It was indeed so wonderful to skype with you on Christmas, but also so very difficult to say goodbye. I just miss you all so much more than I realize, and seeing you makes me realize. Especially knowing I won`t see Hope for so long made me really sad, but yet I`m so happy she`s going on a mission that it drowns out the sadness on large ratio.
I am also on pins and needles waiting for your call, Hope. But just know this isn`t the last time in your life that you will be anxiously awaiting news. For the past week but especially today I was dying to know if I was going to be transfered from Piribebuy. There have been days this week when I thought it was necessary that some type of change happen, and other days when I thought "If I get changed I`m going to cry."
Well I don`t remember what else I was going to tell you in my email today, because all I can think about now is changes. Elder Vance, the AP who I know because he was recently our zone leader and came for all our baptismal inteviews (back when we had baptisms) called, which made me curious because it should be our district leader who calls. He started out and said, "Hermana, remember when were talking about how hard it is to get people to church and I told you how I had an area when there were no investigators in church for 13 weeks in a row? And then how, much later after I left, the people I had taught during that time began to progress or get baptized? Well, soon after that, that area closed down for a year, and that ward had no missionaries. But the Lord has decided to send missionaries there again, and He is sending you to open it." And, on top of that, I am going to be with a local missionary, a member from Paraguay who just fills in for a change or two when there is an odd number of sisters in the mission and we lack one. She hasn`t been to the MTC or anything. It`s like training again....but so different.
I honestly didn`t think I was going to leave Piribebuy. I don`t feel like my work here is finished. But I guess that means I should have done it all sooner. I thought I would get an easier change after this, maybe be junior comp for a while (hallelujah!) or just stay in Piribebuy. But here I go, opening a new area with no direction from the past missionaries, no one who knows how to get around town, no progressing investigators lined up......just a house and an area book and a new missionary. At first I was just plain nervous, but now I am nervous and excited. It`s a brand new year, new area, new comp, new opportunity to give my all and start over. I kind of can`t believe the Lord has so much confidence in me. I feel like he is taking quite a risk with me. I do feel like I have given my all to my current companionship and truly worked so hard to help Hermana Quito. So, for this reason, I am so thankful God is giving me a chance to redeem myself. It is truly a tender mercy.
Oh but it is SOOOO hard to leave. There are so many people I want to keep visiting, to keep teaching, to see them progress. How can I leave dear Sonya? And Teodora and Edgar, our new progressing investigators who are like my parents and always want to feed us? How can I leave the Velazquez family? How can I leave Jorge and Marian (and their adorable son Kevin) without seeing their wedding and baptism? How can I leave Kuka, Ino`s little boy? I probably won`t see these people ever again and it literally breaks my heart. To them I`m just another missionary who comes and goes, but to me they are much more than just members or investigators.
Today during personal study I wanted to reflect and make new years resolutions. But I couldn`t think of anything concrete, to make a smart goal (one that is specific and has a deadline and is measurable, etc.) But I did think how, in a nutshell my new years resolution is to just sacrifice everything I can possibly give. I want to look back on this time, and be proud of the person I`ve been. I want to know the choices I`ve made won`t make me wish that I could make them again. And I know that if I don`t want regrets, I have to just GIVE all I have, and then some. If there is any way to give more of what I have, I will DO IT. I will contact when I don`t feel like contacting, I will take the blame when I don`t deserve it, I will be happy when I don`t really feel happy, I will think of the work when I want to think about myself or my future or the boys in my life, I will pray and fast even when I am tired, I will be optimistic when all seems in vain, I will teach with all my soul even when no one appears to care about what I have to say, I will be loving instead of frustrated, I will be humble instead of offended. Basically, I am leaving my fishing nets behind as Peter did when Christ called. Babylon, I bid thee farewell, you are so 2012.
I realize that good goals are specific and not so vague, but it`s an attitude I commit to adopt, and I do it in front of everyone who reads this so it`s official. Carrie, I liked what you said about the importance of setting goals. Heavenly Father wants us to set goals. Yesterday in Primary (there were only two little kids because it was raining and we had half the attendance as normal) I had the kids set goals, too. They committed to read their scriptures every day. It made me think about the time that I finished the Book of Mormon for the first time, when I was like 9 think. I remember telling dad that I finished, and he said, "Now you need to follow Moroni`s promise and pray to know if it`s true." I remember that comment kind of hit me, as if it had never occured to me that it wasn`t true. But since that time I have prayed many times to know if the Book of Mormon is true, even though I already believe it, and I have had it confirmed to me time and time again that it is. I know with all my heart it is.
Wow, this email has no direction. I`m all over the map. My thesis is, happy new year. May you celebrate not as the Paraguayans, who all drink clerico, which is fruit salad with wine in it. May you set resolutions and may you pray that I get some sleep tonight. And may we all always remember that no matter what happens this year, even if you are expected to do things you don`t feel very adequate in doing, God will be your support and you can definitely not only survive but thrive. I KNOW that the Lord always provides a way for us to fulfill what he has commanded. Gaaahhhhh the church is true and missionary work is the best.
I`ll write to you all next year. And I`ll see you next year, too.
Your Sister Missionary,
Sister Faith Goimarac