Monday, September 10, 2012

the work goes on

Well the work goes on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on.
I feel weird because I am starting to find families that I won’t be able to see their baptisms.  I love the fact that I only have 4 weeks left after this week. I find it super remarkable that I have gotten this far and I still feel like I am only just leaving the MTC. I was thinking about what it is going to be like to step down off the plane and enter in that glass box that we have there in the Great falls airport. I was thinking how silly it would be if I just stood there in the other side of the glass for two or three minutes, gawking at you guys, so that you guys are held in suspense. I even thought about waiting until every other person on the plane gets off, so that I am the last person to disembark. I don’t know… I think that my heart will be pounding so hard that I probably will forget about doing a prank, and be more concerned about not having a heart attack.  

The work has been going well.  I think that I am going to have baptisms this last month of my mission. My new companion is very obedient and likes to work hard so we are getting along well. He is from Guatemala, so that makes him the fifth Guatemalan that I have been with in my mission. He is a convert to the church and was for the longest time the only member in his family. Later in his life when he was just about to go on a mission his mom and his sister were baptized in the church. His dad for a really long time was a pastor of another church but after getting a little bit older stopped teaching. From what my companion tells me he now is going to our church, but doesn’t want to get baptized just yet. Elder Vasquez wants to go back and baptize him when he gets home.  He is a fresh change from my last companion. I know that I didn’t get along with my last companion very well, but we did have a lot of success. I just am not the type of person to give up at the last minute. I feel like I signed up for two years so I should work for two years.

I did have a spiritual experience this week. We were teaching a new family, that we had just found, about the importance of going to church and the gospel in general. As we began to talk more and more the father of the family became excited. At the end of the lesson he explained to us that he had been going to the church in the jungle with his family, and that his sister-in-law is a member of the church there and the he wants to know more about the gospel. We then started to talk about the great blessing that the Lord has prepared for his family and that the way they could be more blessed is by getting baptized.  He accepted to get baptized right there on the spot. However he is going to have to go back to the jungle for 2 weeks and then he is going to return and he wants us to come back and teach him when his family is in Lima again. We were super happy for him and the choice that he is making, but I won’t be there to see the baptism.

This was the first time that it has really hit me that I am going to be coming home in a very short period of time. I know that I am always saying silly things in the letters that I write.  I was always joking about coming home, I never really thought that the day would come. Yet as we were talking to this man about the possibly of getting baptized with this family in October I couldn’t help but think that I will not even be in the same country. The lessons that I have learned here on my mission have been many but God never stops teaching me new ones. I have come to realize that for all of the complications, and difficulties that I have had on my mission, I have come to love Peru so much. Many times in my mind I have thought about what Dad said to me right before I left for the mission.  He said, ¨we will be crying when you leave and you will be crying when you return¨. He was right. I am starting to feel the weight of coming home from the mission more and more on my shoulders. There will be a lot to discuss when we get home but right now is not the time.  I need to stick it out till the end. I imagine that god wants me to learn what it must feel like when he loses his children. Maybe when they stop talking to him through prayer or when the time has just run out. I can imagine that God, right before the second coming, will feel the same that I am starting to feel now. That feeling of ¨well I did everything that I could¨ but now the time has come to go on with the rest of the plan.

There is only so much that I can do to make the world a better place. The rest they have to choose to change themselves. But no one said I can’t stop trying!

Elder Harris

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