Monday, June 23, 2014

The Imperfect Sacrifice and You Already Have

Side Note: 77 more days until she will be home!!!

June 23, 2014

After nine whole months, I couldn´t believe how hard it was to pack my bags and prepare to board a plane once again. Getting changed off the island was SO unexpected! I also couldn´t believe how broken-hearted  the members were. The thing about Peruvians is they just LOVE to give. Every time I went to a house to say goodbye, a member went back behind their house to find something to give me. Earrings, half used perfumes, Christmas stockings, sunscreen, and just whatever they had. My heart melted. I love these people.  Saying goodbye to my converts was even harder, but I have so much faith that I will see them again.

I was also surprised at how hard it was to say goodbye to my Zone, especially my Zone Leaders.  After everything I went through with them and how we suddenly changed from something of rivals to the best of friends, I was scared to go to a new zone. I was scared to have to open up to new Zone Leaders and explain all of my problems. When I said goodbye to them, we were in a restaurant and I broke down probably harder than ever. I was crying so much that a waiter asked me if a loved one had died. So funny.

I took a lot of courage, though, from the blessing they gave me before I left. They said that when I was out of energy, the Atonement would be my motor to keep me going. What I most loved were the last words “When your health fails you and you feel that you can’t do it anymore, take courage and know that you can, BECAUSE YOU ALREADY HAVE.” I have had to repeat those words to myself every single day as opening an area and training yet again have been hard, but things are great.

On the plane to Pucallpa, I knew that I could be happy and not look back if I could just be sure that the Lord was pleased with my work there. So, I decided to ask him, just as I did in the plane leaving Tarapoto.  This time, with a lot more experience in the mission, I realized that maybe the Lord could never be 100 percent pleased because my work would never be 100 percent perfect, but I knew that I had sacrificed and given the best I could.

My humble question was simply this: “Lord, will you please accept my imperfect sacrifice of the nine months I worked in Iquitos?  I know it is not perfect, but it was the best I could do, it really was.”  I felt at peace and I know that the Lord accepted my Imperfect Sacrifice, my Imperfect Number of Baptisms, and the changes I made in my oh, so imperfect self.

So, I am training “daughter” number seven. Guess what? Another Mexican!  Hermana Vega was raised in Mexico, but has been living in California for the last few years.  Things are going great. I thought my health was 100 percent, but, guess what? I fell. Yet again. At least this time it wasn’t in a sewer!!  The Mission Doctor said that walking during a Panic Attack probably isn’t a good idea…point proven once again.

 It’s always hard to have a companion because I always put off the whole admitting that I am crazy part. (Oops!!! I take it back. The last thing that my old Zone Leaders made me promise is that I would stop referring to my sickness as “craziness”). Even harder will be when I have to admit it to my new leaders! Oh well, for now everyone just thinks I fall a lot, some day I will grow up and explain why.

This week, the mission doctor that calls me every week explained that the depression that I am feeling is a normal part of anxiety. So, hypoglycemia leads to anxiety, and anxiety leads to depression. Gee, Phillips Family, thanks a lot! But really, things are getting better. All things aside, it has been a great week!

I am starting to like my new Zone a lot. Remember Elder Turley? He was with me in my Branch when I started out, then in the same stake in Iquitos, and now we came here together to Pucallpa until we go home in September.  He and his companion eat dinner with us every night, so that has been a lot of fun!

My companion is great, she thinks that I am a “warrior.” I kind of feel like one sometimes! A brace on one knee, a recent gash on the other, and a thousand things hidden inside, but somehow I am still one of the happiest people on the planet. Training again, opening an area again, and teaching this Gospel, which is the very “Motor” that keeps me going. I love teaching. I love it so much. This is the best mission in the whole world!!!!

Have a great week! Love you all!

Hermana Simonson

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