Usually when we imagine some future point in our lives, we imagine ourselves quite differently than we presently are. 18 months ago, I thought today would never come. I couldn’t possibly have imagined how I would be or how I would feel. I often thought about it but my expectations were way off. I know I am a changed person but I can’t attribute it to any one circumstance. Every trial and challenge, joy and tear has molded me to become more like the person God wants me to be.
In the CCM, I remember one elder threw out a question to all of us that has made me ponder for these 18 months – Why did God call me to Guatemala? What contribution or work would Andrea Page do in a simple year and a half? As I come to finish my mission, I’ve come to think less of what I’ve done for Guatemala and more of what Guatemala has done for ME. This culture and people have taught me much more than I could’ve imagined.
I’ve learned humility from those who are perfectly content with the little they have, and generosity from those who give it away. What greater example of charity and selflessness? Being happy in uncomfortable and unfavorable circumstances requires a great amount of patience and sacrifice, which in turn favors those who submissively obey the Lord with meekness of heart.
I’ve learned about myself – controlling my tongue, utilizing my God-given gifts to exercise love, and recognizing the huge impact I can have on someone’s life. I feel more aware, more receptive to the Spirit, and more trusting in the Lords plan.
I have a deep appreciation for the scriptures, especially after scrutinizing them in Spanish. I’ve organized my priorities.
All of these wonderful things I’ve been able to gain in my short time here serving the Lord, however they are nothing compared to the most valuable thing I’ve obtained – my personal relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ, and how its helped me to more fully comprehend His Atonement. Working shoulder to shoulder with my Brother has opened my eyes to the eternal importance of His mission, and how unimportant my little pre-mish life seems. He really gave everything for all of us. A perfect sacrifice for imperfect people who don’t deserve it. And that’s why I love him so much.
He loves these Guatemalans too… Ill miss the tuk-tuks, tortillas, jungle greenery, cobblestone roads, close-knit communities, saying BUENAS every 10 seconds. Maybe I wont miss the cold showers or mosquitos, but I’ve come to love my little Guatemalan life because its taught me what’s most important.
Choosing to come on the mission was hard. Staying on the mission was hard. Going home will be hard. Its all a difficult ride but I’ve learned that hard things make us better, stronger people. Maybe I don’t yet understand exactly why God called me to go on a mission or why it was Guatemala, but I completely trust in His plan. He called me here, and now my time has come to an end. I learned principles to apply to my life. I’m scared for how hard it will be, but just as I was led by the Lord into the field, I know He will guide me as I return.
Con mucho amor,