September 2, 2014 (She returns 3 weeks from today...but who's counting!!)
Well, this week has been sad. It`s actually starting to set in that I soon have to leave my beloved Chile, my beloved Santiago. Of course, it`s hardly mine. The island taught me that. It was always the Lord`s. And what belongs to the Lord will always go forth. His work will go forth. Whether I am here or not. There will be new sisters, new elders, far better than I ever was or ever could have been. There will be new mission Presidents with energy and fire. There will be new bishops and stake presidents and new situations (like the recently occurring recession) to make people humble. There will be rainy days. But the sun will always come out tomorrow. There may be wars and political turmoil and fights in the streets and protesting dentists (like the hundreds I saw today). There may be racial disputes and religious hatred and social class ire. But He will win. He always has, always does, and always will. The Master will return in glory and power. I see Him do it every single day in the lives of those I teach. Perhaps He doesn`t physically enter their homes... and perhaps He does. But more often than not, He enters their hearts. He opens their eyes. And if they are willing, they are changed. Then that majesty becomes a part of them.Today we went to Cerro San Cristobal, a giant hill in the middle of the city with a zoo and a virgen Mary on top. As we hiked up to la virgen, we were able to see all of Santiago. All of it. And I wanted to cry. I wanted to just die inside because I couldn`t bare the thought of leaving all of it. But I didn`t. Instead, I got goosebumps, thinking of how hard I`ve worked and knowing that I can say that with confidence. Of course not a day goes by in which I think about all of the ways I could have done things better, all the things I screwed up, and all the ways I could have been a better instrument in the Lord`s hands. But I suppose that`s the enemy`s way of trying to discourage me. He`s pretty much always used the same approach. You start to catch on after a while. So I try to cast out such thoughts - doubt, discouragement, frustration, fear of the future. And just try to think of the good I`ve done. It`s certainly keeping me humble. Mom asked me to be honest. If I want to come home. I really just... don`t. I`m sorry. I love you all so much but... I know you`re ok. You`re well. You`re protected. And even if you weren`t, you have the tools necessary to maintain a life of order and happiness. You can have the confidence of knowing that even if I never returned, we would be reunited for eternity in a kingdom of celestial glory. But these people? They have no idea. They suffer abuse in their homes and failures at work and secret depressions in their mind and inability to pay for bread on the table and divorces and deaths and incomplete joy. And they don`t know how to make it better. I know there are others that will come to take my place. But that`s just it. I want my OWN place. Of course, that place will continue on in Denver or in Provo or wherever life will take me. But I love Chile.