President Jackson picked me up early - 6am or so - and drove me to the airport in Barajas. After unloading my luggage from the mission van, he walked me inside and sat me down by the check-in counter.
"Alright Hermana, thanks for everything. We love you and we'll miss you. Get better okay?"
And just like that, he was gone. I looked around and found myself all alone, for the first time in over a year. Up until then I had been okay. But sitting there alone in the airport, everything became so real.
I was going home.
The tears came suddenly and wouldn't stop. For a second I was glad I was alone because that way I could cry silently by myself. Nobody would understand anyways.
I made it through security and to the gate relatively composed. But after boarding the plane, the tears returned. I had a long 12 hours to reflect over the last year of my life - the best year of my life. Most people have time to mentally and emotionally prepare for their return home. But I got ripped out of the best thing that had ever happened to me and was about to be shoved back into reality, with only a few days notice.
When the plane arrived in Louisville, I hesitated getting off and I took my time walking towards baggage claim because I knew the moment I saw my family, it would officially be over. It would mean I was home.
The second I saw my mom's face I just started crying again. She hugged me tight and the first thing out of my mouth, and a complete surprise to me, was, "I love you, but I really don't want to be here." It was true though. My mission wasn't supposed to be over so quickly and the only place I wanted to be was Madrid.
That night, September 14th, I was released as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and was asked to take off my badge...
I am home on a medical release. I have had seven internal infections in the last five months and it has become a cause of concern for my mission president as well as the European area medical authority, so they sent me back here. In the last three weeks that I've been home, I've seen doctors and specialists, had scans run and tests done, and am now hopefully on my way to a speedy recovery.
Though I'd rather not be here, I'm trying to look for the good in my situation, and be grateful for the tender mercies the Lord has given me.
"If the bitter cup doesn't pass, drink it." - Elder Jeffrey R. Holland