If you ask any student missionary about their experiences, there are a thousand things that cross our minds. Some might talk about the adventures, others may talk about the struggles we face. As for me, the best part of being a student missionary is my kids. Most of my days with them consist of trying to keep everyone in their seats, constantly reminding them to stop talking and running around to make sure they’re actually doing their work. But by the end of each day, these kids can always make me feel refreshed with a hug or an “I love you.”
Since being on this island I’ve had some struggles and bad days, days where I don't have the energy or patience to teach my kids. But no matter what I’m personally going through, they can always put a smile on my face. There aren’t quite words to explain how deep my love for these kids is. It only took me about two weeks with these kids to already know they’ll have my heart forever.
I have three months left on this island, and most of you would think I would be ready to come home. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my family and can’t wait to go home and see friends, but my stomach aches every day knowing my time is limited with these kids. They’ve changed my life forever, and I hope I’ve made a difference for them too. Every tear, drop of sweat, and struggle I face doesn’t even compare every hug, laugh, and smile with my kids.
Erica Stevens is currently serving as a student missionary in Majuro.