Man oh man am I feeling sentimental! Here I am, sitting in this little internet café in Fray Bentos, just trying to soak in every moment because tomorrow, I will be heading off to JUAN LA CASE! I cannot believe I’m finishing up in my first area. I remember when I first arrived in Fray Bentos, I experienced some hard-core culture shock. I questioned if I’d ever grow to love this crazy place with people who spoke this crazy language I didn’t understand. Now, four and a half months later, I can honestly say I LOVE FRAY BENTOS!!! And even more, I LOVE THE PEOPLE IN FRAY BENTOS!!! The night after I received my mission call, I remember lying in my bed and wondering why in the world I’d be going to Uruguay. I realized it was probably because of the people there, so I began trying to imagine what their faces, personalities, actions, names, etc. would be like. I had the opportunity to bear my testimony in my sweet ward, Las Canteras, and as I did so and looked out into the congregation, I realized now I actually know the faces, personalities, actions, and names of so many incredible people. And it just breaks my heart to think I may not be able to see some of these people ever again in this life. But you know what??? As missionaries, every day we preach about how families can be together forever...how the love we feel within our families is something that lasts even after this life. I also have a firm testimony friends can be together forever...that the love I feel for all these special people in Uruguay is something that doesn’t need to end. Before I head out, I am going to share sixteen of my favorite things about Fray Bentos because I lived in this sweet little place sixteen weeks!
1) I love how friendly people in the streets are! We say "hola" and they just smile and wave and lots of times, talk to us!
2) I love all the memories I have here with Hermana McMurray and Hermana Gordillo (I am going to miss this sweet girl)!!
3) I love how there are fresh fruit stands and little food shops EVERYWHERE!!!
4) I love the beautiful plazas here. Someday I hope to be able to show you guys these beautiful places with flowers, statues, and gazebos because it is breathtaking!
5) I love seeing cute little kids riding on motorcycles with their parents (not a lot of people have cars, so motos are everywhere).
6) I absolutely love the generosity of the people. Never in my life have I received so much food, little notes, clothes, etc.
7) I love how tranquilo it is here. There are trees and flowers everywhere, and it just gives me feelings of peace.
8) Okay I am running out of time, so I guess I will just write eight. But eight is half of sixteen, so perfect, right??? My favorite thing about Fray Bentos is that here, I’ve realized people from VERY different backgrounds can be tied together through one person. And this person is our Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for my ward, and sometimes I wonder why they’ve done so much for me, a random girl from a country halfway around the world. But do you know why they’ve done it? Because they love their Savior.
This has been a fun week full of teaching new investigators (we’ve been teaching an amazing Evangelical lady named Daniella and her daughter), last minute bonding with Hermana Gordillo, lots of goodbyes, and soaking up Fray Bentos. And next week will be awesome too!!! I am so excited to meet everyone in Juan La Case with Hermana Paredes (she is from Peru and has one change less than I do)! I love you all, and continue working hard. I am so grateful for you guys, and I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true!
Hasta proximo semanas (and I promise to send lots of pictures),