Well as I mentioned on Monday, my last preparation day in Guatemala was spent visiting Ram Tzul, a beautiful waterfall! It was pretty fun and afterwards we stopped by Tactic briefly to eat lunch and write a wee bit before returning to Teleman. While in Tactic I was able to see my old companion Elder Ballesteros! It was good seeing him one last time!
Tuesday we had a leadership meeting with President Curtiss. All the District and Zone Leaders in Polochic and Tukurú got together with the Asistants and President to talk about how to lead our zones/districts to be more successful. We have one of those about once a year. I learned a lot and wish I could be here next change to apply all that I learned!
Yesterday we FINALLY got home after many hours of bus riding only to get a call from the office secretaries telling me and Elder Recinos we have to type up and send in our spiritual experiences, goals for the future, character overview and what we're looking for in a future spouse.. So after showering I did divisions with Elder Recinos and wrote my goals and such for over 4hrs while my companion Elder Sierra and Elder Hawks went with the ZL's to do the baptismal interview for Edwin!!!
That night we had Edwin's baptism! I'm so happy or him! My comp says he doesn't feel like it's a real conversion cause Edwin was already ready when we got to him.. He says there was no change and he doesn't think it counts as a baptism.. I hope he's joking because I honestly am very proud to be a part of his conversion even if he WAS already keeping all the commandments beforehand. That makes this my very last baptism. I feel oddly like Elder Rodgers from the best two years.
Well I can happily say with all my heart that I'm not trunky to be going home. It has hit me that soon I'll have to leave this wonderful paradise and I'm not feeling too ready to leave! It's hard when you know you have such a short time among such great people.
It's finally hit me that these goodbyes I'm going to give aren't "goodbye, maybe I'll see you again in the next two years" but now they're "goodbye. God willing, someday, we meet again." I realize I may NEVER see some of these people again! I may NEVER have the chance to laugh with them, sing with them.. And for many who I hold so very dear to me I doubt I will ever have the chance to embrace them in a loving hug.
I realize that this country, this life style, this culture that I have learned to love so very much is now falling into the past and I must now bid them adieu. Even in a passing visit it won't be the same as these two years of paradise, as a tourist you don't really get the real feel of a country.
These two years here in Guatemala have literally been a small piece of heaven for me. No worries of what to eat, what to wear, how I was going to pay for food, clothes, rent. I never worried for protection. I've passed through bus accidents, getting hit by a cattle truck, parasites, rat infestations and never once feared for my life. I ALWAYS knew God was protecting me.
I may never see that kid who always invited us to play cars with him in the dirt in front of his house, or that crazy drunk guy who still insists we unite Mormon, Moroni, Joseph and the local evangelist church leaders together to make a peace treaty and stop attacking each other, or the awesome investigator with a mullet who invented his own equipment for his carpenter's shop, or that guy who asked me to give him my tie and then when I turned around tried to convince me that "tie" meant "pamphlet" and that I didn't understand spanish, or the bus driver who stood up for us when an angry drunk guy wanted to attack us for no reason, or that guy who threw a rock at me when I didn't give him a quetzal. I may never see any of them again.. But they WILL always have a place in my heart and in my memories of this amazing place.
I can't believe it's over. I guess technically I still have a week left but in 3 days I leave for Cobán and from there my missionary work will be restrained to pure bus and street contacting.. Hey maybe even Airplane contacting? Make the most of those last hours as a missionary! I've gotta do my best because after that it's on to my next chapter in life.. College. *shudders*
I feel like I've lost hold of time.. Of my adventure as an Elder in Guatemala.. BUT as a man with a beard once said "as one good thing ends, another begins".. And I can only hope what comes is even better!
As I leave behind one great adventure, I begin but another.