|Goodbye to San Pedro it will always hold a place in her heart. These Sisters are all wearing cortes.|
Sunday was very bitter sweet. We find out on Monday mornings who has changes, I was 90% sure I had changes the last couple weeks. Sunday was hard to look around and see all of the people that have become family that will be so hard to say goodbye to. It was one of the best Sundays on my mission to see Isaias and Jorge bless the sacrament together, both people that have showed me the mercy of Heavenly Father through the Atonement. And after church, Jorge was able to give me a priesthood blessing before I leave the area. I will never forget his story. I view him as one of the most amazing men I have ever met in my life. Strong testimony, loving, funny, happy, sweet...I don't even remember the man we met drunk on the street many, many weeks ago. And when the memory does come, it's only in amazement to how far he has come. It helps me realize how Heavenly Father views us, who we are and who we are becoming, not who we were. It reminds me how Dad told me to see people the way Heavenly Father sees them. I'm starting to learn how to do that.
When we made smores last week, my companions told me that Antonio asked them how to say "hacer" in English, along with a few other words to learn a phrase in English to say to me. He paused and thought for a couple seconds and said, "So I could say....Thank you everything. You to make my family very happy." I didn't know it would be so hard to tell their family that I have changes. When I said goodbye to my own family, I was able to say something like, "I'll see you in July or August of 2014" and there is a lot of comfort knowing exactly how long a goodbye lasts. That's why goodbyes are so hard here, I'm not sure how long they last or if it's solo para una vez. Since Antonio is working late tonight, I had to say goodbye to him last night. It was the first time I had seen tears in his eyes and he said, "We will always be waiting for your return. And if it's not possible for you to return, we will luchar as a family and see you in a place greater than this." I'm not sure how I'm going to have the strength to say goodbye to the rest of his family. Before my mission call, I had a thought that couldn't leave my mind. It was a mental image of me putting my favorite "SD" hat on a beautiful Latino nina. I had a strong impression that I was going to a place with children that looked like her, but was sad when my call packet was so small, which I thought implied I was going somewhere stateside. When I opened my call and read "Guatemala", the mental image came back and I knew I had to pack my hat. The little girl I saw in my thoughts didn't look like Marcela when I first met her, but now when I think of this mental image, I can only see her as this little girl and I will be giving away my hat today to her.
I love this place. I've always been a "heart guardar" but I really lost it here in San Pedro. But it feels like the capacity to love just grows more when you give away more and more of your heart, it's kinda funny how that works. I love this message that I can share. Any sacrifice that the mission took is nothing compared to the knowledge that there is a family here that I could be an instrument in helping find the path to be an eternal family. All I want for Christmas is that all of my family and friends can use these weeks to find a testimony or the Restoration or re-find their testimonies. Christ died for us, but more importantly, He is still living for us. And we need to live for him. Talk to you guys next week!