But above all, I think I learned the most about myself
(photo by David Winters)
Semana del 13 de marzo de 2017
Well my friends I made my final good-byes yesterday afternoon and this much anticipated moment has finally arrived, although now I wish it wouldn’t. I must say sorry for not having written in a good couple months. Let me give a brief status update as to how my last months on the mission went: In the year of 2017, I baptized 0 people, but I invited as many people as I could to come unto Christ. I’ve always said it and I’ll restate it now that the area of San Buenaventura was the hardest of my entire mission in the way of baptisms and just the work in general. In my 7 months in the little town, I was able to baptize 2 people, 2 people who became my best friends and true co-disciples of Christ. I had 3 companions in this area: Elder Daniel Vílchez Díaz, Elder Samuel Shaner, and Elder Devin Black. I trained twice and led a district for 3 of my 5 transfers here. I also battled many distractions here, like trunkiness and disobedience. But I’ve made many lasting friends here in this area, for which I am positive I will return.
I’m so grateful for this incredible mission experience. It felt like 2 years, contrary my belief that time would “fly by.” On the other hand, I’m glad I didn’t take the auto-pilot on the mission. These 2 years are full of lasting memories, laughs, sweet moments, and above all, friendships gained. There are moments when I wish these people would adopt me as part of them. I love to be in México! But I also can’t wait to drink water from the tap without getting diarrhea, so there’s that. I’ll be home in 2 days, a prospect which both excites me and makes me nervous. I hope the mission has properly prepared me to be my own agent, to make good decisions not because people expect me to, but because that’s the right thing to do. I’m so thankful for everything I’ve learned during my time out here. For learning how to manage my time, how to step outside of my bubble and talk to strangers, how to open my mouth in a foreign language, how to get along with, in my opinion, a spectrum of personalities, how to teach the Gospel the Lord’s way, how to commit people to choose the right, how to feel the soft impressions of the Holy Spirit, how to make flour tortillas. But above all, I think I learned the most about myself. I know what I’m capable of. I know my weaknesses. I have a desire to correct the things I perhaps didn’t do so well in the mission when I am home. I also know my strengths. I was able to develop these strengths and make them talents. I was also able to make some weaknesses talents of mine. That is one of the Lord’s promises in Ether 12:27.
I’ll leave y’all with my testimony that I know, whereas once I had a hunch, that this is the Lord’s work. It’s not mine or my comp’s or President Cahoon’s or even President Monson’s. It’s the Lord’s work and for 2 years I was on his errand. My father reminded me of that before sending me on the airplane by myself. I lie… that felt like a week ago. I can’t wait to see my family. So I know this is the Lord’s work and that he leads it and guides us as missionaries in many ways. I know this is his church as well. Joseph Smith was his prophet, as is Thomas S. Monson today. I know that the ordinance of baptism is a necessary step to entering the Kingdom of God. I thank God for having been able to edify this kingdom during my short time in my 2nd home. I pray for these people every day, as I’ve prayed for you all every day of my mission. Thank you for writing me, for cheering me on, and especially for your faith and prayers. See you in 2! (days)
Élder Eduardo Hópper