February 16, 2015

The Last

It has come to an end my dear friends and family. 

I´m coming home. But at the same time, I´m leaving my home. This is my home. It has been for the past 18 months of my life. It is going to be so hard to leave! But just as the Lord prepared me to leave my first home, I know that He will prepare me for what´s to come. Today, it all hit me. 18 months have come and gone. In a little more than 1 week, you are going to de-plack me. But I know that the Lord will show me the way and this missionary plack is forever clipped to my heart.

 Christ taught, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."

I have found my life.

18 months ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I just knew that this is where the Lord wanted me and that I needed to learn what He wanted me to do-- who He wanted me to become. Throughout my mission, the Lord has shaped me into the person that He wants me to be at this point in my life. These months-- years, have molded me to be different. To be better.

My desires are different. I have desires to put the Lord first in every moment possible. To think about Him and what He would have me do. I have learned to recognize His will and to be able to put it before my own. I have learned patience, diligence, compassion, humility, charity, obedience and service. I have learned to love people just a little bit more as Jesus does. Flaws and all. I have learned the importance of sharing the gospel and of sacrificing myself for the benefit of others. 

As missionaries, we can say that we sacrifice a load of things: sleep, health, nice bodies, pretty skin, lindas piernas, studies, work, money, time with friends and family, food that we actually WANT to eat. Time with people who actually want to talk with us and the list goes on. Being a missionary is hard and it requires a lot of sacrifice.

I have learned that in the end, it´s not really a sacrifice at all.

It´s not a sacrifice because what I have gained in return is the greatest blessing that I could ever recieve.

I have gained 8 new best friends. From 7 different countries. :) Each of my companions taught me something different, something valuable. Even though I passed through many a difficult moment with more than one of my latinas, I feel nothing but sisterly love toward each and every one of my companions. I have so many memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Friendships that I will cherish for the rest of forever. 

Hermana Crump, Hermana Mendez, Hermana Fuentes, Hermana Primo, Hermana Cuevas, Hermana Juarez, Hermana Torres, Hermana Zambrana-- I love you. :)

I love the people here. Although Paraguayan´s don´t like to talk and Argentine´s talk too much, I have grown to absolutely love the people and the culture of both countries. The people here are willing to share anything and everything that they have just because it makes them feel good. They kiss both of my cheeks every time they see me and even those who don´t like the church congratulate us for the work we do. I have never met so many wonderful people in my life. I know that The Lord sent me here because He loves these people and He knows that they need the Gospel. I know He sent me here because He knew that I would need them and their kisses.

I KNOW That Jesus is the Christ. I know that He is our Savior and Redeemer and that His sacrifice is the one that will save us all. If we let Him and If we help Him in return. I know that He expects something of us. He expects us to do our very best. And when we do, He will greet us at that marvelous day and say, 

 "Blessed art thou, ... For those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments."

"...Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father."

I know that Heavenly Father loves us so much that He created the perfect plan for us to be able to return to live with Him someday. I know that He loves us so much that He sent His Son to carry out that plan and to make it possible.

I know that They love us so much that They will never leave us alone. That´s why They send the Spirit to help us, to guide us, to comfort us and to show us the way. I know that the Spirit is real. He is powerful. He loves us too and He will never lead us astray. There are somethings that we just can not teach, the Spirit has to do it!

Prayer is real. God hears and answers our prayers. As a missionary, one of my favorite things has been teaching children how to pray and then feeling the spirit touch their hearts. I love asking how people feel after they pray. Usually they are speechless, because there aren´t really words to describe the Love we feel when we know that someone is listening to our prayers.

Miracles happen. Everyday. My favorite miracle from this week was the beautiful reference that we were able to contact. Remember Hermana Barrett?? My best friend from the MTC? Well, she sent me a reference that she and her companion contacted a world away in Buenos Aires. It just so happens that Laura Zabala lives here, in San Vicente! She has a Book of Mormon signed by my best friend and she is so happy and excited to learn more about the gospel. 

Miracles happen. Everyday.

I know that God sends prophets to the earth to guide us. To lead us and to teach us what The Lord wants for us here. I know that Thomas S. Monson is God´s prophet today. I love Him. 

I love the teachings of the prophets. Modern and Ancient. I love the Book of Mormon. I know it is the word of God. I know that it was written by inspired men called of God to write a book so perfect for us so that we can "get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” I know this is true because I have seen the power of the Book of Mormon change lives. It has changed my life. I know that Joseph Smith translated it through the power of God.

Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God. He restored this beautiful Gospel by authority of Christ Himself. I am so grateful for the Restoration. 

Because it brought back the priesthood powers to the earth. The priesthood powers that bless us and help us and show us that God is the same forever. That He loves us and that He has given us literally EVERYTHING that we need to make it back to Him, to live in the Celestial Kingdom and to be with our families forever.

I love the Temple. I love it so much. It is the house of the Lord. He visits His temples. They are holy and perfect. The Temple is Heaven on earth. 

Remember, I didn´t really want to do this at first. But I would do it all again. To gain these treasures that the Lord has blessed me with. I am so grateful that I could be a missionary. And teach and preach and serve and share this message with the people here. Being a missionary has helped me to see the light. To know that I have purpose. That we all have purpose and that God´s purpose is that we might come to know Him. 

"...  the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance."

He will never forsake us. If we chose to follow Him, He will make us mighty.

Thank you for your love, prayers and support along this journey. 

"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight , I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:"

--2 Timothy 4: 6-7

Hermana Rupe


p.s. We went to Iguazuuuu!!! mucho aguaaaaaaaaaaa..

And my HLC threw me a surprise masquerade going away party. yay. :)

There is a lizzard right above my head and I felt a tickle on my foot about 5 minutes ago and I think that the lizzard was licking my toe. Kill me.

Rules for the Airport: Men whom are not my family are not invited (because I can´t hug you). -- ONLY if you are married to my best friends. :) So that means you can come to the airport if you are FAMILY... Or GIRL FRIENDS (and all of my girlfriends are married asi que you can bring your husbands.) Pumpkin butt. :)