What do I say? What is the proper way to close a 2 year chapter?
I'll take you all, well the ones that read this atleast, through my own little memory lane. I hope you enjoy.
I feel nervous writing this. It's kinda weird.
I still remember driving up to the MTC. My mom was bawling and I get out of the car and they immediately grab my luggage and within 10 seconds, I was gone. I began. I began the "two years" that I thought would last forever. It was a long line of a lot of missionaries before I finally got into the room where they gave me my name tag. The same tag I am wearing now. Now it's plastered with pictures on the back and the front has scratches and small gashes. It's been through a lot.
The MTC was long. I thought THAT was my 2 years. I thought the MTC would never end. I sucked at Spanish, but my district sucked too, so I felt advanced. I had a lot of confidence because I could say "Hola, como esta?" and others could only say "Hola". Hahaha.
So I get to Columbus, my first area, and I am feeling confident, ready to spew out my FLUENT Spanish. Nope. Didn't happen. My first lesson was the most confusing situation in my life. Whatever "Spanish" that man spoke was NOT what the MTC taught me. Then EVERYONE spoke like that and I realized that I had a lot of learning to do. I realized that I didn't know Spanish like I thought.
I loved Columbus. It's a nice city. Pretty wealthy. I learned a lot. I grew a family. I came to love so many people. I realized that I had such a great capacity to love. Norma, Arturo, and Karina; Baptized. Hernan and Yesenia, reactivated. It breaks my heart that only one is still active from that group, but I still love them all unconditionally. After 6 months there, I got transferred. I didn't like it. It was not something I was used to.
South Bend. Home of Notre Dame. It was quick. 6 weeks and I was gone. I remember Ichy and Elba. My South Bend girls! Ichy is still not baptized to this day. Elba is still the solid member she has been for the past 20 years or so. I enjoyed South Bend, but my heart isn't really there.
White River. The beginning of 9 months straight in a branch. My mission had so many ups and downs here. Manuel baptized and still active. Brian baptized, but his mom doesn't bring him too often. I trained eventually. I got emergency transferred once. I made really good friends. I finally grasped Spanish. I fell in love with Mexican food. I fell in love with the city of Indianapolis. I had my 20th birthday. I hit my year mark. I got fat, haha. I went to Hispanic Festivals. I became a Senior Companion. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Then they ripped my world to shreds. They sent me away from White River, and not only that, they sent me to Elkhart. I had been in that branch before when I was in South Bend. I was livid. I was so upset. I had told the Assistants for months before that I would go anywhere BUT Elkhart. I wanted NOTHING to do with it.
But they sent me anyways. Sitting here today, I have learned a valuable lesson. God sends us where he needs us.
Elkhart was my favorite area. Man, I can't believe I ever tried to fight it. It was miracles upon miracles upon miracles. We taught like crazy. We found like crazy.
Hector and Julie, Belen's children; BAPTIZED.
Noheli -> Baptized April 18th
Elvin -> Baptized May 2nd.
Luis, a less active whose records were lost in Mexico and hadn't been to church in 25 years. We tracted into him. He is now 100% active and received the priesthood.
Belinda, another less active, not in the records, that we tracted into and reactivated.
Became best friends with my investigators and the members.
I enjoyed every moment of Elkhart. It was everything I wanted, and I just never knew about it. I can't let my blurb about Elkhart pass though without bringing up the Romero family. Words cannot describe my love for them. The greatest members I have ever met in my life. I love them so so much. They have done EVERYTHING for me. They are always there for me. Always. Anything, they are there. I KNOW we were meant to be best friends.
Then I got sent back to White River. It's been fine. Patricia is a complete baller and I am thankful to have been here for her baptism and get to know her! It's also been a pleasure to be back here with members I loved so much. It's been a crazy fast two transfers. I am blessed.
The whole mission has been beautiful. I have learned so much. I claim to be full fledged Mexican now. I don't care what anyone says. I love these people, I love this culture, I love this work. I love being a missionary. The time is up and I am tired, but I will always say I loved it. I am ready to be done, I am ready to come home. I miss a lot of people and I am excited to see everyone again! I will leave behind so many "new family members" here in Indiana and I already look forward to the day I come back to visit!
Para terminar solo quiero compatir unos pensamientos a cerca del evangelio de Jesucristo. Me disculpo de antemano porque el teclado no tiene acentos. En mi mision yo he llegado a saber una gran verdad. Mucha gente que he conocido me ha dicho que es feliz. Y no lo dudo, pero durante estos dos anos, yo aprendi que aunque una persona sea feliz, puede ser aun MAS feliz, y eso es por medio del evangelio de Jesucristo. Como misioneros y miembros, nuestro proposito no es proclamar que solo los mormones pueden ser felices PERO, SI es nuestro proposito decir las personas que existe una felicidad duradera, un gozo pleno que SOLO se encuentra al acercarse a Dios. Hay una felicidad mas grande. Hay esperanza. Que bendicion poder haber sido un misionero por tiempo completo durante dos anos, me ha cambiado bastante. Les quiero a todos ustedes tanto. Agradezco su apoyo. Agradezco su amor. Que Dios me los bendiga.
It's been a fun ride.
For the last time,
Elder Jeffrey Aaron Groseclose
MTC Comp and I. Together at the end! Service project.
Mijango's daughter, Niki. #Columbus