“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to….”
Here we are, at the end of all things.
I have thought about this email so often, I had so many plans of what to say, some epic words of parting, summing up these last eighteen months, but now as I sit here I am completely speechless.
The P-Day before changes is always super crazy. Everyone is excited to see who will be their new companion, their new leaders, their new area, excited to hear from families, all of the gossip, the news highlights create a nonstop stream of laughter, shouts and righteous merriment. Its weird to be the outsider looking in, to see all the adventures, growth and experiences that still await these missionaries. They are going to close our area, rumor has it that they are sending more elders to Tazumal, so we have a lot to do, making sure the area is ready to receive them. Hermana Reyes is going to Juayua, and not just Juayua, but PROGRESO! I am so excited for her, she will be in my favorite area, the place that changed my life, watching after my converts and all those wonderful people that I love so much! I am so excited for her!!
So our house is a chaotic mess right now. There is laundry drying, and there are half-filled suitcases strewn across the floor. It is so weird to pack things up, to see those few inanimate objects that represent eighteen months of blood, sweat and tears.
Yesterday the three of us going home spoke in Sacrament meeting. It was a lot of soggy eyes and warm hugs. The spirit was so strong; it was a beautiful experience. It was weird, starting to say goodbye. It feels more that I am leaving home, rather than going home.
The most asked question this last week was “¿Como se siente?” “How do you feel?”
To put my feelings into words would be nearly impossible, in English or in Spanish. I feel nervous, I am not quite sure what the Lord has in store, or what I am supposed to do with my life. It is going to be weird, having to get back into the rumbo of normal life, and to not be set apart. (confession, I have been sleeping with my name tag) I feel hopeful, knowing that the people I have taught and have seen change will continue strong in the church, and that if we are all faithful I will be able to see them again. I feel happy to have warm showers and feel carpet again, and to know what it is like to travel in a car again. I feel heartbroken that the dream is coming to an end, that we have made it back to the shire, and the time has come to cross the sea into the west.
Thinking on that, my mind is drawn back to my exit interview with President Spjut. As we were ending he made a reference to Peters Last interview with the Lord. Christ asked him one simple question, “Lovest thou me?” and then he invited him to serve. As I have reflected I put myself in that same interview.
“Hermana Hipol, Lovest thou me more than these? More than your family, more than school, more than all the first world commodities you enjoy?”
“Then feed my lambs, go serve a mission.”
“Hermana Hipol, Lovest thou me more than these? More than your desire to sleep, more than your vanity, more than your wish for changes?”
“Yes Lord, you know that I love you”
“Then feed my sheep, stay on the mission, keep working hard.”
“Hermana Hipol, Lovest thou me more than these? More than your converts, more than the members, more than your companions, more than your missionary tag, more than your mission?”
“Lord…………….you know everything, and you know that I love you. ”
“Then feed my sheep, go home.”
I had always wanted to finish with an epic scripture talking about fruits or the glory of God, but I think I am just going to finish with my own words. More than anything else, I feel so grateful. I am grateful for every moment, every tear shed, every hard moment, every miracle, every door knocked, all of it. The Lord has made so much more of me than I could ever make of myself. I have loved my mission, because it was mine and the Lords. It was my very own epic adventure, a legend that will live on in my heart forever. It has changed me, refined me, and blessed me more than I believed possible and I will sing praises to my Heavenly Father forever for it. I feel so much love, so much gratitude. Nothing can compare with the joy that I felt when President said “You are returning home with honor.” I know that is true. The spirit has confirmed so much that my Heavenly Father is proud of me and is pleased with my work. And that is what is most important.
Thank you for your love, your support, your prayers, all you have done.
HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!
Love, Hermana Hipol