Saturday, January 22, 2011

Goodbye, Hermana Good

My dear Family and Friends,

I'm sure that you have all been anxiously waiting for the final blog post of Hermana Kira Good. I'm sorry it's a little delayed... but it was a CRAZY last week in the mission field, and with some unforeseen circumstances and a holiday on Monday, I didn't get the chance to e-mail one last time. So yes, I am home now. I'll give you the updates for the past week and a half of my life.

Monday: It was my last p-day. It really hit me as I was standing in line at the post office with a box filled with some last things that I didn't want to have to haul home, including my English scriptures and Preach My Gospel. We went and played volleyball... but I was so NOT in my game. I did horribly. I just couldn't focus. I was too down in the dumps with the fact that it was my last week as a missionary and I'd have to say goodbye to people all week long. Before we left the chapel, I said goodbye to most of my missionary friends. That evening, we went and said goodbye to a few members. And then, as if I wasn't feeling down enough, we got home that night and checked our mail and there were my trunky papers. My poor companions... they had to put up with me and it wasn't exactly a pretty sight.

Tuesday: We were on exchanges with Sister O'Brien. We had another amazing appointment with Lucy, then went to lunch with the Belnaps. They are so funny! I love them! We also went knocking that afternoon. Sister Newbold and I were talking about crazy experiences we've had knocking on our missions as we were walking up to a door... and I had one that totally takes the cake! I went to open this gate to get up to the door, and the gate came off in my hands! I was mortified! And to make it worse... the guy who lives there heard me and came to the door. "Me quebro la puerta!" (You broke my gate!) he said. I felt so bad. But I was so in shock that I just kept going with my OYM, holding the gate. Sister O'Brien and Sister Newbold were dying, because they had seen that the hinges were already broken anyway. And before we left, the guy did tell me that it was already broken and that he'd fix it later. Yeah... it was bad. But really kind of funny. That night, we were at the church for our coordination meeting when the phone rang. It was President Miller... for me. He asked me to go to where I could be alone, so my companions and I went into one of the rooms. He proceeded to tell me that Sister Jarman, who was Sister Cabello's companion serving up in Anthony had been attacked by a Pitt Bull, and that it was really a serious bite. He also told me that Sister Cabello was really super traumatized by the whole thing. He told me that they wanted to emergency transfer me to Anthony to spend my last week. I'm sure I lost all color from my face. I was in shock. But I felt instant peace. I knew it was supposed to happen. All the other missionaries were right outside the door, wondering what was going on. When I got off the phone with President, I walked out and collapsed against the door and told them "I'm being ET-d to Anthony. I leave in the morning." Elder Evans, who was in my MTC district looked like he was going to cry. It was hard to say goodbye to them. I went around and told the members who were there goodbye, and visited a couple families, and went home and hurried to pack all of my stuff. I packed everything in about 2 1/2 hours. And then I wrote letters to a few people to say some more goodbyes, and tried to sleep. But my brain was running about a million miles an hour. I didn't get an ounce of sleep.

Wednesday: Yeah, I didn't sleep at all Tuesday night. I got out of bed about 6:00 after tossing and turning all night long and went downstairs to write in my journal about everything I"d been feeling. We got ready to go, and went and said a few last goodbyes. I also had the Elders give me a blessing. Then we headed up to Anthony. I sat and talked to Sister Cabello while my companions talked to Sister Jarman. After they left, I took Sister Jarman to the doctor to have her bite looked at one more time before we took her to Las Cruces to stay with her aunt and uncle for the rest of the week until transfers. That night we had dinner with the Elders, and I was able to get to know them. I'd met then like once before, but didn't really get to know them, so that was nice. We also went to mutual at the church so I could meet the branch president and went to visit a recent convert sister. Then we went home so I could go to bed. I was so tired that I didn't feel it was safe for me to be driving.

Thursday: We did weekly planning. It was weird for a couple of reasons. #1: Sister Cabello had to do it all, because I didn't know anything about the area. I felt bad that I couldn't really help, but I was more of a help just writing down the plans that she made. And reason #2: I wasn't even going to be on the mission for the week we were planning for. Yeah, that was weird. And we went out and did a few visits.

