¡Hola familia y amigos!
Viva la Vida is a Coldplay song, but it also means "Live Life." I'm not trying to sound like an American Eagle commercial when I say that we really do have the ability to just go out and live our lives, but we really do. Sometimes I feel like we tether ourselves down with unnecessary boundaries.. an ever growing list of "What if's" and "if-onlys" and etc etc etc..but they're mental. Take them off, untie them, and throw them on the ground Andy Sandberg style. And then run and do the thing you've always wanted to do but have never done.
Also, the song Viva la Vida mentions missionaries in a foreign land = me = winning. I really do love being a missionary. If you can't tell from my emails, I'm telling you now. These last 6 months have been some of the hardest, best, most rewarding and wonderful months of my life.
I found this quote in my journal the other day from the wonder F. Scott Fitzgerald that expresses pretty well how I'm feeling:
"For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the stength to start all over again."
Echoed by Ralph Waldo Emerson's, "The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be."
It has been a lovely, lovely week, one in which I feel like I'm finally living my life as the person I've always wanted to be. I've got a long way to go...but I just feel...invigorated. I'm excited for tomorrow, I loved today, and I don't regret my yesterdays. There's always more to do and more I could be doing and seeing and feeling, but I'm not looking back. Bring on the future. (Makes me think of watching "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" with my Dad, haha.)
To be completely honest I had an entire list of things I wanted to write, but then I left the list at home and I'm feeling lazy. So I'm going to share with you all my trial of faith of the week, and we're going to call it a day. And I promise that next Monday will be tuanis (Or tuani. I don't know which it is. Nicas don't pronounces their "s"s so I may never know.)
As you know, Sunday mornings are the worst. This Sunday was no exception, except for the fact that I was determined to bring a family to church. And when I say determined, I mean, I did literally every single thing I could think of to bring families to church. We found 5 new families last week alone, we had 21 lessons with members this past week, we had more than 6 families promise they would go and about five other possibilities, and Saturday, we had a game plan. Pass by for every one of them, with members, and make sure they were still good to go. If they weren't home, leave a note and send a text. We fasted, too, for extra measure. By the end of Saturday night, I was feeling tired but content: we did it all. There was not one single other thing we could have done.
Sunday morning we woke up at 5:30, got ready, and left the house to pass by for everyone to make sure they were getting ready and good to go. One by one, something came up. Two families in the hospital, others that left town, and others that just didn't answer. We waited another hour to hear from the members who would pass by, and their results were equally as disappointing. By the end of it, there was not one single family who was going to go. My thoughts were just kind of....numb. "Really? Again? Is this going to be the pattern of my entire mission?" but, I couldn't cry. Not again. I did my part, and that was that. We walked to church alone.
Sitting in the pews feeling sufficiently useless, we waited for the meeting to start (The Bishop has a tendency of being 15 minutes late. If you think our home ward is bad... it isn't, haha. The Nicaraguans win in the realm of Mormon Standard Time), and suddenly, Hna. Gonzales got out of her chair and ran to the door. I followed, naturally (kind of tethered to her, ball and chain), and couldn't believe it. A family came, one who we hadn't even passed by for or even had the chance to talk to that week, and several other investigators showed up as well. There names are Dina and Ramiro, they're a darling young couple who have been searching for a Church for a long time, and they accepted a baptismal date for the 5th of April last night. We now have two progressing families, and possibilities for more in the future.
I could have sang I was so happy. I have such a huge testimony of fasting. When we do our part...He will deliver. It was a ridiculously long trial of my faith (seriously though, two very depressing Sundays in a row), but it was worth it. It was, in my book, anyway, a miracle.
Even though the Bishop announced over the pulpit last minute that I would be speaking (I never imagined I would have to give a talk last minute in Spanish, but it went great), it was one of my favorite Sundays of my mission. And a testament to me that if we just keep on working, we'll find success. That's been the pattern in my life, anyway.
I feel like I finally get how to be a missionary. I've spent the last 12 weeks with Hna. Gonzales really figuring myself out and who it is exactly that I want to be, but little by little, I'm getting there. I feel like I was born to be a missionary. We have so many families that we're teaching right now (15 last week), I'm almost overwhelmed by success. The field is white and ready to harvest, and we're going to go and do.
I also get the feeling that we won't see any more baptisms this change...they will all be the next change. I have the sinking pre-sentiment that I won't be here to see any of them, but I suppose that doesn't really matter so much. I would so love to be there, to see Susana and Pablo, Dina and Ramiro, Henningston and Cristal, and Nady and Javier be baptized... and more that are to come. If I don't get to see even one, it'll be enough to hear about it in the future. I might not see the fruits of my labors, but I hope, at the very least, to hear about them.
To be honest, I would give anything to be here just one more change and see that happen. I feel like I have more to do..more to give.. but maybe that's how everyone feels when they leave their first area. It's interesting, because I never imagined I would want to stay in the same area for 6 months, and now here I am and it's not long enough. No one told me how much I would really, truly love the people here, but I really do. I will never forget about them.
Anyway, I love you and I'm praying for you, as always. Wish a happy birthday to my brother James! He turns 6 tomorrow. :)
Be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes. (both quotes from the aforementioned movie, if you didn't catch that reference).
Adio a la do,
<3 Hna. Caribbean