Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Goodbye, hello

Hello to all!
It was quite the interesting week, full of joy, tears, love, goodbyes, hellos, and many many prayers. On Monday night we received the call from the Zone Leaders that I would be transferred to a new area, and that the other members of our district would be staying there.  They also advised me that I would be a Zone Leader. I had, and still continue to have, mixed feelings about it all, but I know the Lord plays a part in all of this, and that He knows what He wants here, I just need to be faithful and "go and do" like Nephi did.
So Tuesday was the long-awaited farewell day. We ran around trying to visit the many great people I had been around, literally running for the vast majority of it. I gave my last District Meeting, which was on The Doctrine of Christ, focusing on Charity. I really loved our district, and will miss being around them daily.
Things were going well, I was composed, until I had to say goodbye to ___. We had always had our struggles, but in the end, we really do love each other so much, and he said some of the greatest things anyone has ever said to me. I felt so much love for him, and we both ended up crying pretty bad. And even though I am not a "tough guy", more of a "skinny guy", I still don't usually cry, but I don't know what happened to me but I just purely lost it. He is a great guy, he even gifted me an Adidas Paraguay Jersey and its awesome.
Right after that, I went to the chapel and met up with ____.  I was crying as we were walking in. It was the hardest goodbye I have ever said to anyone here, and it really killed me. He also said some great things that really touched me, and he committed right there to prepare to serve a mission.
By the end of that one I was literally all cried out, I had no more tears with me. We proceeded to say goodbye to another family. They were really bummed, but I had prepared them a little better, so they were expecting a goodbye and were able to take it alright. We sang their favorite "God Be With You Till We Meet Again", which left on a great note. They committed as well to continue preparing for the temple, and I cant wait to see them there in November.
We visited another special family, who has changed so much since when I got there. I was expecting it to be a less formal goodbye, but they all started crying so bad, especially ___ who just got baptized, which made me cry. I love them so much, and am excited to hear from them about the changes they will continue to make.
___ and ___ picked us up to have a little dinner at their house. I gifted them sooo much, and they were so thankful. They gave me an awesome gift, that I will try to send in a picture ASAP, its a fish carved thing with their names on it, so pretty. I ended the night saying goodbye to another Family. I shared one last time a quick bit about Captain Moroni, and the dad lost it which also made me loose it. They were so grateful for everything, and I felt so grateful for being there to see so many great changes. I hurried to the terminal to catch my bus, and what do you know, all the gang of people that I had said goodbye to was there waiting for me.
I really love this area so much, and I know that because of the love that I put in, that same love times a million back at me. I put my heart in so much that I still haven't been able to get it all back, nor do I see it being replaced any time soon. It was a dream come true to be there, and I feel as if all of them are family members to me, and I truly do love them.
On Wednesday, I got to the office for changes to meet my new companion. One bad thing that happened was that my big luggage back got left in a taxi, and taken all over Paraguay, but eventually that night, after much stress, prayers, and coordination, we were able to retrieve my bag, with nothing stolen. I am in an area which is full of super fancy houses, cars, Spanish (not really any guarani, because everyone is super fancy), and members! We are planning a baptism for 2 weeks, hoping that some of our investigators will progress towards that day. Its been a big change, and to be honest, not one that I have been able to adjust quickly to, but I am trying my best to have the faith that the Lord is in charge, and knows more than me, and has placed me here to do His work, and not to long for the past, but to have faith. One of my favorite quotes is from a talk called "Remember Lots Wife" by Elder Holland, which says "faith always points to the future". I really am trying to show more faith, and know that even though I don't feel qualified to be a Zone Leader, "whom the Lord calls, he qualifies" (Pres.Monson), and that it will all work out. I am the youngest senior companion in all of my zone, yet am supposed to be the leader, which stresses me out, but I know I will be able to do it.
Amidst all the writing I have done in this email, the main point I would like all of you to take out of it is, that charity is the pure love of Christ. It is true love. It is pure, spotless, genuine, real love. It is learning to love someone like Jesus Christ loves them. It is doing what He would do in every situation. It is forgiving others and yourself. It is repentance. It is not being judgemental and harsh, but willing to learn more of them and serve them. It is true humility, submission to the Lords will. It is what He expects of all of us. It is what He expects of me and of you. For it is the pure love of Christ. I doubt that in my life, before being here, I had ever truly, purely, genuinely showed charity towards someone else. Sure, I have loved my family, friends, leaders, investigators, members, etc. But I really realized that I had never truly be able to express that charity before at any particular moment in my life. I feel like one of the biggest, if not the greatest thing I have learned on my mission is to be genuinely charitable. I am thankful for learning that lesson, and understand that the Lord has trusted much in me with that knowledge, and I hope to be able to continue to strive to show that charity towards all.
I love you all so much, thanks for the support, letters, prayers! Keep us here in them.
Until next week,
Elder Babcock

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