Friday: The apartment inspectors called us in the morning and said that they would like to do apartment inspections that afternoon. We went to district meeting. My district in Horizon had a "funeral" all planned out for me, but it was neat to be able to get to know some other Elders I'd never been able to meet because we'd been in different areas. After the meeting, we all went to a a torta place for lunch. It was super yummy! I love a good torta! After lunch we went home and cleaned the apartment for inspections. We passed with flying colors! Then we went out and spent the rest of the day visiting people. I was able to find my way to a few places, and wasn't so disoriented, but I have to admit, I didn't really try to find my way around because I a) had my GPS, and b) knew that I would be there for less than a week.

Saturday: The day started out with a call for Sister Cabello from President Miller asking her to be a trainer. That made me SO happy! She will be a great trainer. I had such a desire to knock doors that afternoon. I told Sister Cabello that we HAD to knock doors. It was my last opportunity. We didn't have much success, but I truly put my whole heart into it. We were also able to visit some investigators. That night we got transfer calls. Just as I suspected, they closed Anthony to the sisters, and put two amazing Elders in. I'm excited because they'll be able to do a lot of great things there.

Sunday: I went to church up in Anthony. President and Sister Miller had told me that I could go back to Horizon for church, but I thought it would be better for Sister Cabello to be able to go say goodbye to the people she has grown to love. I can very easily go back and visit. It was weird going to just 3 hours of church after I've been going to two wards for the past 5 months. After church we went to dinner and made a few visits, then we went up to Las Cruces to get Sister Jarman. She was a little ball of energy when we got to her. We went and did a few visits so she could say goodbye. Sister Jarman was so sweet. The last visit we made was to one of their investigators. She told me that I could give the spiritual thought, as it would be my last time to teach a lesson as a missionary. I felt the Spirit so strong as I bore my testimony. I felt so much love for this brother, even though this was the first time that I'd met him. It was an incredible experience. When we got home, we started packing Sister Jarman and Sister Cabello's things to get ready for the transfer on Monday.

Monday: We finished packing and switched vehicles with the Elders. We couldn't fit 3 of us and our luggage in our little Mazda3, so they took that and we took their Colorado. That made me happy, to be able to drive a truck one last time on the mission. We made one last stop at the doctor so he could look at Sister Jarman's leg, and hit up Dairy Queen for lunch and headed off to Albuquerque. It was a good drive. We made a couple bathroom breaks, and still got to Albuquerque way early, so we decided to go take pictures of the Temple at night. The Albuquerque temple is such a beautiful one! After that, we headed to the mission home, and sat out front until we could go in (because it would have been REALLY bad to go in during the testimony meeting for the new missionaries). We got to meet Sister Cabello's trainee, Sister Gomez. They are going to be such a great companionship! Sister Jarman and I were in one room, and they were in the other. Sister Jarman and I stayed up really late talking... much later than we should have. She told me her part of what happened with the dog, and how Sister Cabello reacted to it. That was quite the story to hear. She told me that she was absolutely amazed at the difference she saw in Sister Cabello whens he got back on Sunday. And it's true... she was completely different than she was when I got to her on Wednesday.

Tuesday: We got to the mission office bright and early. And I had to say goodbye to my missionary friends. That was actually easier than I thought it would be. I was letting myself be trunky and get excited to come home. The 7 of us departing missionaries were able to go to the temple with President and Sister Miller. Then we went back to the mission home and ate a very yummy lunch! Our afternoon was filled with preparation for life after the mission--a presentation by President Cox on how to hunt for a job and go through an interview. We also signed a tablecloth that President and Sister Miller have to remember us by. We had our departing interviews with President Miller. Then we sat around and played Pictionary. That was kind of weird... I hadn't played a game of that sort for a VERY long time. It didn't feel like it's something I should have been doing as a missionary. But I guess that since we were doing it with President and Sister Miller, it was okay. We had dinner and a testimony meeting. The Spirit was so strong. I didn't want it to end. We all have our very different stories and experiences and have grown so much. After that the Elders left, and the three of us sisters sat around talking and laughing. We had a great time. We are all so close, even though we haven't really served around each other.

