This week went well until yesterday night. I have changes (La Sierra city called La Junta with Elder Rodrigues). The last thing I wanted to hear was that I have changes. I’m pretty bummed.
Normally I’m not affected by the changes but this time it is tough. I love the area, my companion is/was awesome, and above all our relationship with the Barraza family. I feel like that is the hardest thing to leave behind. The family just was great. We went over this last week and I couldn’t have asked for a better last lesson. We went in not sure what we were going to share and we asked if they had questions and we went about like that answering questions and then we got to a point where they both shared their testimonies. They talked of the blessings and miracles and changes they have witnessed since having accepted the gospel. It was so powerful, the spirit was crazy strong and one of the best experiences of my mission to hear these converts with such a conviction and with such gratitude first to God then to us.
But this experience of a perceived ending is a testimony strengthener even though it is a bitter experience. Holland has a talk where he talks about the importance of not looking back as lots wife. He says don’t miss the here, and now, and tomorrow for the there, and then, and yesterday. Faith is always pointed toward the future. Always for blessings that will yet be efficacious in our lives. HE says the past is meant to be learned from but not lived in. And Uchdorf tells of the remedy being gratitude. He talks about how endings are not our destiny we are eternal beings and that the more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful. We should be grateful to our Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.
This last week was kind of weird lots of people who were going to get baptized or confirmed had weird stuff happen to them. One guy was on his way to get confirmed and the police arrested him and took him to jail. They confused him with another guy and let him go eventually. Another lady was going to get baptized but then had to leave town to go visit and sister (I think) because her baby was born with the stomach outside. Another guy was going to get baptized this last week on Friday but on Monday he had a stroke and went into a coma and later passed away on Thursday night. On Sunday two kids were going to get baptized after church but their dad disappeared and the mom was really down and crying. We don’t know if he left her or if he disappeared as in kidnapped but they kids got caught up in the situation and the ward thought it wouldn’t be best to baptize them yet.
Love Elder Blanchard