On Saturday, February 22nd, the flags should be flown at half-mast to signify the passing of the first half of Hannah’s mission. Half of the time, it feels as if these past nine months has flown by. The other half of the time, it seems to have passed at a snail’s pace. As her first companion in the field so aptly observed, “The days seem like weeks, the weeks seem like months, and the months seem like days.”
Although this is an auspicious occasion, Hannah has to go halfsies with her brother for our attention as it is also his 15th birthday. He plans on celebrating turning 15 by cutting his life expectancy in half by taking the written portion of the driver’s test. (Whoever thought 15 year old boys should be able to operate motor vehicles must have been a half-wit!) So I had a half-baked idea that I should mark this milestone in Hannah’s life with this special post in which I use as many expressions that contain the word “half” as possible, and still make sense 50% (yes, that counts) of the time. If you think of a usage that I missed, feel free to post it in your comments.
Regardless of whether you are a “glass half full” or a “glass half empty” type of person, you must admit that to reach the half-way point in a mission is a time of mixed emotions. Hannah’s feelings of anticipation when she thinks of returning home to her family are undoubtedly tempered half and half by those emotions that come as she anticipates leaving the close association of those she has come to love so much.
For many missionaries, it’s tempting to keep half an eye on home throughout their mission. But Hannah is entering the second half of her mission fully engaged in the work in Texas. Those of you who know Hannah well know that she doesn't do things by halves. Her mission is no exception. She has served the Lord with all her might, mind, and strength, and will continue to do so, even after she is home.
Now I know, people joke about the period of readjustment for missionaries after they are released from full-time service as a “mission half-life”- the amount of time required for half of the missionary’s good habits and spirituality to decay to pre-mission levels. (Okay, nobody actually calls it “mission half-life,” but they should. Anyway, how would YOU suggest I fit “half-life” into this post?) For Hannah, however, she has experienced firsthand, on numerous occasions, the fulfillment of Lord’s promise to make weak things become strong. I am confident that these “mighty changes” in Hannah will always be a part of who she is.
To say that her family has mixed feelings about Hannah coming home this year would be a half truth: We’re just plain happy! Of course, when she does, a half-gallon of milk will no longer be enough each week. (FYI: Her family consists of myself, her mother; my better half, her father; and Elijah, her [not half] brother (okay, that last one was a stretch.)
Hannah has served honorably this first nine months. This is no surprise. Hannah never does anything [EDITED].* We are so proud of her.
*An expression that means “insufficiently or haphazardly”
Editor’s Note: I count 25 uses of the word “half” in some form. Not half bad.