Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Homecoming . . . (more photos at end)

From Derek's mom: I am SO VERY SORRY that I forgot to post this final blog from Derek. I could make a lot of excuses at this point, but let's just say I got distracted. Having Derek home for a few weeks has been wonderful. These last two years were an adventure for both of us, and it was fun spending time with him and getting reaquainted. Oh, the stories he told! And then, all too soon, it was time for him to leave again. Last weekend, we whisked him off to attend college at BYU-Idaho. It has been an amazing three weeks! So, without further delay, here is what he wrote about a week after returning home:

My family at the airport. They got lost, and I had to search the whole place to find them.

A foot inside the front door and I couldn't wait to show them my souveniers! Kind of looks like my suitcase exploded . . .

Well, I would like to formally apologize for putting off my last promised blog. As you all know, I am home and safe. The trip was long, but worth it, and faster than I thought it would be. The layovers were quick. The hardest part was Atlanta to Seattle. Almost too cliche, I arrived in Seattle to find no one waiting for me. But I knew that could not be right, so after walking from one end of the airport to the other end, I finally saw my family. I walked up behind them as they were waiting for me at the wrong escalator (to their dismal surprise), but it was fine. I then got my long awaited French Toast from IHOP. Soooooo good!

Currently, I am adjusting to normal life, it's going better than anticipated, but I'm still not completely used to it. I'm preparing myself to go back to college soon, to tackle some of the biggest obstacles I will face in my life. However I am sure that everything will go fine because I have developed some skills on my mission that will get me through most difficulties with success.

On my mission, I was able to develop my testimony little by little and develop a rock solid foundation upon which I can securely build the rest of my life. I know that in this Church I will be able to find counsel and strength to acheive my goals.

I am so grateful that I served a mission. I have learned and grown so much. My testimony of this gospel is undeniable. I am certain of the things which I have been teaching for the last 2 years. The Gospel is true. I know that when we follow the things that we have been taught, we will be blessed. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, that He suffered for my sins and all the sins of the world, and that through Him we can achieve salvation. I know that God and His Son, Jesus Christ love us just as much as They loved the people when Christ was on the earth, and that Christ leads His church through a prophet today, even Thomas S. Monson. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church of God. It has the priesthood authority of God to administer the ordinances of the Gospel of Christ. The Book of Mormon is the word of God, translated by the Prophet Joseph Smith. I have read it and prayed about it, and know that it is true. My testimony is a lot more than mere words on a page; it lives inside of me and it's difficult for me to transmit that which I know to be true, to you, a person reading this blog. However, please know that I'm grateful you are reading this, and I hope you can feel a portion of my testimony through these words.

And finally, I want to thank everyone who helped and supported me on my mission. It would have been a lot harder to do it without you guys. And... thanks for reading my blog.

Tchau blog,
Derek Titus

Grandma, Grandpa and Gaylord worried that I hadn't arrived yet. They were told by the Delta airlines people where to wait. But it was the wrong location!



Headed to IHOP!!!