Saying Goodbye to Huancayo

So, it’s over.

Here is how my last few days went:

I spent Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Lima getting permission to leave the country. We stayed at Hotel Yeya’s, where we usually stay. Elder Arratia was with me. We got to the immigrations office and took our put-together paperwork to the window and found out we both had “outrageous” fines for not renewing our Peruvian identification. The outrageous fines amounted to about $40, so pretty soon we were on our way. The only thing that worries me is that mine will expire three days before we leave Lima. However, the area secretary said that it is a very minimal fine when we get to the airport. I hope that’s true!

Saturday my packing plans were pushed up a day because I found out I needed to be in the office all day Monday for well-being and self-sufficiency training. This is a new thing for missionaries leaving the mission. Due to this, my final interview was pushed up to Sunday.

It was hard to say goodbye to my Jauja branch on Sunday. After church, interviews went well. I’ve come to love and admire President Henderson. He’s been a great president, and helped me to be satisfied with the mission and get excited for the future.

On Sunday afternoon, I said goodbye to Olinda, Maximo, and Elder Fitzgerald. There were some sniffles in the car as Maximo and Olinda drove us to the terminal to meet the bus to Huancayo. They feel like family to me now.

Monday was the training I mentioned. It was helpful but a bit on the long side. In the afternoon, the five of us who were finishing up went to the President’s house for a really nice meal and some time to chat and enjoy each other’s company before we went our separate ways.

At about 8:30pm, my parents showed up and it was so good to see them. It was a little embarrassing — as I ran in my stocking feet I slipped on the hardwood floor and nearly fell.

It is hard to believe that the mission is over. It almost doesn’t seem real, and reminds me of Jacob 7:26:

the time passed away with us, and also our [mission] passed away like as it were unto us a dream

 

My parents arrived in Lima with a day to spare and went to Plaza de Armas and other tourist attractions.

My parents arrived in Lima with a day to spare and went to Plaza de Armas and other tourist attractions.

My parents also checked out the CCM and temple in La Molina.

My parents also checked out the CCM and temple in La Molina.

Then they flew from Lima to Jauja. Their plane ride took 37 minutes, when the bus took me eight hours.

Then they flew from Lima to Jauja. Their plane ride took 37 minutes, when the bus took me eight hours.

Since they couldn't pick me up until 8:30pm, the wandered around Huancayo all day Monday. They even did some reconnaissance and found the mission office.

Since they couldn’t pick me up until 8:30pm, the wandered around Huancayo all day Monday. They even did some reconnaissance and found the mission office.

Reunited!

Reunited!

The five of us finishing up this week: me, Elder Chavez, Elder Arratia, Elder Alvorado and Hermana Veraguay with President and Sister. Henderson in the mission home.

The five of us finishing up this week: me, Elder Chavez, Elder Arratia, Elder Alvorado and Hermana Veraguay with President and Sister. Henderson in the mission home.

Today I took my parents to eat at my favorite chifa (Chinese) restaurant Chifa Xu.

Today I took my parents to eat at my favorite chifa (Chinese) restaurant — Chifa Xu.

They wanted to full experience so we hopped on a bus to Cochas to see my favorite park and favorite local artisan.

My parents wanted to full experience so on Tuesday we hopped on a bus to Cochas to see my favorite park and favorite local artisan.

And, we had to visit my favorite cuy.  Of course.

And, we had to visit my favorite cuy. Of course.

Last Email in the Field

I have no idea what to say. It has come down to the last week as a missionary. It all ends here. I am so terrified of what is coming. I can’t believe how fast these last few weeks have gone.

I just want to share my testimony of this work. I know that this is the true Church of Christ. He has done everything for us. Even if we were to serve Him every minute and second of our lives, we would be unworthy servants. But He doesn’t care. I’ve been such an imperfect missionary, and I can honestly see my imperfections. I have come so far, but there is still so much more to do. He lives. He invites ALL to come unto Him. He wants to make us happy. He suffered everything so that we can live. I love Him.

Even when times get rough and you don’t think that you can continue forward, nor that you can continue with His gospel, give it another chance. I have seen way too many people fall by the wayside. Stay strong. Hold to the Rod. Just keep trying. It isn’t worth it to fall away and not get back up. Our eternity and destiny depend on the decisions that we make now. Come to Him.

Well, that’s it from Elder Van Komen. Perhaps the next time I write, I’ll just be David. Anyway, I’m off to have an adventure!

With many llamas!