My last letter called as an Elder de La Iglesia de Jesucristo de Los Santos de Los Ultimos Dias. I’m officially no longer in the system. On my companion’s inbox, it says his companion (me) no longer exists. My card to pull out money has been cancelled, and my name no longer appears in IMS. Basically, I’m a ghost with a plaque.
This will be my last letter from Perú. This week was full of meetings. Seriously, reunions and meetings, and after that, get togethers. Ful chamba as they call it here. The best part was that I got to see everyone in the zones near me to say goodbye, due to a conference that we had with a few other zones. A precious time to remember.
I’ve had some strange dreams this last week or so. Those dreams where I end up at home, but something unexpected happens. I’d rather not share them, so I don’t jinx myself too bad. Other returned missionaries have passed though it, so you get me. It’s the whole RM (returned missionary) thang.
This morning we woke up at 4:30 to go sandboarding. There is only so much to do in a desert like Peru as a missionary. To get there, we took a brother’s 4×4 truck. His name is Hermano Ramierez. He is one of the best guys that I’ve ever met. The guy that is the closest to Christ. And yes, it’s the same truck we almost rolled the other day as well! We then headed to the mountain. It’s only about a 5 minute drive over sand and dirt terrain to get there, so it made for one heck of a ride at 40kph. We made it to the hill, and charged it. We made it only about 100 yds up, and stopped the truck.
We huffed the rest by foot. Then it was about a 30 minute hike up a dune. (Like hiking Oldsmobile Hill in Glamis, but bigger!) The boards we had were super ghetto. Only in Peru. They weren’t the fastest things, but they got moving if you knew how to control them! We had a blast up there! And nobody got seriously injured, so that’s a plus.
One of the last people I got to see was Ivan. The kid who moved to Iquitos and got baptized there, after we got the permission here, and taught him all the lessons. He told us that the missionaries there weren’t the same. “All they did was baptize me with 10 others, and then never even visited me again!” Were his words. Well that shows that personality as a missionary and in life is a must. We must be people, not machines.
Saying goodbye in my talk this past Sunday made me tear up. I’m not close with the ward, but the fact that I will never be there again, and that it’s all coming to an end, hit me! I didn’t break down in tears, but there were tears on my face for sure.
Can’t wait to see all of you at home this Saturday at the airport (John Wayne at 3:50). Everyone’s invited!
Over and out, literally.