Well, I needed some time to gather my thoughts before I wrote this. I've always been a pretty open person when it comes to my feelings and I'm not one to hide the struggles that I'm facing! For the past four months I've struggled and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. It's not something that I've ever experienced before and honestly it wasn't something I thought I would be writing about now. Unfortunately, my situation was mishandled and as a result for the last three weeks I've been experiencing physical symptoms that could not be remedied in country. Without going into anymore detail, I was advised by my mission president and the church doctors in both Chile and SLC that I return home to get proper care and to get healthy again.
So I'm home now, taking one day at a time and focusing on my health. I have already felt some improvement being here with my family during this time, and I am very thankful for that. I absolutely loved the eight months that I spent in Chile for my mission, and though my time there was cut short, I learned so much about myself and about the love my Heavenly Father has for me and for all of His children, and it has been a huge blessing. Even though it was very difficult to leave all of the friends that I had made in Chile (friends that had turned into family), the overall feeling I have had since I left...is peace. I know that the Lord has a plan for me, and that even when things don't always make sense, I can put my faith in Him and let Him share the weight of my burdens. This is a priceless lesson I have learned during the last eight months.
This brings me to my blog. Now that I have come home...I wondered what I would do with it! I considered just ending it here. But I realized that I can't be the only missionary that has had or will have a challenge like this while serving. If my struggle can help anyone, then it's worth it to me to continue my blog.
Here are just a few of my favorite pictures with my dear family of Chile. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have known them and spent time with them. I will always hold this beloved country and people close to my heart :)
|Vivi and her mother, Rosa. Vivi always took care of me when|
I was sick and reminded me SO much of my mom,
so it was the biggest comfort for me. Les amo...
|The Alarcon Pino Family! For most of my mission,|
they fed us almost every Sunday and I am so
grateful for their constant kindness and love!
|Hermana Campillay (to my right) gave me lunch every Tuesday|
for almost my entire mission...she, her children, and her grandchildren
became like family to me. They taught me so much about unconditional
LOVE and I will never forget them for that.
|The Quezada Family...one of the first families I visited on my first day|
in the mission field. They have three younger boys and it was a
BIG comfort for me to be around them so often because
they reminded me of my own crazy brothers!
|Mi querida Susy Kate...te quiero|
muchisimo, corazon. Gracias por tu cari
|My dear, sweet convert and her mom. Beatrice Andrea and|
Beatrice Marcela. They changed me and strengthened me so much
during the time that I knew them...they are living proof
that God knows me and knows how to comfort me.
Les amo tanto.
|Patricia, one of the strongest women I have ever met.|
With all of the challenges she has had in her life, she has only
given her very best and has been such an example
of perseverance to me. Gracias por todo!
|Rosario is crazy...but always seemed to brighten|
my day no matter what. I love you!
|The Sister Missionaries of Cordillera! Me and my|
wonderful companion, Hermana Valladares, and Hermana
Martin and Hermana Alcantara :)
|The Garate Family... they are investigating the church and|
we literally just CLICKED! I felt so close to them, and we
have such a strong connection. They are more of a testimony to
me that my Heavenly Father knows WHO I need in my life.
|My sweet, loving companion who taught me so much about|
the love of our Savior Jesus Christ. I will be forever grateful
to her and the lessons we learned together that made us grow even closer.
|Cajon de Maipo!|
|One of the most beautiful families ever--Mauricio, Francisca, and|
Bruno. They were always so willing to help me and my companion,
and were nice enough to take us to Cajon de Maipo my last day!
|My companion's first contact with SNOW.|
|it was actually pretty miserable trying to get this picture.|
|Love me some Chile.|
|My true loves, Hermana Altamirano, Hermana Jimenez,|
and Hermana Vasquez. STAKE CORDILLERA!
|I felt the love.|
|Had to say goodbye to my first companion ever, my companion from|
the CCM. She was a crucial element of support and love for
me since the very beginning!! LOVE YOU SHAY!