Dear Elder Schenewark,
I was perusing our "New and Revised Edition, National Gallery of Art, Washington" book and found this picture. It's Elizabeth Throckmorton, by Nicolas de Largilliere. Obviously she was a nun. She made me think of you. You being a missionary, for two years, foregoing friends, family, education, employment, entertainment...of your own choice, makes you similar.
What was interesting to me was the accompanying text that said, "Looking at her one realizes that life in a convent must have preserved feminine beauty more successfully than any method devised in the secular world. Little wonder that in the eighteenth century men often fell in love with nuns."
This made me smile. At first, I thought it romantic. Then I began to wonder. And realized, in my humble opinion, it wasn't life in a convent that preserved feminine beauty, it was the type of life dictated by their choice, the nuns, of living in the convent, that preserved their feminine beauty. And it still does today. Those who have a relationship with the Savior, who understand their eternal nature and divine being, and who have purpose in their life will have a lifestyle that preserves their feminine beauty. Beauty that comes from inner peace, and love for self and others.
(And I'm not calling you feminine. Just saying.)