What a wild ride. I want to start by sharing an experience we had this past week.
We've been trying to hit it really hard with less-active members these last few days, and as I was digging through our area book, I stumbled across the name of an inactive returned missionary. We went out to his house and he let us in. We discovered that this guy, Starlin, is married to a nonmember named Rosa. Rosa had talked with dozens of companionships of missionaries throughout the years, and had been on the point of being baptized several times, but something always held her back. Starlin and Rosa have also been trying to have kids since they got married, without success.
Well, we taught her once, and it was an alright lesson. Starlin came to church that Sunday, and although Rosa didn't, he told us excitedly that they'd been to the doctor between our last visit, and Rosa had discovered that she's pregnant. They were both elated. They'd been trying for years and nothing had stuck. Finally there was hope.
But when we got to their house on Wednesday, we heard sobering news. Rosa was bedridden. I don't know what the actual phrase is in English. She was suffering from an "amenaza de aborto" which translated means "threat of miscarriage." Don't know if that's the actual term or not. Either way, it was looking like Rosa was probably going to miscarry thier baby, and they were both really torn up about it.
We talked to her about faith. We talked about how God can work miracles. And then I felt the spirit prompting me to ask her a question. Kind of an unusual question. I asked her if she had the faith to lose her baby. If she trusted in God enough to let him put them through that trial. She thought about it for a good long minute. And she said yes. So we laid our hands on her head and gave her a priesthood blessing. It was one of the most powerful moments of my mission. She told us that she'd see the doctor on the 19 and they'd get a final verdict.
And then. The next time we passed by, she was sitting on the couch, and she had a big smile on her face. The doctors were baffled. She hadn't had to wait until the 19th. Overnight, the situation had corrected itself. The threat was gone. It was a miracle. And not a small one either.
And this is just one of the many experiences I've been so privileged to be a part of in these two years. For those who aren't counting, this is my penultimate email. I go home next week.
It feels unreal. I can't believe it's happening. I don't want to.
But I mean, that's life, isn't it? When you're a bright-eyed kindergartner, you think you'll never get out of the public education system. But you do. As a college freshman, that degree seems impossibly far away. But you get it. Being married seems like a distant future. But it happens. Being a father? You will be. And when you start a mission, it also feels like a world that you'll be in forever. But you won't. The end comes. The end always comes, all throughout life. Even to the end. I can't even imagine being on the point of death. But as the scripture says in Alma, "It was appointed to man to die." Everything. Graduation, family, career, and even death, will get here eventually.
And so, if there's any piece of advice that I in my whopping 21 years of life experience could give to anyone, it would be that wherever you are, enjoy it. If you're starting your freshman year of high school, enjoy it. Suffering through finals in college? Enjoy it. Greenie in your second transfer in the field and the end seems impossibly far away? Enjoy that. Focus on the now. Live in the now. Because the future will arrive. But you'll never get this moment back.
Love you all,