|What a difference 2 years makes...|
"I hope I will get the opportunity to tell each of you in depth what my mission has meant to me... I am grateful for the opportunity I will have to show with actions what I have learned."
Well thanks for all of the letters! It is a little strange knowing that this will be my last letter from the mission field. It still hasn't hit me that I am going to be leaving. It is true that we have been way busy this past week and really haven't had time to think about it too much, but to be honest there is still a ton of work to do before I leave haha.
So this past week started off with a ton of planning and practicing. Yeah, that's right, practicing. We are talking about practice. We were spending a lot of the time working with the upcoming transfers and reception of the 24 missionaries that get here Tuesday. It was a great experience being with President during the transfers, even though he doesn't know anything about the missionaries it is obvious that he receives revelation where they should go. There were many times during the process that we just gave him a bit of information to study it out in his mind and he would just say "I just really feel he should go there..."
My testimony of Priesthood keys grew a lot during that process. What a comfort to know that the church is directed by inspired men with keys to guide and direct the Lord's Work. The part of practicing was for the Leadership Council we had this Thursday. President and Hermana Pricoli came to the mission well trained from the mission president seminar in Provo. We spent awhile going over new ideas and new training methods that all came from the 12 Apostles and other general authorities. It was just marvelous to be able to learn from them and I sure felt lucky for the opportunity to learn so closely from 2 different mission presidents.
After the council on Thursday the new assistant got here. His name is Elder Walker from Holliday, Utah. He is a great missionary and will do great in the new position. I went on an exchange yesterday to Buenaventura and I cannot even explain how amazing it was to back there. During the busride there it felt like coming home as we were approaching the city, I started to feel the sticky heat enter the bus and everyone started to sweat. It was a familiar feeling that I hadn't felt for a while. It was really amazing to see a few of the members that I grew to love so much when I was there. The Branch has grown a ton since I have left as well! I am confident they will have their chapel soon.
The council was also a pretty emotional event for me. I have been through 17 of those things over the course of my mission and it has been my favorite meeting of them all. I love how the Church is built so that we receive revelation through council. It was weird looking around and not seeing one single face that was there my first council, not even president! It was a great meeting and I know that the mission will keep going strong over the next few years.
I remember in one of Cody's final letters of his mission talking about how he would miss the brothership that is felt in the mission field. I was able to feel that same way this past Thursday with all of the fellow missionaries I have worked so hard with over the years, some of them I will probably never see again in this life. Definitely a special moment being able to take that in during the final hymn that we sang, "Called to Serve." (Llamados a Servir) I will worry about feeling sad on Tuesday, but for right this second I am excited to get back to work. We have two baptisms tonight!
So I guess I will be seeing everyone on Tuesday. I know it will be hard to leave Colombia, especially because I don't know when I will be back, but it is exciting to see what the Lord has in store for the rest of my life. I really I hope I will get the opportunity to tell each of you in depth what my mission has meant to me, I really find it hard to do in words and especially on the internet. However, I am grateful for the opportunity I will have to show with actions what I have learned. I am excited to make the rest of my life reflect what I have come to know these past two years.
Me duele el hecho de que tengo que salir de Colombia, pero feliz para estar con la familia nuevamente, NOS VEMOS EL MARTES!
Translation: It pains me that I have to leave Colombia, but happy to be with the family again, SEE YOU ON TUESDAY!
And I can't wait to mow the lawn Dad...
For the last time,