Well hello to you all again! The last week has been pretty eventful.
On Monday I was able to attend a special meeting for leaders in the mission with our Area President. It was a meeting where leaders from the Concepcion mission were present and also from the Concepcion South mission (my mission)
Elder Mervyn B. Arnold of the first quorum of the seventy came and he instructed us. He presides the South America Southern area. (all of Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Uraguay) It was an amazing meeting. I was a little bit nervous for the meeting because my mission president asked me to conduct the meeting.
I really enjoyed it because almost everything he talked about had to do with after the mission as well.
He truly is a man called of God to preside this area. He came over to me and put his arm around me for a while as he was talking to everyone in the room. It was a neat experience to feel of his power and authority.
After this special meeting, I reluctantly finalized the packing of my suitcases...it felt unreal that I was actually going to leave Chile the next morning. It didnt register to me. I had a really good interview with my mission president and at the end of the interview when President Martinez was saying the closing prayer all of the emotions got to me and I lost it! It was crazy. It hadnt hit me like that before.
We ate dinner at the mission home and we all told our most funny moments of the mission which was good. Then we shared our testimonies and President and Sister Martinez talked to us for a few minutes...some last words. Then it was off to the hotel! The beds were awesome.
In the morning they came and picked us up and we headed to the airport where we said our final goodbyes and boarded the airplane. It was hard to say goodbye to President and Elder Strait and some others....they are people who I have got to know very well. The only way that I was ok with it is knowing that I WILL see them in the future pretty soon.
The plane was good. We made it to Santiago and we spent the day there....the temple was CLOSED though which was horrible news! All of my mission I was excited to go to the Santiago temple but we could only see it from the outside. It was alright though. We met some cool people. The temple carpetting crew was there...they travel all over the world doing carpet in every temple. We also met the Chile MTC president, President Allred. He's a great man. We also went to get some Chilean souveneers for our families. ( I was with Elder Laird and Elder Searle, who were both coming home with me. Elder Laird was actually one of my companions)
Well....finally, in the evening we went back to the airport and started our long flight from Chile to Peru to the USA. It was good. I met some nice people on the way. I met a man named “Cactus Jack” that is apparently a really well-known lds singer. He was in the airport in LA with me for a couple hours and he told me about his life and stuff. It was interesting. When we got to Salt Lake City, my parents were waiting for me, and Cactus Jack came down the hallway and looked at my parents and family and said to them “thank you, thank you so much for coming” (he thought they were his fans) ha ha.
Then I came out and saw everyone and it was cool! It was a good moment! The girls were all crying...of course!
Now I have been home for a few days and it has been a cool experience. It is a little bit weird to not have a name tag on my shirt. In the interview with my parents and with my stake president, we talked about some really cool things but it was a little lame when he asked me to take my name tag off!
I was able to go to the lake and waterski and tube on my second day home! That was fun.
It's been cool to read the scriptures with a different focus now. My family can attest that I am lost during the day if I dont have stuff written down in my agenda. I went to the store to buy a few things and I had my missionary daily agenda with me and everyone looked at me weird! Ha ha.
I am excited to start schooling and I know that this time I've had as a missionary will bless me during these years to come. It will be hard to not do the same things that I have been doing for the last two years though!
Tender Mercy- Modern technology. It is a HUUUGGGEEE blessing to be able to communicate with all of the amazing converts, members, and other people from Chile.