Monday, May 29, 2017

The Penultimate

I just woke up. Since our schedule was modified a few months ago we no longer have to exercise in the morning on P-Day. It’s 6:45 and 15 minutes ago I got out of bed and felt like starting my weekly letter, and so I already am. As I go to bed or wake up each day now, I realize that the days of my mission are quickly coming to an end—in 15 days I get on the plane—and I feel a certain anxious tightness inside.  In a few lessons this week I started feeling really heavy, knowing that soon I would no longer have the authority to preach the gospel to God’s children or represent the Savior as a full-time missionary. It’s hard. E duro.

After studying Moses 6:52-62 (that you talked to me about a few weeks ago mom, I studied it then and again today. What a clear and rich passage of scripture: God the Father expounding the Plan of Salvation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Adam, the first mortal and first prophet on the Earth. Everyone: read it!), getting my hair cut for the last time in Brasil, and cleaning the house, I’m back to writing my letter. It’s crazy that I’m doing several things for the last time during my mission.

Finishing my mission is sad, but it’s reality and also it’s really happy and awesome. I can’t wait to see all of you guys! I’m trying to express the bitter-sweetness of ending my mission in the letter so I can fill the next—the last letter--with more enriching and meaningful things.  It’s understood that the last weeks of the mission are simultaneously joyful and mournful. I am not experiencing anything unordinary.

For a matter of days now I’ve been pondering about my return home, the months of preparation before college, and the importantissimos (extremely important) next few years of my life. Without yet being in my post-mission country/society/environment or having full or frequent access to information and counsel on the subject, my planning of the near future has been limited to not much more than daydreams and mental conversations with myself.  However, after a few P-Days and nights/worth of thought and a bit of research on BYU’s website (I asked Pres. Buhrer if I could take advantage of my time in the lan house to learn about my education options; he approved), I plan to major in Finance and finish my degree in 3 years. I plan to get married in 2 years or less and also…actually, this is pretty much all I’ve planned. I believe I’ll do an MBA, work internationally, maybe study abroad in Mexico after a year of college (I think it’d be cool but it’s improbable), have 4-5 kids (that will depend on who I marry—but I certainly don’t want only a few!) and play golf frequently, but these and other details will be decided a few months or years from now. The transition from mission to post-mission life will be one of the biggest or the biggest (nah, I think the transition to married life will be the biggest…or married life with kids...I’ll only know when I get there) and starting this transition has sparked quite a variety of futurist thoughts. It’s fun.

This really was a great week of work here in Anapolis. I stayed with each of the elders in training in the zone for a day this week while E. Tanus went on exchanges with the district leaders who are both trainers as well. This week our teaching group grew a lot (which was a blessing we were needing), and we now have 2 possibilities for baptisms next month! They are two kids of a family we started teaching after a member from the Anapolis ward took us to their house; they are the family of this brother, We’ve had 2 great lessons with them so far about baptisms for the dead (the mom, Livia, had a big doubt about that…but doesn’t anymore!), the Restoration, and the Book of Mormon. They all came to church yesterday, except the dad, and they loved it. The parents can’t get baptized yet because they’re not married, but the mom already asked us if her kids could be baptized in the church—“certainly!” We had 8 people visiting church yesterday, and, during the whole 3 hours we were running around helping out the investigators and planning to teach them with the members in the coming week. It was awesome!

Right now we are getting ready to go to the lan house. It will be the second-to –last time I access my email during my mission. I have enjoyed so much talking to all of you during my mission (through email) and thank you so much for your love and support. If anyone wants to send me a final email, you can until next Monday (the 5th) morning, when I’ll check my email for the last time.

This mission has been the greatest thing I’ve done in my life. I’m so grateful for who the Lord has made me as I’ve served Him. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. He lives.

Elder Anderson

 E. Tanus and I!
 Outside our house

 Going to get my hair cut...look at the beautiful blue sky!
  Here we go
The coolest barber in town!
 Writing my penultimate letter home :o
 Some missionary pictures taken as requested by mom :) 



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