Saturday, November 21, 2015

HOME aka Returned with Honor

As many know, my mission has not been the easiest journey. I am so grateful for all the challenges I faced and overcame as a missionary. I have grown so much since that first day in the CCM on July 8, 2014.  On Wednesday November, 18, 2015 I returned home from Honduras. And was honorably released the next day.

I have been sick since the first week in September. While in Honduras the mission nurses helped me so much. I saw doctors and tired my hardest to overcome my sickness while working. I have Mononucleosis – tested and diagnosed in Honduras. And unfortunately it can take quite a while to recover from Mono.

Since the first week in October I have been diligently trying to get healthier; sleeping more, drinking more water, resting more often. I started to get so used to working a missionary schedule while sick that I didn't think it was necessary to say anything to the nurse after a while. But I wasn't getting better. I mean, It wasn't getting worse, but it wasn't getting better. For over two months I have been struggling with daily fevers, body aches, extreme dizziness, and a whole lot of other symptoms. If I walk for more than a few minutes I get dizzy and if I work a full day my whole body aches by the time I go to bed.

So I did the hard thing and I was honest with the nurse and the mission president. Their recommendation was that I should go home and get the rest that I very much need.

Coming home from my mission after serving only a year has been hard, yes. But I know I was strong. I tried my hardest and I know that I will never, ever forget my mission. My mission changed my life. I feel so much stronger in every way. Especially spiritually. I feel so more closer to my Heavenly Father and know so much more about myself. I feel more prepared for my life and prepared to always help and serve the Lord with all my heart.

I just want to thank every single person who has kept up with this blog throughout my mission, to all those who wrote me letters and emailed me. You have no idea how grateful I am. I hope that my mission experience has helped you in some way. Whether to know me better, to know more about the life of a missionary, or even to know what to expect from missionary work. Thanks for all the encouragement and support.

Now that I am home, I will be focusing on my health until I recover. After that my plans are to finish college (Physics Major).

:)

Thanks!

<3 Sam

(still welcomed: letters and packages haha... message me for my home address.)

First day in Honduras

Last day in Honduras


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Week 20 – Tuesday & Wednesday

Tuesday– Tuesday we spent as a trio with another hermana because her companion had left the day before (we'd had the same thing and she'd also been afflicted so much that she needed to go home as well). We taught as normal and went to our appointments. It was really important to me that we keep teaching, I wanted my last days to be filled with working as hard as I could. For part of the day we had the opportunity to go out teaching with Alex, who is a great kid preparing to leave on his mission. He's always great to have in lessons! In the evening, after our lessons I received a call from President B. He told me I'd be leaving the very next morning. It was rough hearing it out loud and having a set time. Thats when it started feeling really real. I was sad. We spent the rest of the night trying to say goodbye to a few families. I didn't get to say goodbye to everyone I wanted to but I'm glad I got to see some families before I left.

Teaching in Miraflores Norte
Saying goodbye to Alex
My home away from home <3
My family <3 
So glad we ran into Noel and that I got to say goodbye. He served in London and we always spoke english together! 
Wednesday – We woke up bright and early and headed to the Mission Office. Once we were there we waited around for a while until It was time to leave. Hna. R and Hna. O. stayed with me before leaving and going back to Miraflores. I got to say goodbye to my lovely friends in the Mission Office (I'd been there a lot over the weeks so I was good friends with a few of them by then). Then off to the airport. Going through the line and security and everything went smoothly and then before the flight left I bought a few last minute things from a souvenir shop. The the flight. It was long and I spent the whole time trying to sleep and trying not to cry. When I landed in Boston, I was completely exhausted -from being sick and from traveling. Seeing my family was such a relief. It was hard going home but once I was there I felt a relief that I'd be able to get the rest and have the time to get well.









Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 19 - (The last full week of my mission)

Written post-mission: This was the start of one of the hardest weeks of my life, it seems like. Hna. Ponce left to Mexico and I got a new companion, Hna R. (who is amazing). She was in the same group as Hna. P! I continued to feel sick all the time. My body just didn't have enough energy and couldn't keep up. It was super hard. This Monday that I didn't update. I had spent a full week avoiding the infermera and speaking about my health. I had a feeling I just wasn't going to be able to keep up with the work while also being sick. I'd fallen asleep in meetings with members, I felt exhausted even after sleeping in and going to bed early, and walking around all day left me without energy during lessons. What morning the infermera called us. She asked how I was doing and I told her the truth. She said I should speak to President B. Before my meeting with the mission president, we had an appt at the hospital for my companion, she was sick and needed tests. Afterward we made our way to the mission office for my meeting with the mission president. During that meeting it was decided that for the benefit of my health and the progress of the work in Miraflores, it was best for me to return home. It was very hard. Not knowing when I would be leaving, we spent the rest of the pday shopping for souvenirs and it was all very solemn and surreal. Even though I'd gone through going home before, it was so different and so very hard. I knew I wouldn't be coming back and that I'd be home within a few days. 



One last picture together 
Saturday lunch with my fav Hna!
New Companion Hna. R. Trying to look happy after finding out I'd be returning home later that week.

Monday, November 9, 2015

week 18

hello family

love you tons.
this week was kind of rough. i have been having a hard time here in
the mission healthwise. i am trying my hardest to rest enough and to
do all i can to get better. i just dont seem to ever have enough
energy haha.

because i have been struggling to get better the work in our area has
slowed down a lot. we still have investigators but we aren´t visiting
as many per day as we used to. the great thing, though, is that we
have two investigators who (hopefully) will be baptized this saturday!
we are working our hardest this week so that they will be ready by
saturday =)

today we have been preparing for my companion to leave for mexico.
they finally got everything worked out about her visa and she leaves
tomorrow morning. right now we are a companionship of three because i
will be with Hermana A until changes on wednesday. I am almost 100
percent sure that i will stay in miraflores. =)

love you guys a million.

the computer i am using isn´t accepting my camera memory so pictures
will have to wait until next week =( haha

<3

At night in Miraflores

Eating lunch at the house of the best family ever 
Took some youth out to teach with us

The best zone!

look who I ran into!

Sandy <3

After finishing our last day of Hna. P's training (I insisted we take a commemorative photo)




Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 17 BEHIND THE SCENES

(photos part 2- from the camera of my companion)


a really, really candid picture of me

I dont know how, but i ALWAYS end up as group photographer. =]


we are REALLY ready for Disney World.

Taking a break and eating goldfish.

=]


Week 17

=]

So this week was good. There was a lot that happened. I feel a lot stronger and confident about my ability to serve and teach and help others. I miss you all a ton. I am sad I missed halloween but next year will be great! we are going to do something really fun. 

my week:

On Tuesday we had a conference/meeting with two General Authorities of the 70 and learned a lot about record keeping in the church and the importance of records. It was really cool because we read a bunch of scriptures in Doctrine and Covenants about record keeping. We were instructed to keep a record of our spiritual experiences in the mission. I am trying hard to keep a good record of my experiences but a lot of the time I forget to write in my journal or only write brief summaries, I am going to start to write more about experiences I have. They also asked us questions about being missionaries here in Honduras and about our own history in the Church and wrote down all the information (so i guess that means all those who participated will have their stories recorded in church history records =])

On Tuesday after the conference my companion and I both had interviews with the mission president. my interview was great and i received a lot of needed guidance and support. When we were in the mission office waiting, I met a lot of different missionaries from my mission. One of them, an Elder from New Mexico, is also Navajo. We bonded over that, and being the only two Navajos in the mission (and possible Honduras). The other Elder I met is from Maryland and had read my blog before getting here, which was a shock and also really cool. 

The rest of the week was full of normal days but with a slight change. Because I have been sick, and I am still trying to recover, I have been given a new schedule. I sleep in until 8am, take a nap after lunch, and am in bed sleeping by 9pm. It really had been making a difference and as I get more rest I am also able to focus more and work harder during the day when we do go out and work. I hope I can get better faster this way.

Today we had a really fun day with the zone. We went to the picacho and went to the big Cristo that you can see from anywhere in the city. it was fun. we played ninja right underneath for a while and took pictures and it was fun to just do something touristy. haha. 

A lot of photos this week:

lunch on saturday


Cristo

my district

caminando

"NO PLAYING SOCCER HERE" haha

​love you all! 
<3 sam