Monday, June 3, 2013

I'm on my way!‏ I have my visa and I am flying to Peru today!

I am at the mission office right now waiting to be taken to the airport. They said we could email for a few minutes while I am here. I don't know how long I have so I will just start typing.
I found out about my visa on Thursday. We were talking to president about one of our investigators and then at the end of the conversation he said "Well, I'm not very good at keeping secrets. I usually don't like to tell missionaries until they absolutely have to know but Sister Rhoten you have travel plans and you leave on Monday."
It was really difficult for me to leave this area. I wish I could have been here longer. It was especially hard to say goodbye to my investigators. I will miss Kira's baptism by only six days. We had a really frustrating week this week because we just had so many lessons fall through. I think it was something like 14 lessons that were cancelled which is tough. I found out I was leaving and I was so frustrated because I wanted to leave the area better than I found it. Saturday night I asked Heavenly Father if he was pleased with my work in this area. Then Sunday came and it was amazing. It left me feeling confident in my efforts in this area. It was like God showed me everything I had done in one day. We had everyone we had invited to church come. Kira and all three of her girls, Josie and Sulema (Sulema previously didn't like church so I was amazed that she came), Juanita (Recent convert) and Bro Perkins came for the first time. We also had four less active members come that hadn't been to church in over at least a month each of them. In total we had four investigators, four less actives and four of their children. I bore my testimony during fast and testimony meeting.
Josie (the thirteen year old investigator) came up to me after sacrament meeting and told me that she had a surprise for me and invited me to come over after church. When we came over after church she gave me a small gift and a note in an envelope. On the envelope it said "I will miss you always." We followed up with each of them about how they are doing and how they liked church. Sulema said that she liked it much better than before and that she felt calm. Josie had talked about friends she had made and how she was planning to attend girls camp. While we were there I shared with them my favorite chapter in all of the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 17. I was talking about how Christ was telling the people that it was his time to leave but had compassion on the people and decided to stay. I said Christ is kind of a big deal, he could have easily said I love you but sorry I have to go and left but it was so neat to me that he decided to stay. Josie spoke up and said, "Like you should right now. You should be like Christ and stay." I sure will miss her.
Juanita told us how she had given her fiance the option to come to church earlier in the week but she thought he had forgotten about it and wasn't going to push him. She said he woke up on Sunday and was the first one ready. She asked him where he was going and he said to church. It warmed my heart. Kira passed her baptismal interview this week and is all set for Saturday. She is so excited for her baptism and hasn't had a cigarette for quite some time now. She was really struggling with that when I came. I am really grateful that God gave me the gift of being able to see the good that he used me to do in this area. 
I wish I could write more but I have to go to the airport. Have a great week everyone! Next time you hear from me I will be in Peru.
Con amor,
Hermana Rhoten

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