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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Week #57: Tamaulipas - 1

Well... The day has come. Actually, it came like a week ago (Tuesday). I have left the mission offices and have returned to the field as a "normal" missionary. Let me tell you, it`s been a bit tough, but it`s getting there.

My last day in the offices before transfers I went to the hospital with on of the office Elders so that he could gets some tests done over a two day period. Last I heard (today) he is still there and has a beard now. I guess he got some treatment done or something. But, it was a pretty good day. Kind of chilling with him, writing some converts, riding an ambulance to take him to a different hospital during the evening. Good stuff.

I think I`m a pretty emotional person sometimes. Today I`ve felt a bit emotional and had some hard times, but right now I feel pretty good. It`s a lot different being a normal missionary. It`s different not being with my friends at the offices. We really became a family of sorts, and I miss them. But, I`m doing okay. I`ll get to see them all at latest by the 28th of November (special Thanksgiving Dinner family reunion!) so that will be nice. Elder Cayetano (one of my current Zone Leaders and an ex-office Elder) told me that I would feel "trunky" for the office for about 5 days, and then I`d be alright. I`m still kind of there a bit, but that`s okay.

So, on Tuesday morning my replacement arrived at the hospital to take my place as "companion" during the studies, so I came back to the offices. However, the meeting where they announce the transfers had already taken place, so I heard about it from my friends. They told me that I would be training, and what area I would go to. I helped out with a few office things, then went to a training meeting for the Trainers.

After the meeting, we received our new companions. My companion`s name is Carlos Javier Carbajal Alarcón. He is from the state of Guerrero, en Mexico. He is 22 years old, and will be 23 within a week. So, my pattern continues strong. I have had pure companions from Mexico here in Mexico, and I either have "older" missionaries, or "young" missionaries. My companions had the following ages (more or less): 24, 19, 26, turned 19 while my companion, 22 (about to be 23). So, my next companion should be younger - haha. Elder Carbajal has sensitive skin, so he has permission to wear a hat and sunglasses (his eyes are sensitive too).

It`s been interesting to be a Trainer, and to be Senior Companion. It`s been hard. I`ve felt like a better missionary, but I`ve also felt more stress, more "What are we going to do?" since I am the one who needs to give the example and direct. I`m trying to be a good companion, but it`s hard. It`s definitely a change. Since I`m training, and Elder Carbajal is fresh from the CCM, we`re sort of "opening an area." The area already existed, but to put us here they pulled out both missionaries who were already here.

I know that the testimony I bore last week about companionships and everything is true. Sometimes, however, living it is a bit harder than solely testifying of it. We`ll see why we need to be companions in this area, but I know we are here for a reason. My companion was "supposed" to arrive last transfer, but didn`t make it. He made it this transfer, and we were put as companions. The Lord knows why He does what He does. I know that we need to be companions and to help eacother grow. I need to help him be the best and happiest missionary he can be. He actually kind of reminds me of myself when I was younger (and nowadays) in the mission field.

It kind of feels like I did when I was new to Mexico. Pray for me please. I`ll be praying for you. I`d like to share some verses with all of you that I shared with my sister. There is a song I have that bases some of the words off of it, and it really impacted me today as I listened to it for comfort and strength. Here are the words (emphasis added):

3 Nephi 22: 7 - 8, 10 "For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kidness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer... For the mountains shall depart and the hills shall be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee..."

No matter what, the Lord will not forsake us as we serve Him. Even if "the world is falling apart," He will be there. He is constant. He is kind. He is loving. I know that I need His help to do this work and keep moving forward, and I pray for it. Always remember to keep your hopes up, and endure to the end. That`s what I`m trying to do in the tough times.

Don`t get me wrong, it`s not that tough, but it`s a bit tough. I`m sure it`s hard for my companion as well, if not even harder since he`s brand new still (he got to the Mexico MTC on October 31st, 2013). We just have to keep on working and never give up hope.

Have a great week. I`ll talk to you next Monday.

Much love, Elder Izak Thomas Erekson

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