October 20, 2014
"I wrote you every day for a year!" ......O.K. all "Notebook" quotes aside, I have realized that I have written no fewer than 75 Blog posts starting on May 10 2013. Now I am down to my last three.
dun. dun. dun.
Let's begin with a replay of the highlights. (That was very ESPN of me, wasn't it?)
1. Tomasa got baptized!! She is so sweet. From the first moments with her I knew that she was going to get baptized. There are people who are truly prepared to hear the gospel, and she was one. Two of the people participating may not have shown up and yours truly may have forgotten to turn off the water when filling the font, but despite the stress it was a very special experience and I know that Tomasa and I will be lifelong friends.
2.Elder David F. Evans came to visit our mission! --He is the Executive Director of the Missionary Department for the church, but even more important, he's family! He is my mom's cousin, and it was such a fun treat to be able to see him and his wife. He gave an amazing talk about how our missions are preparing us for the rest of our lives and how we are learning to go forward with faith. It was so powerful. I remember sitting in the congregation as he was closing his remarks and thinking, "there is nowhere else I would rather be right now. I can feel the spirit so strongly I would love to just sit here for the rest of my life and feel like this."
So something strange happened to me this week. Three of our neighbors moved. The first two are a couple that lives above our apartment. We only see them once in a while and periodically bring them home made goodies (it pays to have sister missionary neighbors.) They are very sweet, genuine people. They are moving because his father passed away and they have to go take care of his special needs brother who lives too far away to drive to each day.
The last is one of the Saudi students that lives next door. He knows VERY little English but has committed to live here for 5 years to learn English and then "study United States" He is going to live with a family a couple minutes away so that he can practice the language more often.
I haven't had incredibly bonding experiences with either of these neighbors, just little moments here and there. 5 minutes visits every blue moon. But for some reason their decision to move is making me so sad! It feels like a premature closing, like I actually WILL be leaving some day.
I received the letter with invitations to my missionary farewell and flight information and it kind of hit me that one day this will be over. And that is sad. But I guess like Elder Evans said it is preparing me for more happy moments, for a strong family and a different mission.