Chapter One: Guatamala City, Guatemala CCM
On March 5th, 2013 I was set apart as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by my stake president.
I said goodbye to my mom, my brothers and sister-in-law, and my best friends. I put on a name tag and boarded a plane to a foreign land.
I was joined on the flight by around 30 other North American missionaries who were headed to various missions in Central America. During my layover in Los Angeles, California, I had the opportunity to get to know a few of the other missionaries. Three stood out in my mind and became great friends over the course of the six weeks we were in the CCM together. The first was Elder Peterson. We talked a bit on the flight and he seemed very quiet and reserved. Over the course of the six weeks he became like a little brother. He was 18 when he arrived in the CCM and had a birthday in the m as well. He was very supportive and helped me feel at home.
|(Elder Peterson is the one with the glasses)|
And the third person I met during the layover was a tall, awkward, annoying elder named Elder Turley. He irritated me so much that first evening because he would not shut up. He was talking and making jokes, and I was just annoyed by him at first. But by the end of the CCM he was one of my best friends. He never gave up on trying to get me to laugh, and I am so glad he was as persistent as he was or else I would never had realized how incredible he is. We had these random “no smiling” contests, that I almost never won because he had this ability to make me smile no matter how upset or irritated or whatever I was. (I don't have a picture of him unfortunately...)
My teachers were also super supportive. I had a few different teachers while at the CCM. One I had the entire 6 weeks was Hermano (Brother) Lopez. He is incredibly intelligent when it comes to anything gospel related. He was incredibly in tune with the spirit, and he always knew exactly what to say. He was a rock for me from the beginning and I am so grateful to him for all of his support and encouragement. Another teacher was Hermano Chavez. He was with us for less than 2 weeks but he was incredible! He served his mission in El Salvador and he immediately became my go to guy for any questions I had about El Salvador. He is an amazing person and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to become friends with him.
The CCM was an amazing experience and I cannot express how grateful I am to have had that opportunity.
Chapter Two: Metapan, El Salvador
|My district leader Elder Urban|
While walking around the streets of Metapan I began to notice a pain in my back. I took ibuprofen all the time and was constantly icing my back. The pain gradually worsened until I could hardly sit for more than 30 minutes and cried whenever we walked a good distance. Of course, it began to weigh me down emotionally. After days of consideration and prayer, I decided going home would be the best option for me. So when an opportunity presented itself, I took it. I accepted the offer to go home and began the process.
Chapter Three: Coming Home
Chapter Four: New Adventures