Monday, November 1, 2010

Missing Cuenca

Hola . . . . .

This is going to be an audience participation email-we're going to use our imaginations. Imagine that you're in a beautiful place, and working in the best job that you've ever had in your life. You love your coworkers, you love the clients, and you love the place that you live in. And you're especially happy because a lot of your clients are about to make the best deal of their lives, one that will bring them a lot of happiness and allow them to progress a lot in their lives. You've worked hard, put in a lot of effort, and even cried over some of these people, but seeing them make these decisions that will bring them so much joy makes it all worth it. You are the happiest that you've ever been in your life.

Then one day, your boss calls you into the office. He thanks you for the work that you've done with these people, and then tells you that he needs you to go to another branch of the company, in a place that's still pretty but not as pretty as the place you're in now. You'll have new coworkers, you won't know the area or any of the clients, and you won't even know if you have clients. And . . . . . you won't be able to come back and visit this place that you love, and the people that you've come to love like your own family. You won't be there to see the results of all your work.

How would you feel at this point?? Like your heart was breaking??

If you answered yes to that question, then you know exactly how I felt last night at around 9:30 PM.

Last night the district leader called and told me that I was being transferred. At first I thought he was joking, in fact I was waiting for him to say HAHA, just kidding Hermana Chamberlain!!!! But even though I asked him about 6 times if he was joking, it wasn't a joke. At first they told me that I was going back to Guayaquil. I absolutely couldn't believe it-why on earth would I be going back there?? Elder Forero could hear how upset I was and said all the consolation things, don't worry everything's going to be fine you'll have a lot of success blah blah blah. All I said was uh huh, uh huh, yeah okay chao. I hung up the phone, buried my face in my pillow and began to cry. Hard. For a really long time. HNA Castillo started crying too-we had worked SO HARD for these people and we wanted to be there together when they all got baptized. Then the zone leaders called. I picked up the phone and said, I hope you're calling to tell me that the transfer call was a joke. Elder Johnson said that unfortunately it wasn't but that he was calling with more details about the transfers. Then he told me that I wasn't going to Guayaquil at all . . . . I was going to Loja. And that they were going to divide Alamos into two sectors-Hermana Glanzer was coming to be in one part and was going to train, and Hermana Castillo was going to take the other part and also train. All the people that we have that were going to be baptized in this change, that we had worked so hard and given up hours of time and energy to be able to go visit them . . . . I wasn't going to see them be baptized. It was too much for me to handle and I started crying again, and Hermana Castillo was bawling her head off right along with me. We sat there crying for so long that I didn't even start packing my bags until 10:30. I managed to quit crying while I was packing but when I got into bed I started crying and even though HNA Castillo gave me her Pooh Bear to hold and told me not to cry and that everything would be okay, I couldn't stop. I don't even know when I fell asleep-all I remember is crying and crying and feeling like my heart was breaking. I know that that sounds cliche but my heart literally was hurting. And it wasn't just for the baptisms-I really love the people in Cuenca, the investigators, the converts, the members, all of them. There were so many that I didn`t get to say goodbye to, and I felt like my time there was too short. If it sounds like I'm complaining or murmuring, that's not my intention at all. But I think that there have been very few times in my life when I've felt such profound sadness. In fact, I have tears in my eyes right now as I'm typing this. I know that everything is going to be okay-I know that I'm here in Loja for a reason, because when we got to the terminal, Elder Forero said that President wanted me to go to Loja to help lift up the sector that I would be in. But the thing is, I don't really do anything different-I just work hard and try to do what Heavenly Father wants. I don't know what President thinks I can do but I'm going to try and figure it out and do the best I can. Hopefully the heartache that I feel goes away soon.

Anyway, I'm in Loja now, in the sector called Jipiro. My companion's name is Hermana Bravo, she's from Nicauragua and is really sweet. I know we'll get along just fine. I'm excited because we are working with two families that have a date to be baptized, although I'm sad because I've been reading HNA Glanzer's blog and she worked so hard with the family that's getting baptized this Saturday, and now she won't be able to see their baptism. I feel like she deserves to be there more than me. But although I haven't met them yet, I already love them and I'm excited to get to know them and help them progress in the gospel. I know that everything will be okay, and it's not that I feel like I shouldn't be here or that I'm angry or anything . . . . I'm just very very sad and I miss Cuenca and all the incredible people that I left there. But the people here are great too and I know that I will be okay and that I will figure out what the Lord wants me to do here and that the heartache will go away. I know that the reason I feel this way is because I did what missionaries are supposed to do-develop a pure love and desire for the salvation of all the people in Cuenca.

I love you all so much. Thank you for all your love and prayers for me. Sorry this email was such a downer and that I didn't tell any funny stories or incredible spiritual experiences. Next week should be better. And despite everything, I love the Lord and I know He loves me, and that he will help me here in His great work.

Les amo muchisimo,

Hermana Chamberlain

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