to them bear their testimonies of Christ, missionary work, and the love they feel for their family, I was completely overwhelmed. I think I accidentally frightened John Wilson because I was crying so hard. I just couldn't hold back my feelings--I was so grateful for both of you, and I've been putting off this blog post all day because I wasn't sure I'd be able to get this right. But I think I've pretty much got it figured out, so here we go.
Matthew has taught me that no matter how rough it gets, you should always have a smile on your face. He helped me realize that the destination is less important; the joy truly is in the journey. He stuck with me through some pretty tough moments, and I doubt if he'll ever know how much it really meant to me. Matthew, thank you for being so incredibly kind to me and to everyone around you. The light of Christ radiates from you in large amounts; it draws people to you, and I know you're going to be the most incredible missionary. The people in Brazil are sure in for a treat :)
Andrew has taught me (probably unintentionally) that nobody is unimportant. I doubt if he ever knew it, but as I've gotten to know him over the past couple of years, I've been deeply, deeply touched by the way he reaches out to those around him. Andrew, you have a special and unique way of making people feel very important and very loved. When I'm with you, I honestly feel my Savior's love for me because of your goodness and kindness. You are going to bless and change lives, my friend. Again, the people in Brazil are in for a treat.
Between the two of them, I've realized something very important about myself. Christlike friends (like these lovely gentlemen) are an enormous force for good in my life. I can earnestly declare that I wouldn't be who I am today without the Woodruff twins. When I'm around the two of you, I'm inspired to be better than I am. I want to learn more about the Savior because I can tell that you love him. Thank you both for being yourselves; you're incredible, amazing, wonderful, gentle, handsome, good, worthy, goofy, spiritual, intelligent, funny, inspiring, joyful, and radiant people. I love you both so dearly, and I send you away on your missions with all my heart because I know that the Lord needs your love and talents somewhere else just now. I wish you both the best of luck; I know you're making the best possible decision in your lives at this moment, and my heart is bursting with love and pride for you.
Hymn 293 "Each Life That Touches Ours for Good"
Each life that touches our for good
Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord
Thou sendest blessings from above
Thru words and deeds of those we love.
What greater gift dost thou bestow,
What greater goodness can we know
Than Christlike friends, whose gentle ways
Strengthen our faith, enrich our days.
When such a friend from us departs,
We hold forever in our hearts
A sweet and hallowed memory,
Bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee.
For worthy friends whose lives proclaim
Devotion to the Savior's name
Who bless our days with peace and love,
We praise thy goodness, Lord above.
Matthew, I love you.
Andrew, I love you.
Thank you a thousand times over for everything you are and everything you do--see you in two years, my lovely friends. :)