Well it has been an amazing time! 2 years, 104 weeks, 730 days, 17,520 hours - whatever way you look at it - Jonah has had the chance to serve as an ambassador of God and has become a better man because of it. In his final remarks you see that he has had an incredible finish to his mission. But Is this the final chapter? Is there a prologue? We may have a few more posts upcoming as Jonah will be getting two new companions! - Leslie and David are on a plane right now traveling to Peru to meet Jonah and spend some time visiting his mission, meeting some families he has grown to love and visiting a few other areas in Peru!
This week has been so wonderful!! We started with Gianluca's baptism at 8am before the sacrament meeting, and in the photos you can see that his whole family went!! President Marble and Sister Marble were also present in the service, and it was so great!! Everything turned out great in the baptismal service, and then right after, we had the confirmation. Only his parents were able to stay, but they absolutely loved the sacrament meeting. There were wonderful talks given that seemed to be written for the family. The dad whispered to us in the middle, "I think next month I need to get baptized too". So awesome!!!! They still aren't married, but after witnessing the baptism of their son, they now want to get married in order to be baptized. So great! Seriously, it's been so miraculous that all of this is happening. It's so incredible to be there watching it all happen in front of our eyes. Just today, they invited us over for lunch, and because it's our Pday, we were able to take a time after lunch (delicious by the way), to chat and talk about their family. They brought out their photo albums and told us their stories of how they met and their children's births, and other stories. It was a really great opportunity to get to know them, and now when we return to teach them, I know it will be much easier to relate to them, love them, and even exhort them. Anyway, I love the Familia Juárez. They are fantastic people.
On Wednesday, we had an interchange with Elder Klossner and Elder Rios (Primavera/Porvenir zone), and I got to be with Elder Rios again!!! Yayyyy!! It was so great to talk to him again and see how he is doing personally and also with leading the zone. He's such an incredible person, and I, as I do with Elder Melendrez, respect him so much for choosing to serve a mission at an older age. He is 26 right now, and could be doing a lot of different things. But he's here, sacrificing 2 years in order to serve the Lord. Para los valientes no más. Anyway, we had a great day together and found wonderful people to teach. That same day, we found somebody that we hadn't taught for a long time (I might've talked about her before), named María Paz. She is so chosen! And will be baptized very soon, and will help her family to be baptized as well. She is finally free of some different commitments and will be able to attend church and receive us more frequently. Such a faithful person! Anyway, the area is doing really great right now.
I have a lot of mixed feelings right now, and I'm very excited to see my parents on Monday, but I'm also very sad to not be a full-time missionary anymore. It has been THE GREATEST experience of my entire life. I have never experienced so many faith-building moments in my life until I got to Perú, and thanks to the mission, I know, without doubt, that this is the Lord's work. I have received far too many testimonies to deny the presence of a Supreme Being's hand in my life for the past 2 years. I know it, and I know that God knows it. I have grown to love people and to desire their salvation. It fills me with joy to know that for our efforts, God's children can come back to His presence. I know that God lives and I know that we are His children with divine potential. I love you all so much, and I hope to see many of you soon!