A couple of years ago I had the thought that I wanted to make a list of people who had made a positive impact on my life and then write each of them a letter thanking them. Well like lots of ideas...they came....and then they left. But as I was reflecting on this new year and what I wanted to accomplish again the thought came to me and this time I decided I was actually going to follow through with it. So I made the list. And out of all the names there were just two people who I hadn't seen or spoken to in several years. Finding them was going to be the hardest part. I set about my search and after several emails to the MTC and several google searches later I found one of the two. Actually, I found someone with the same name...Kelly R. Gehret. I decided to take a chance and write this person an email hoping that they were somehow related. And sure enough the Kelly Gehret I wrote was the son of President Gehret who was my Branch President in the MTC. But I was too late. President Gehret passed away in 2004.
So who was President Gehret? Upon arriving at the MTC I was scared...shell shocked...unsure of myself, and above all those insecure feelings I was left feeling VERY aware of all the wrong choices I had made. I felt worthless and in no way worthy to be there. And in comes President Gehret. To say I was intimidated would be an understatement. When he spoke...you listened. This man saw right through me. He knew I was struggling. What I loved most about him was his unwillingness to give up on me. He saw something good in me. He believed in me...believed I was capable of becoming more than I had allowed myself to be up to that point in my life.
The few letters he wrote to me while I was a missionary are some of my most prized possessions. The lessons he taught me about forgiveness, God's love, and the importance of seeing yourself the way God see you are priceless. I am only sorry I never got to tell him how I finally moved past the guilt. How I learned to love myself in spite of the mistakes I had made and how because of him I try harder to see the good in other people. Thank you President Gehret for changing the course of my life...I look forward to seeing you again someday.