Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Finish Line

Well, this is it, the finish line is in sight on the longest, craziest, exhausting race of my life; but also the most worthwhile.  I remember reading Sister Turner´s last email home, and for the first few months of my mission I felt like that day would never come. However here we are, and it came too fast. 

I can´t accurately describe how my mission here in Cabo Verde has changed and affected me, and I´m not even going to try. One of the jokes between all us missionaries is that no one will ever understand what it is to serve a mission in Cabo Verde until they´ve actually... served a mission in Cabo Verde, but I will share one thing that I´ve been thinking about a lot lately, what I think is probably the biggest thing I have learned on my mission.
Before my mission, I read books and blogs about people who gave up worldly comforts to help others, and I always liked to think I could do that. I had hoped, but I didn´t know, because truth is, I like comfy things! However, as the finish line comes into sight I have the desire to slow down my pace, because truth is... I don´t mind sleeping with cockroaches (although I will still flip out a little). I´ve been wearing the same two skirts for the past six months and it doesn´t bother me. I have eaten more sketch food than one needs in a lifetime and I don´t remember the last time my hair was done or my clothes were 100% dry. I have sat on the cement floor for more lessons than I can count with the most amazing people you will ever meet and.... I love it. I love all the uncomfortable things, because they help you focus on the happy things. Real happiness, that can´t be found in Walmart or at concert or in a smart phone (although I´m totally playing that new Pokémon app when I get home). Truth is, not only did I learn I could give up comforts for others, but it really does make me happy! 
The people of this country are my family. I don´t know how I´m going to have my heart in two places at once, for the rest of my life. I don´t want to say goodbye to any of them (and I won´t... SKYPE). I really have seen the Savior at work in the lives of these crazy, loving Cabo Verdians in a crazy, loving way. It´s pure religion, and even though at times it seemed just too simple, the simplicity made it life changing.
You guys, I don´t want to leave! But I´m excited to see you all next week. Sprint to the end right?
Peacin´ out.
Sister Hanzel

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