So here I am. NOT in San Ignacio. Normally my emails include humorous overtones, undertones, and in-between tones, but maybe this one won't. I'm too sad.
The thing is...my area got changed. I am no longer in San Ignacio! I am now stationed in a new area in Belize.
My week was a bit trying then. Here is a run-down.
Wednesday: I found out I was leaving. I cried.
Thursday: I cried.
Friday: I cried.
Saturday: I cried. I got in a truck with two strangers and I left. And then I wept.
Sunday: I cried.
Right now: I am crying.
The thing is, I am not a crier. Do you believe me?
Mom? Back me up on this. I just don't really cry.
But my heart is buried in a little box under the chapel in San Ignacio. I will love it always and forever with every particle in my body. The people there are truly amazing souls and I am so grateful that I was counted worthy to labor among them and to serve them and to love them. And how i do love them. Is it too much to say that I have neverdone anything as hard as leave San Ignacio?
The good news is that last week I had a cold which persists still. SO I have been able to play off the copious crying as just this blasted runny nose going out of control. I think people have been pretty-well fooled.
Man guys. Do you know that San Ignacio is the best place in the world and I will extol her virtues until the day they put me 6 feet beneath the earth?
Thursday and Friday I spent running around and trying to say goodbye to all those whom I loved so dearly. I took many pictures. I cherished every waking moment. I gained 14 pounds because everyone wanted to give me a last dinner. Well after my 5th last dinner I asked them to roll me home. Actually it was so pleasant. I love that town.
Man. The mission.
Friday I packed until 2:30 in the morning.
Saturday morning I got up at 6:30. I went and said goodbye to one last family. 8:00 a.m. I came to my new area.
And once more, I have NO IDEA what is going on. Limbo. Ah how I loathe limbo. Talk about humbling though. The thing is—this new area seems super neato. The people were really welcoming in church yesterday, and I already know some of the peeps because I have been here before. It is super open and reminds me of Africa which is impossible since I’ve never set foot on African soil.
Some pros of my new area:
1. There is a washing machine.
I have been hand washing my clothes for almost 8 months. Can anyone imagine the joy that penetrated my heart when I put some clothes in to a machine and pushed a button and walked away?
So far that is it. Wait one more.
2. The B’s. A hilarious family who I knew before and I loved.
I promise I will add to this list next week.
The good news is that when we face things that we cannot overcome on our own, we get smart and we learn a little humility. We pray a little harder. We learn a little faster. I am grateful for a Father in Heaven who knows all and who is so acutely aware of my weaknesses and strengths and knows where to put me and when. I trust him. I am also so grateful for a Savior who can relate perfectly to how I feel and who will carry me. It’s been a hard week--but it has also been a tender week. I have felt very profoundly the love of Christ for me, and the depth of his sacrifice. When I thought I really couldn’t do it, I remembered what He endured and I felt so much love and so much peace and so incredibly close to Him. They were sweet moments.
I look forward with so much hope and surety to that day when I will enter His presence again and never have to depart. So this week has reminded me a little of this story that I have read a few times. I can’t say the suffering Ihave endured in leaving San Ignacio compares in ANY measure to that of what the early saints endured, but I do love this man’s unyielding faith and perspective on the trial the handcart saints faced.
Some years ago President David O. McKay (1873–1970) told of the experience of some of those in the Martin handcart company. Many of these early converts had emigrated from Europe and were too poor to buy oxen or horses and a wagon. They were forced by their poverty to pull handcarts containing all of their belongings across the plains by their own brute strength. President McKay related an occurrence which took place some years after the heroic exodus:
“A teacher, conducting a class, said it was unwise ever to attempt, even to permit them [the Martin handcart company] to come across the plains under such conditions.”
Then President McKay quoted an observer who was present in that class: “Some sharp criticism of the Church and its leaders was being indulged in for permitting any company of converts to venture across the plains with no more supplies or protection than a handcart caravan afforded.
“An old man in the corner … sat silent and listened as long as he could stand it, then he arose and said things that no person who heard him will ever forget. His face was white with emotion, yet he spoke calmly, deliberately, but with great earnestness and sincerity.
“In substance [he] said, ‘I ask you to stop this criticism. You are discussing a matter you know nothing about. Cold historic facts mean nothing here, for they give no proper interpretation of the questions involved. Mistake to send the Handcart Company out so late in the season? Yes. But I was in that company and my wife was in it and Sister Nellie Unthank whom you have cited was there, too. We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism? …
“‘I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it.’”
He continues: “‘I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the angels of God were there.
“‘Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company.’” 1
This. work. is. true.
I do not doubt it.
Jesus Christ is the Messiah.
God is our Father.
God is our Father.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lords kingdom here on the earth today.
Never a dull moment. I know this gospel is true. I KNOW.
Mom and Dad I am moving back to San Ignacio after the mission to live there forever.
I Love you all.