One of the things I have noticed is that my email volume has dropped by about two-thirds. For the first time in years, spam and sales emails are now more common than emails related to my calling.
I would often get 5 to 8 emails per day about Church business, one or more envelopes from the Church during the week—plus a number of little gray envelopes—and several phone calls a day. Now my inbox, my voicemail box, and the mail box have all, well—play the audio clip below and you'll get the idea.
So my life's pace has changed drastically. That's not all bad, though. For example, I had stopped reading Victor Hugo's Les Misérables a few years ago, at page 428. I've picked up that novel again and started reading, something I couldn't think of doing a week ago because there was just too much on my mind.
Earlier in the week, I told my wife that being released as a bishop is like taking your family and friends to the airport and sending them off on a great adventure, waving goodbye to them while they make their way through security because you can't go with them.
It's hard to stay behind, but really, with each passing day, I'm more and more okay with it.
When a new bishopric is put in in place, a ward is revitalized. People are revitalized. That is more important than I have realized. It is a great blessing to all of us. I am so excited for our new bishopric. They are all so well prepared and they are going to do a wonderful job.
The truth is, a great peace has settled over me. I still feel deep love and concern for the members of our ward. I still think about them all day. There are still things I can do to reach out to them and support them, but in different ways and for different reasons than before.
The most surprising thing to me is that, though I felt a little empty last Sunday, the Lord's Spirit is still present with me. I feel His comfort and counsel every hour of the day. I don't feel lost like I thought I would be. I was wrong about that.
I have found my way. The path is a lot clearer than I thought it would be. It is the right one for me, for this time and season, and I am grateful to know that. I am in fact feeling pretty good, as you can see from the following video.