Words escape me this morning. As this week makes its grand entry, where stress and anxiety should be, I can only find peace and comforting reassurance. With one more change behind and one more here to greet us, I am excited to keep working hard and to see what the Lord has prepared. As I have tried to prepare for this change, my Heavenly Father has taught me so much, and as I look to the heavens, I am filled with so much gratitude.
I am very excited and somewhat nervous to see where this change will take us. Since Hermana Steel is finishing her mission, I will be staying here in Juayua another change, making it seven months and a half here!!! Wow, total madness, but we will see what God has in store. The missionary work is starting to catch a good rhythm and I know that only good things lay ahead. Yesterday in Sacrament meeting, I was struck too see how much this little ward has changed, well, how much I have changed. While the chapel was not full, there were so many converts there. One of our recent converts, Erasmo blessed the sacrament yesterday, and I could not help but be filled with a huge amount of gratitude and joy to see him there using his priesthood. His wife, Anita, was called to be the Primary Secretary and we have been working with some beautiful part member families.
Our ward mission leader, Hermano Aparicio gave a beautiful lesson on the atonement and missionary work in our gospel principles class. He talked about how much Christ loves us, that he shed tears for us. Then he looked at my companion and I, both teary-eyed and said, “You know the sisters are representatives of Christ because they cry for you too. They suffer when you suffer and they are happy when you are obedient. They love you as Christ loves you.” So, much for trying to stay composed….. It was testimony Sunday and it the testimonies shared were of the missionary work, and experiences that the members had. They are really starting to catch on to the missionary spirit. I am excited to keep working with them and to invite more of our brothers and sister to come to Christ.
One of my favorite song lyrics reads “To love another person is to see the face of God.”
To say that I love my companion would be somewhat redundant, considering that you have all heard the same thing for twelve weeks. It has been so interesting to be with so many companions as they finish their missions, and to see how each transitions differently into life after the mission. I HATE killing missionaries….. Hermana Steel has fought, and is fighting, and will continue fighting in the great cause of salvation. In this last week, we both were a little sick, but she worked through the pain with inspiring resilience. Looking back on these last three months, I can only smile. Not a day passed in which a smile did not light a darkened room, or laughter resounded in our hearts. Seeing her prepare for her next mission has inspired me, and taught me so much, but also enhanced my excitement to continue on in my own mission. That being said, there is nothing more painful than saying goodbye to a dear friend, even though it might just be temporary. I love Hermana Steel. I am reminded from one of my favorite quotes, and since in mission-speak “going home” is translated to “dying” I found it mildly appropriate to use in this situation.
“When King Lear dies in Act V, do you know what Shakespeare has written? He’s written “He dies.” That’s all, nothing more. No fanfare, no metaphor, no brilliant final words. The culmination of the most influential work of dramatic literature is “He dies.” It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with “He dies.” And yet every time I read those two words, I find myself overwhelmed with dysphoria. And I know it’s only natural to be sad, but not because of the words “He dies.” but because of the life we saw prior to the words… and I am not asking you to be happy that I must go. I’m only asking that you turn the page, continue reading… and let the next story begin. And if anyone asks what became of me, you relate my life in all its wonder, and end it with a simple and modest “He died.””
Hermana Steel has left one heck of a mission life and legacy, one I will fight to live up to for the next six months. I have always had the bad habit when reading books to re-read certain parts, prolonging turning the next page and continuing with the story, afraid of what the author has hidden in the next lines. But there is no time to drag our feet when the author of all creation has As the Lord is turning this page, I am excited to keep reading.
“Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.” D & C 128:22
This is Hermana Armenia! She is the sweetest little lady and gives the best hugs in the whole world!!
We went to eat yucca!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So delicious!