Saturday, September 12, 2015

Now that I'm home. Wrapping it up.

It was a long trip home and a really short weekend. I spent my last few days in Bolivia visiting old areas. We also had a wonderful opportunity in a life time that maybe is common to happen in Hawaii because almost everyone goes to Hawaii. Haha. But our loving Apostle, Elder David A. Bednar and 3 other general authorities came to do a special conference for all the missionaries in the Bolivia Cochabamba mission. I spent my last saturday morning sitting in the front row listening to Elder Bednar speak english. It was an emotional day for me. The entire mission of approximately 215 missionaries were all there in the same place at the same time...which almost never happens. We all came and sat and listened. It was beautiful. He talked a lot of the things that I honestly did need to hear.

To briefly share of the things he spoke about. He spoke about faith, testimony, and conversion. It was a different kind of conference. Instead of listening to him talk the whole time, he allowed us to interact, to speak, to ask questions. He told us not to write what he says, but rather to write what isn't said...but what is heard, felt, and if not...what is said by the spirit. BEAUTIFUL. He helped me to be more of an agent than an object. To act with faith....

When he left the room, unable to shake our hands because there were too many of us, I just bawled. I looked around and paid attention to what I was much love. I saw every one of my companions there at the same time, at the same place and thought.."This is it..I am going to be home...and I do not know when I will see these wonderful sisters again.." My companions had all shaped me and helped me to become who I am today....and I love them...I departed from my companion Hermana Vilchez that day and left her with her new companion. I went off to visit Chilimarca.

Seeing Chilimarca brought so many memories to my mind. It was my first area where it all began. I was able to see the Callata Family, the Mollericona Family, and a few members more. The Teran family...I stood at their doorstep remembering my very first night there..with 2 days in Bolivia and 1 day in the mission field. Standing there with Hermana Donoso, my trainer with my luggages. Then pulling them up 3 flights of stairs..entering a birthday party. I remember the picture we took..and boy did I look fat in that picture. Haha.

I left Chilimarca that night. Knowing that I would probably not go back until who knows...

My last sunday, I was in Villa Luz. Unfortunately I was unable to see the Martinez Family...which was really sad, but I snuck into their home and left a photo on their dining table. Hehe...I always was welcomed in their home even when they weren't home anyways. I was able to see my pensionista, Rosmery and her daughters. I saw the Balderrama Family....I felt the bittersweetness of it all. After a night of visiting and catching up with a few of the folks in Villa Luz, I went back to Cala Cala to reunite with Hermana Wingate, my companion until I got home. We honestly stayed up all night because it couldn't get wrapped around our minds that we were going home. We talked all night about all of the things we learned and went through. I love Hermana Wingate...we both have grown these 18 months.

Next morning we got up and got ready for our last day. We had breakfast. Chilled. Did our hair. Went to get a taxi and headed down to the mission home for lunch and our family home evening with our mission president and wife. It was really sweet...and it was full of tears...and happy faces. After that, we got sent off in the taxi with our luggages and we were off to the airport.

I went from Cochabamba to Santa Cruz, from Santa Cruz to Panama, from Panama to Los Angeles, and Los Angeles to Hawaii.  Lots of traveling. But honestly all I just wanted was to be home. I was TIRED. Haha.

I got home. I am home. I am happy. I miss the mission...but I am happy. I have been thinking a lot of the things I learned on the mission. I ask myself, "Have I changed?" I talk to a few people that I knew before going on a mission...and the answer is yes....I feel so different...but different in a way of being so much more happier...stronger..and a disciple of Christ.