Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Last Week in the Mission

Note:  As you know,  Amy returned  from her mission on October 7.  The following questions were sent to her during her last week in Argentina, but she didn't have time to answer them there.

1.  How has your last week in the mission been?

It was certainly strange. I didn't feel like it was the end, but I kept trying to work and people kept throwing me going away parties (which I really appreciated, by the way). It was a week full of determination to not be trunky (that's what they call it when you think about home a lot) ha ha, and also to not cry every time I had to say goodbye to someone.

2.  Have you shed any tears this week?

Oh yeah, I had a lot of crying moments. The worst had to have been when general conference was over and we started walking home and I just started bawling. I felt the lump in my throat grow and everything. It was a long walk home. I also cried when I was given the opportunity to share my testimony in my last district meeting. I didn't talk for a very long time, but I cried more than the other Elder in the zone that was going home. My companion told me not to be embarrassed because apparently I'm a pretty crier...

3.  Do you have any regrets as you leave the mission?

Not really. I do regret not speaking as much Spanish as I possibly could, especially now that I'm at home and I'm really, really missing speaking Spanish -ha ha. That's all though, everything else has either already been taken care of by the Atonement and\or I learned so much from it that I'd never trade it.

4.  What is one of your most cherished memories of your mission?

I think all of my mission was a cherished memory. I cherished every transfer. Some of my best memories:

1) Me and my MTC companions struggling to learn Spanish
2) Me and my trainer jumping over rain puddles and trekking through mud while we tried to invite people to be baptized my first two transfers
3) Nestor and Julieta's baptism and when me and Hermana De Leon decided to consecrate ourselves down to the food that we ate
4) Laughing every day with Hermana Peterson and just being in Pigue
5) The diligent work with Hermana O'Hara and the secret PBJ sandwiches that we would make and eat together
6) All of the weird people I met with Hermana Greene, meeting our goals, and finding so many wonderful people who ended up getting baptized later
7) Going to Mar del Plata and every day spent with Hermana Antuña (mi hija!!)
8) Training Hermana Baldwin and witnessing the sheer power of a missionary fresh out of the MTC
9) La Falda and dancing around with Hermana Child and working with the brand new Mission President
10) Getting to know President and his wife with Hermana Snyder and learning from her how to teach exactly from Preach My Gospel
11) Ending the mission with my newest sister, Hermana Bevans. I can't say I have one huge memory that stands out above the others. Every transfer was like its own world and lifetime that I loved so much.

5.  What is the most important thing you have learned on your mission?

You ask the hardest most general questions ever - ha ha. The first big lesson that I learned was that it wasn't about me. This was God's work, He runs it, and it doesn't matter what I want or anything. It all matters what He wants.

Then my second lesson was that having a title really isn't important, and that we need to be our own leaders and do our best to be the best in our own situations.

I learned that spiritually we need to be mature and be prepared because you never know just how much everyone is relying on you. I learned patience. I learned to wait things out and follow the spirit however slowly it looks like things are moving. I learned that success has nothing to do with numbers or the opinions of others, it has to do with being able to be an instrument in God's hands.

6.  Any advice for future missionaries who may be preparing?

Just give it your all.  The Lord knows what He's doing and He did call you there because you are needed there. One of my companions told me once, ''Sometimes we get put into a hard area and we say, 'Oh, there has to be someone here for me', or, 'I must have some kind of special purpose here', but really maybe you just got put there because the Lord knows that you can handle it. Be happy when things are hard and you're there because it means you can handle it, and its better that its you and not someone who couldn't take it.'' Maybe that's not a direct quote but that gets my point across.

7.  What has been your favorite thing about being a missionary?

Everything. Ha ha - just kidding, not knocking doors. I really, really enjoyed getting to know other saints my age who are serious about the Gospel like me and who are all just trying their hardest to serve the Lord. I loved how comfortable I felt with other missionaries, and I loved how comfortable I felt throughout my entire mission.

8.  What was something that you learned at General Conference?

That ''It'll all work out.'' That was an EXCELLENT talk. I learned that we need to be progressing. If we don't study the scriptures or pray or go to church or keep the commandments then we aren't progressing.  And if we aren't progressing when the storms of life come and hit us hard then we will be much more weak than we could have been.

9.  What sort of food did you eat this week?

Asado, empanadas, a spice cake, and raviolis!

10.  What was the funniest thing that happened this week?

Well, the transfer call was pretty funny to me. Because of conference, they called us in the morning on Saturday instead of at night. So they called and asked, ''Who wants to know first??'' The hermanas in my house said my name - ha ha - so after everyone joked around with me about how my new transfer is my house, they announced that they were closing my area in La Falda and that Hermana Bevans would be going to Viedma. Then Hermana Santos got transferred away to Necochea and Hermana Diaz stayed in La Falda to train a fresh new missionary!! The first group that I won't ever get to see. Sigh....

Super P-day was funny, too. Presidente kicked my butt at a one-on-one soccer match, and then we had stick pulling (because we're Mormons - ha ha)  and tug of war (and guess whose team won every match? MINE!! ha ha) and then just a huge lunch! It was very, very fun!  Plus we got t-shirts. Things are always better when there are t-shirts involved.

11.  Would you like to do at least one more blog post when you return and are able to think and reflect more upon your experiences?

Yeah! Stayed tuned for the last post! I guess if anyone has any questions they can comment and I can try to answer them.