This past week has been quite an emotional roller coaster. I spent all day Monday in a self-reliance training that’s given by the Church at the end of our missions. The training was given by Pierre Delveaux who is one of the Bishop’s counselors in Baeta-Neves (where I was serving before). We do this training together with the Interlagos mission, so I got to see the Elders from my MTC district! It was cool to see all of them after two years. They look almost the same, but I know they’d all had lots of life changing experiences just like I did. Overall, the training was great! I learned some things that I think will really help me with the transition back to non-missionary life.
After the training, we went to President Broadbent’s apartment to have dinner with him and Sister Broadbent. After the dinner, he asked all of us to share an experience that we’d had on our missions and to splice it with other things we learned and tie it into our testimony. I enjoyed hearing the experiences of the other missionaries and learning a bit more about them and what they learned. By the time my turn came around, I was waist deep in a pool of tears. The Spirit was really strong during the whole gathering.
The next day we spent at a mission conference where the new missionaries arrived and all the departing missionaries bore their testimonies. I recorded mine and will translate it into English at some point! President and Sister Broadbent spoke to us as well. After the first part was over, some of the departing missionaries had to leave for the airport. It was so strange to see them go especially knowing that so few days were left before my own departure.
I participated in all these events because I’ll be leaving in the middle of the transfer with Elder Watson. It felt so odd to return to my area to work afterwards. But by the time I woke up the next day, I felt fine again! The new ward that I’m in now for these last couple of weeks seems pretty awesome! The members are nice and we’ve got a nice group of people to teach.
Elder York Westenhaver and Elder Wilson (W.) Souza are my companions for the next few days. I’ll have one more American companion to sit alongside all the Brazilian ones! They’re both great guys and we’re getting along great!
On Saturday, the ward had a Festa Junina activity which is somewhat equivalent to an American Fall Festival. The food, which was comprised of “traditional” Brazilian plates, was wonderful! I’m glad I didn’t miss it!
We got 6 people to church yesterday! Our goal was at least five so I was happy with the results. After lunch, we worked for a bit before going to the mission office for my companion to get interviewed. He’s leaving this next transfer, so President did interviews with him and all the others who will be leaving as well. He and our other companion, Elder W. Souza, will remain in the area once I’ve left.
We’ve been trying to work hard so that my last two weeks go out with a bang. I’m really excited to see what this next week will hold. In just a few days, I’ll be boarding a plane back to the U.S. of A! I’ll write one more letter next week before I board.
Until then, tchau!