Elder Gratil (Arizona) and I going for the pool...we didnt actually jump in but it shows our excitement to finish the mission!
See ya on Thursday!
That’s weird...never thought that this would ever come.
Anyways, what do we have planned for that first Thursday?
I didn’t really want much planned, but I was thinking that I wanted some Longboard Louies or Parilla for lunch, and then some king, curry style, for dinner. Actually, one of these nights I will make a Brazi dish for us...Brazilian stroganofe.
I am very excited that all those people will be down for my talk at sacrament meeting. I am glad that they didn’t give me a topic for my talk, cuz I wasn’t going to follow it anyways. I wrote my talk the other day in one of my morning study sessions, hope it goes well!
I am super excited to ride home with Kelsey from SLC to Bend. It is going to be really weird for me to ride these airplanes...I think this is the longest I have ever gone without flying. Every time I see an airplane in the sky these days I get super excited ahah...that is trunkeza at its purest.
Anyways...onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week. This week has just FLOWN by. Elder Gratil and I call it the golf ball theory. When you make a long putt, the ball goes slowly, ever so slowly to the cup, kind of seems like it stops at the rim, then it just falls in super fast. That is what this last transfer was like. It was going slow, slow slow, and then all of a sudden we are just done.
Anyways, this week started off with our first transfer meeting, talk about who is going where on the mission this next transfer, trying to solve little problems, etc. Then, Tuesday was a day in Jaraguá. I went out with a Brazilian from my group, Elder T. da Silva. The whole day was basically a day for me to visit people, say goodbye, and visit recent converts of mine who have kind of started to fall away, and get them back. It went really well. It was super strange seeing some of these people for what may be the last time. I guess it won’t be the last time, cuz we will visit them when we come back this December. But yeah, just a super weird feeling.
It was Tuesday when I finally started to realize that I would be going home, that the mission was ending.The next day was my last mission council. It was a pretty fun day, where we taught about how to be Zone Leaders and how to help other missionaries become better, preparing the mission for the future. This council was just weird for me because I had to say goodbye to some people ... something that I just thought would never happen. I have made a lot of good friends here on the mission.
Of course, more than anything, I have learned and grown a lot. I have learned about God, Christ, myself, my family, etc. I know who I am. The mission has instilled a new sense of self worth and self confidence that wasn’t completely there before. I have strengthened weakness, and some strengths, as I, as Dad put it, went through extreme "stretching" experiences.The next couple of days were also spent in division, one out in Jaçanã, the other here next to the office. They were perfect examples to me of what I am going to miss, and what I won’t. I won’t miss leaving lunch into the scorching sun of the afternoon. I won’t miss the rude remarks and gestures that are usually directed towards the Mormon missionaries. However, I will miss the friendships, the people that automatically trust in the power and authority of the calling, and most of all, the lessons and opportunities every day to help people come closer to their Lord and Savior.
Thursday night in Jaçanã Elder Adamson and I found this really cool old couple, but they were having some difficulties in their life. The man had just suffered a stroke, and is struggling to regain is motor skills and forces to be able to walk and do everything that he used to do, although the mind is still perfectly intact. The woman is always hunched over by a bad walk and hobbling around on bad knees. We were able to teach about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, apply it to their lives and their family, teach about the restoration of the priesthood, and give them blessings of health. It was a super cool experience. I will definitely miss those everyday opportunities.
The mission was great. I have gone through some of the best, and hardest, times of my life here ... from depressed companions to awesome experiences that prove to me the love that God has for His children. I know that He lives, that God is literally our Heavenly Father, that there is a plan for us, and that He wants nothing more than our happiness on this earth and wants us to return to Him to receive eternal life. I know that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer for the sins of the world, to be the shining example for us all to follow. I know that He died for us, but that he also resurrected, that He lives, that He loves us, and that He is our friend at all times. I know that if we really have faith, if we really trust in God, and follow his commandments, and the gospel of Christ, that is our path to happiness. Everything is guaranteed in the gospel of Christ, happiness, salvation, etc. When we are outside, it is a dog eat dog world.
I am very grateful for the opportunity that God gave me to preach His gospel for the past two years, to be an instrument in His hands so that He could reach out to His children. I know that His kingdom has been restored to the earth, that we have a modern day prophet and 12 apostles as well. That the Book of Mormon is true. That the Bible is too. That we may all know for ourselves through humble prayer. God answered my prayers, He answers them daily, and this testimony of mine is strengthened and confirmed every moment.
This is my testimony, and I say it in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.