Monday, August 11, 2014

Last Week in Uruguaiana...

Hey everyone!
So, the dreaded last transfer has started. Hmmm. I think I could describe this week perfectly in one word: Tears. There were a lot of them shed. After serving in Uruguaiana for the past six months, I received my last transfer instructions. I will be released as a Sister Training Leader and I will head to Santa Maria, ala Parque Pinheiro, where I will be training again! To be honest, I was praying that I would finish up my mission training, and my prayers were definitely answered! It is going to be so great, despite the fact that my heart is broken as I leave this place.
I don't have much time to write, since my bus leaves in just a few hours, but I wanted to share something that touched my heart this week as I was saying goodbye to those that I love so dearly. You may recall the family of Viviane and Jorge that was baptized a few months ago. I have never loved anyone on my mission like I have loved that family. Because of them, I know the meaning of true love. I had the privilege of meeting them, teaching them, baptizing them, and making sure that they stayed strong in the church. It has been the most incredible journey to watch that family grow.

We had a Noite Familiar this week with them and many other members and investigators and asked them to think of one place that they wanted to go before they died. They could only choose one place in the world. It was all part of a lesson of how we can show our love more. Many people said places like the US, Hawaii, Bahia, France, really cool places. When Jorge was asked where he would go before he died, do you know what he said? "I thought about all the great places in the world that I could go to and where I would want to take my family. But when I thought about the only place that I wanted to go with them, I thought about the one place that will help us be an eternal family. I needed to go with them to the temple. So that was what I chose. I would go to the temple in Porto Alegre." The entire room was in tears. How often do we forget what truly matters? The lesson wasn't even about the temple or anything like that. Yet, that was his focus. Jorge was thinking about the temple and where he wanted to go.

As I said goodbye to that family yesterday, there were so many tears shed. I cried and cried and cried with that entire family. As both Viviane and Jorge said to me, "You changed our lives. We now have the gospel in our lives. We now have purpose and direction in our lives. You have worked so hard with us and we now have this same happiness that you have. We will never forget you. We love you more than you know. We will stay strong and we will be at the temple this time next year."
There is nothing that can express the joy that I feel to have seen families brought into the gospel. This gospel isn't just about individuals. It's about families. It's about bringing them together. It's about taking something broken and making it perfect again. I have seen this happen in these six months that I have spent here in Uruguaiana. It hasn't been any easy road, but I can say with all of my heart that Uruguaiana has become my home. I love it here. I love the people. I love this city. I know that Heavenly Father sent me here for many reasons. These families that I have helped have become my family. I love them more than I could ever express.
I can't wait to get to work in Santa Maria. Uma terra santa (; It is going to be such an incredible experience. I will work my hardest to ensure that "minha filha" will be the greatest missionary this mission has ever known. I still have a very long time to do the work of the Lord. I won't quit. I won't rest. I will work and work and work until my very last minute as a missionary. You can be sure of that. I will do exactly as the Lord would have me do. I still wear His name next to mine and I will make sure that He will be proud of that.

I love you all so much. Thank you for everything. Have an incredible week.

Sister Card

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