Monday, April 6, 2015

Last Letter from Lima

Okay, everybody! Here it goes. My last letter home from my mission here in the good ole' Lima, Perú. I will first tell you about my week, and then I will express some feelings I'm having right now. Okie dokie.

This week was crazy! First of all, because of General Conference, instead of going to visit old sectors on Sunday and Monday, they gave us any day in this week, and Monday. On Wednesday, I went to Magdalena. It was great! I only got to see a few families. I visited la familia De Loayza, who I lived with, la familia Chonsen, la familia Bazan, y la familia Ampudia. Haha some of them gave me some things to take home, and they all said some really nice things. I'll have to tell you when I come home. It was great to visit. Today's a little crazy. I'm here in Carmen de La Legua as I write you. I stopped by to visit Diego and Margarita, which was nice. I'd like to visit one or two other people here, but I don't know if I'll be able to today because after this, I'm going to the mission offices in San Isidro for my final interview with Presidente Borg at 12:45. Then after that I think we'll have lunch with the other Hermanas in Escardo, and then I have to visit a few people in Maranga today, and during the day, I need to find time to go find Hermana Mackey and say goodbye, AND we need to meet up with the Bishop to get him to sign the baptismal record of our investigator (well, now she's a recent convert), M! That's right she got baptized on Friday! We talked to Presidente Borg and it's a long story and kind of a special case, but he said she could get baptized, we just had to coordinate it with the family. Do you remember her? I think I talked about her last week. She knows a few words in Español, but she speaks Quechua. So, pretty cool to have a baptism in your last week in the mission, right? That's what I thought. But man, I've never seen a baptism like this one. I can explain it better in person, but oh. my. gosh. Crazy mission experience time!

So we plan to have the baptism in the stake center because the stake center has the option to have warm water, because she's an older, frail woman. So we get there, heat the water in the font, and wait for them to show up. We also write up the program because it was all short notice and our ward mission leader wasn't going to show up either. Then the family shows up, which is only M, her daughter, and her son-in-law. We had other missionaries there, the first counselor of the bishopric and his wife, and an investigator of the Elders. So the son-in-law wanted to baptize his mother-in-law, but we kept talking to him about if he could because he also had a stroke and now like half of his body is half-dead. But he kept insisting and kept insisting. So our district leader, Elder McPhie told him, "Okay, but I'm going in the font with you." We also kept telling him we needed to practice before they went into the font. But he kept saying, "No, it's fine. I can do it." Elder McPhie told him we needed to practice, but he just walked fast and right into the font and said, "No, it's better here." So they get in the font. All three of them. The son-in-law raises his arm to the square and says the words for the ordinance. Then he starts lowering her into the water really...super...slow. We told him, "You have to go faster than that." But he doesn't. Also, I don't know if he could because of his bad arm. So he puts her all the way under, but really super slow. She goes all the way under, which is good because she didn't have to do it again. Also a good thing because she didn't have a good hold on her nose and she starts freaking out underwater, like she's drowing. She comes up, gasps, and starts coughing. During all this, the son-in-law slips and sinks. And remember, he has a bad leg. So he tries getting up, but he can't, until his wife finally tells him to grab the bar that was by his side. Meanwhile, his wife was by us off to the side and she almost ran into the font to help! It's a good thing we held her back, or else she would've gone in. Poor Elder McPhie, who was in there with two people basically drowning in the font. He tried his best to help. Haha then we hear from the the other side of the font, "Close the doors, close the doors." The doors are closed and they get changed into dry clothes. Then the son-in-law was also going to confirm her. But we made sure he ran through what he had to say first. That' part was fine. The confirmation went well. But a su maquina! My companion and I, everytime we think about that baptism, we bust out laughing and we can't stop. It was crazy. I also had to jump off a moving bus this week. Haha everything's happened to me in my mission.

General Conference was so good! I loved it. There were a lot of good messages that helped me. It was sad to have it be my last Conference in the mission though. And it was sad saying goodbye to the zone afterwards.

I cannot believe I am going home in 2 days. I will miss the mission a ton and I feel like my heart is breaking as I write this. But I am grateful for the opportunity I had to serve as a missionary and representative for the Lord, Jesus Christ. He is my salvation, my strength, and my song. Now, as I start the next part of my life, I have to keep doing everything I've learned here. I know it will not be easy at all. Like we heard in General Conference, it requires a lot of effort. And I cannot go back to the person I used to be. I feel like at times it will be really hard, and that scares me. But I know God has a plan for me and He knows what kind of person I need to become. Now, I just have to do everything I can, even if it's hard or uncomfortable for me, to endure to the end. I know this Church is true. It is Jesus Christ's church. The mission has strengthened my testimony over and over again. I am really grateful for that and I will always remember the mission and the change it has left in me.
2 Nephi 22:2

I am out of time now, but as always, I love you all, and I am so grateful for all your love, prayers, and support. You all have no idea how they've helped me here in my mission. For the first time in my life, I've been able to know what it literally feels like to feel the prayers of others. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And nos vemos el miércoles!

Hermana Chrisanne Hymas