Friday, had zone training. A really good meeting that helped me see my weaknesses but also gave me hope to overcome them ended with the package from Mrs. Jacobs and family! Thank you soooo much for your love! Thank you.
Sunday was insane. I was assigned to give a talk 20 mins before Sac meeting. Whipped up my message based on the feelings with me in that moment - the lack of observance/initiative by members to fellowship new non-members visiting as well as less-actives returning. I felt inspired to try and inspire with love instead of anything negative. I opened with an analogy about how coming or returning to Church is like the 1st day of school in Texas (elementary school of 1000) and your mom just throws you on a bus. It's terrifying, but a warm, loving teacher and class makes all the difference. Given my lack of notice, it wasn't that good and left me wishing for something more crisp, but I think they at least felt something with the analogy.
We had our number one there, Miguel, but I very painfully stated how hard it is for 18-25 year old males to make someone new feel part of the gang. Made me really ache, and desire to change when I'm a civilian. Guys, please, BE A FRIEND.
Anyways, my anguish led me to the Scriptures in the afternoon. I prayed: "Heavenly Father, what can I do to help them want to warmly welcome those that are new?" I just opened my LdM (Book of Mormon) randomly, and wow, guess where I open - Mosiah 18
This is exactly what we members of the Church of Jesus Christ have covenanted to do. That's great, and will make all the difference if we live our covenants, but I left perplexed on my role as a facilitator, a missionary. Verse 7:
Repentance, redemption (Atonement), and faith. The gospel is simple, but it changes human nature. I will preach these things.
Don't have time to describe the first World Cup game - Dad was pretty much right. Nuts. We were still able to grab a taxi, but I'm sure as they advance it'll be harder. It sufficeth me to say that he really saddened me to arrive at a lesson at 9pm to see some investigators with all their vices on the table just being animal. Really hard for me to see that. I've changed a lot in terms of the environments I can withstand in 10 months.
Ok, so here's the real locura. Transfers were last night. We arrive to see that I have been transferred after only 1 cambio in Oran. Wow. Talk about a side-swipe.
Rosano and I were dumbfounded. He, perhaps more devastated than I. Man, I don't have the time nor the words to describe my feelings. I cried for leaving the apt, the people, but most of all, Elder Rosano. He's become one of my best friends, in just 6 weeks. We've been thru a lot together, and I just feel like our time got robbed.
However, he said some really important things - 1) This must mean there's someone here in Alberdi Jujuy that really needs me. I never rebelled, even mentally, with this revelation from Pte. I KNOW the Lord directs this work, and I trust this is the best. It kills me to leave, with everything it implies. As Rosano played the same sad mourning song over and over, I packed my bags. Didn't sleep until the bus, around 3:30 am. I can't describe the love I feel for those I'm leaving, but it's a divine gift that I'm forever grateful for.
At the terminal, Rosano pulled me aside. He said something really important - "Elder, success has nothing to do with anything besides how much you grow to love the people you serve." If it's true, and I believe it is, Í´m filled with hope that I'm a successful missionary.
Time for a new chapter. Living 1 Nephi 16 here. Not comfortable, but will be worth it. Here I am with Elder Molina from Pereira, Colombia. He's in his last transfer. They baptized 4 on Saturday and there are more to come.
Brig - don't be nervous. I just cried on the plane, nothing of nerves. If there's anything I've learned about sudden changes and the unknown, it's that speculation does nothing. I loved Elder Molina the second I heard his name. It has to be that way - regardless, think it will be great, and thus it will be great.
Dad - you know I'm praying for you. You all know I'm praying for ALL of you.
I love you more than you know. I am changed everyday I serve, and wouldn't trade a day for anything else.