Saturday, April 13, 2013

January 28, 2013

I think this might be the last email I send home. I'm not really sure yet. Next week, all the Elders who are going home have a guided tour of Capital and I don't know if I am going to have time to write home. So....if I don't write next week, don't freak out and I will see you at the airport!

I don't really know what to write....this week was good. I am having more and more trouble focusing myself as the days go on. Every once in a while, I find myself staring into space thinking about airports. But, in those moments I do my best to real my focus back to La Plata. I also started to pack my bags this week (I'm bringing my sleeping bag home, there is no negotiating on this one) and buy souvenirs. So I guess I am officially trunky. No worries though, I still am working a lot and doing my best to find new people to teach.

This week I had a lot more problems with my visa. I drove around all of Buenos Aires with the office Elders, trying to get my visa figured out. It didn't really work, and this week I got kicked out of another government building. We have to run around for two more days this week to try to figure out the visa. We will see if I leave Argentina legally or illegally.

This week I have the final zone leader counsel of my mission. In the zone leader counsel, the Elders who are going home always bear their testimonies. I have seen 11 months worth of missionaries giving their testimonies, and this week it will be my turn. I don't think my brain can fully understand that its my turn, instead my hands start to sweat and I get kind of confused. But, since you guys wont be there to hear me, I thought I would share a little tiny bit right now.

The mission has been something really really weird for me. Weird in the best way. Before the mission, I kind of never liked to listen to people bear their testimonies. In fact, in kind of made me a little bit uncomfortable. I remember, several different times, looking at people who had given themselves to their devotion in religion and Jesus and thinking, "Whaaaat? What are those people feeling that makes them act the way they act and say the things they say?" I really didn't understand. During the mission, I feel like I have been forced into many situations where I have had to pick in between throwing my pride to the side and taking part in the weirdness or keeping my hubris and my spiritual allergy. I feel like that is one of the functions of the mission, to force you really to decide who you are and what you want to do. I was lucky enough to have the help from my companions and the Spirit to be able to, in some degree, drop my hubris and experiment what all the testimony givers were feeling. It was in those moments when I really began to feel, recognize that the feeling was good, and to understand. Little by little, moment by moment, feeling by feeling, I feel like my pride went leaving my heart, the feeling got stronger, and I began to change. I began to become one of the people who had previously made me uncomfortable. That is all Heavenly Father really wants us to do. He wants us to lay aside our pride just long enough for him to make a change in us. We actually do very little in the process. He does most of the work. I have learned many things while I have been here. I have learned that our best chance of happiness in this life lies in living the gospel. I have learned that Heavenly Father loves everyone so so much. I have felt it. I have learned that I have many many weaknesses and that I can correct them if I want to. I have learned that no matter how many weaknesses I correct, I will never be close to finished in ridding myself of all of them. I have learned that bedays are much better than toilet paper. I have learned that companions are the best. I have learned that if there are problems in my life, there is a 99% chance that they are my fault and not of anyone else. I have learned that you can be happy in any situation, it just depends on your attitude. I have learned that my family is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I better stop there. I'm out of time.

All is well. Life is good.

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