Last week as a missionary. Really hard to believe that as I write this I have successfully completed my full time service as a missionary and Representative of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This past week was super busy. Although a great deal of the week was spent getting ready to come home, I also was able to teach my last few lessons as a full time missionary.
My investigator Milder is doing super well now. Even though we have been teaching him off and on for such a long time, he is finally starting to progress. His wife and him have begun to ask questions about whether or not they should be baptized again and also be married. As my Companion and I taught them, there was a very special Spirit as we invited them to put a goal to be married first. The goal is currently for August with a baptismal date shortly following. As I taught them the final lesson I would personally teach, it was a very emotional moment for all of us. It truly is amazing how as missionaries we can come to love other so much more than ourselves.
Along with teaching Milder and a few other people, my Companion and I spent a great deal of time trying to help the recent converts in our area. Russell is doing super well in school and also in the church. We also had a quick goodbye visit with him and I gave him a pin that said “Called to Serve” and invited him to prepare to serve a mission. He said he was in the process so hopefully one day he can prepare to worthy serve a full time mission as well. Marcia has been super busy lately but I was also able to have a quick goodbye visit with her as well. She has a lot of goals in life but said that remaining a faithful member of the church is a big one. Karina is still going strong as well and just as I have stated before, is very active in the Young Single Adults program in our ward. She is currently preparing to go to the Temple in the next few months along with of the other recent converts in the Ward.
As the week came to an end, the Ward threw a big surprise goodbye party for me It was a really hard and emotional moment not only for me but also for each Ward member. They made me a nice cake and all went around the room saying nice things about me. As I sat there and looked around I felt a very strong Spirit of peace knowing that the Ward and place I was leaving behind would be protected and would also receive the help and guidance that they need at this time.
Saturday morning came around and Elder Haws and I got to the bus terminal really early where we had more emotional final goodbyes with our Companions, other missionaries, and Ward members. As we got on the bus it was a really difficult moment for me as I had to say goodbye to people I can come to love and care so much about.
Our final days in Cusco were spent buying last minute souvenirs and also having final interviews with President Herrera. My interview was very special and the advice I received from my Mission President is something that I will always remember to apply in my life daily. We were then able to go with him to eat lunch following the interviews at a restaurant where they serve Ceviche (the raw fish that we weren’t allowed to eat except with him). That night we then had a goodbye dinner and shared our testimonies one last time with our President and his family. Once again tears came to my eyes and I remembered all of the experiences I have had during the past 2 years of my life.
The next day as I said last minute goodbyes in the airport and got on the plane and left Cusco, I couldn’t help but think about everything I had just been through. All of the incredible lifelong friends I had made along with every experience the Lord had blessed me to have while serving in the best mission in the entire world. But more than anything I reflected upon the relationship that I now have with our Savior Jesus Christ. He is my best friend. There was not a day that went by that I didn’t feel the power of his love in my life. I know without any doubt in my mind that this is his Church, that contains the Power of God. I know that power is real and am grateful to hold it and to have seen tremendous miracles through it. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon. It is the Word of God and not only the key to our religion but also the key to coming to know the Savior. At the start of my mission I knew who he was but I didn’t truly understand who he was. Although I still have not come to know him perfectly, I will strive each and every day to continue to come to know him and hopefully someday have the opportunity to know him perfectly. I love each and every one of you who has been support to me throughout these past 2 years of my life and am grateful to my parents who raised me in the Gospel and prepared me for this incredible experience that I have had in Peru.
My Homecoming is at 11:00 am on 15 July 2018 in the Willow Brook Ward at 1505 Whispering Meadows Lane in Kaysville Utah. I look forward to any of you that can come!
Snapshot of the Past 2 Years!!!
Ward Goodbye Party!
|Mission Goodbye Diner!|