Wednesday: I woke up feeling very excited because I knew that I'd be with my family in just a few hours. President Miller made us waffles for breakfast, then we headed to the airport. We got checked in. We were all so excited. The 7 of us were sitting together at the back of the plane. I spent most of the flight writing in my journal about what I was feeling. It was a very emotional time. As we started descending into Salt Lake, we looked out the windows and were filled with excitement of being so close to home! Sister Lamb and I said goodbye to Sister Cope when we got off the plane, and then took off across the airport to find our flights. When we got to Sister Lamb's terminal, we said goodbye, and I was alone for the first time in a year and a half. Yeah, that made me freak out a little bit. When I got to my terminal, I went to sat down, and there was my stake president! That was quite the unique opportunity! We had a great visit while we were waiting for our chance to board. When we started to descend into IF, I really started to get excited. I couldn't wait. As soon as we could take off our seat belts, I was up pulling my coat out of the overhead bin and wishing the people in front of me would move faster. I practically ran from the plane to the escalators. It was so great to see my family again. As soon as I got through the doors, I ran into my mom's arms and we just held each other. It was so good to be here again with them. I hadn't realized how much I missed them until I was back with them. I moved to each member of my family, my parents and siblings and grandparents, who were at the airport and gave each one a big hug. Oh how good it felt to be home. We left the airport and headed home. We passed Reed's Dairy, who had a "Welcome Home Sister Good" on their sign, and my family had a "Welcome Home Hermana Good" sign on the garage. I walked in and was greeted by Bear. He was VERY excited to see me. I got lots of doggy kisses. Then I moved into the house to see the remodel that my family has been working on. The carpet layer was here working on the carpeting still, as were the electricians. I was totally shocked. It was completely different than I had been expecting. But it looks great. My family had saved all of my Christmas for me, so we sat down and I opened my Christmas gifts... for the past 2 Christmases. Then we ate dinner. I had been craving my mom's fajitas, so that's what she fixed for me. But I have to admit... it was so not the spice that I'm used to. After dinner, we went off to the church so I could be released. I visited with President Stuart, and then reported to the High Council. Then I had to take off my name tag. Oh that was so hard. I had been dreading that part of coming home, and it's true. It's not so great. For the past 18 months, my name tag has been a part of me. And suddenly I no longer had my Savior's name pinned over my heart. I'm still looking down at my shirt expecting to have my name tag sitting there... and it's not. I really think that's one of the hardest parts of being home. I stayed up late talking with my family that night, getting to know each other again after 18 months. We were up until after 1:00 am... WAY past pumpkin time, but oh so worth it.

Thursday: Even after being up late, I woke up bright and early when Kesha's alarm went off. I went on some errands with mom, and helped out with the remodel. While we were in Walmart, mom left me alone while she went to get a cart... I didn't quite know what to do with myself. This whole not having a companion business is a little harder than I thought it would be. There was lots of work to do, trying to get things ready to go for the weekend. I was also able to start reconnecting with some of my friends. It was great to be able to talk to them again.

Friday: It was another day like Thursday. More errands. More work. More reconnecting with friends. A little more comfortable to be left alone, but so not able to bring myself to listen to music yet. I stayed up even later talking to mom. That was great! One of my cousins came up from Provo. It was the first time I'd seen him since before his mission, so it's been about 3 years or so.

Saturday: I woke up and made breakfast for everyone. Then mom and I headed off on some more errands to get stuff for my homecoming and Lance's Eagle Court of Honor. Then we came home and I put the finishing touches on my talk, helped with preparations for tomorrow, and was able to visit with the family who has come into town to hear me speak. After dinner, we headed to the Church for the Court of Honor. And we came home and played a game, and are currently watching a movie, Toy Story 3. My family is trying to get me used to my life after the mission.

Okay... so you're probably all super board after reading the novel of my life after 2 weeks of not writing anything. But don't worry. This is the last play by play of the week. After all... I'm home now. Sure, I'll keep giving updates, but they won't be like what they've been the past 18 months. I hope y'all have a great week!

Harmana Good, signing off.

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