"And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow" (Alma 40:12).
This is where my grandpa is now. He isn't hurting anymore. He is with Heavenly Father again. I didn't think it would come this fast. When I left for the MTC, they said six months. It was very hard to leave knowing I wouldn't see him in this life again. I am the oldest grandchild and it is very hard to be here and not with my whole family because I don't want anyone to forget what an amazing man he is. Some of the little kids don't know him as well as I do. I am so grateful for the 19 years I had in this life to have him as my grandpa and to learn from his example. Here are a few things I learned:
1. Be supportive
All growing up, he would come to endless concerts, games, races, birthday parties, etc. just for me. He was always there to say he was proud of me and that I did a good job. Every time I visited him before I left he told me to go on my mission. He said he would always be there for me and would help me teach people. I know he is supporting me every step of the way and this is where I need to be.
2. Never give up
My grandpa did not have an easy go of things. Long before I was born, he got in a really bad car accident and had to relearn lots of things. I know he didn't give up. He kept going. There was aftermath from his accident all the way until the end. But despite his pain, he will would give Zac and I donkey rides so we could really be Mary and Joseph. My favorite memory is very recent. I had the opportunity to be in the temple with my parents and my grandma and grandpa. His back was already hurting, but he pressed on and came to the temple just for me. That is called never giving up.
3. Always tell people you love them
Grandpa was really good at this one. Whenever we would come or go, he would give each of us a hug. I would have to stand on my tippy toes and wrap my arms around his neck and he would give me the biggest hug. And his line was always the same: "We sure do love you." He would say that every time. I loved it because I knew he loved me individually and that, no matter what, he would be there for me.
I learned so many other Christlike attributes, like being selfless, humble, patient, long suffering, kind, diligent, and most of all charity. My grandpa is one of the best men I know. I look up to him in everyway. I know the plan of salvation is real. Jesus Christ died for us so that we can be with our loved ones again. He is the bridge that connects us back to our Heavenly Father. I know my grandpa is doing the same thing I am doing: preaching the gospel to all who will hear. I know he is with my and watching over me and our family. I am so grateful for this knowledge and my testimony. I will always love my grandpa, no matter what!!!!!!! This gospel brings true joy and peace that isn't found anywhere else, and I am eternally grateful for it.