Monday, April 13, 2015

Kispest Week 13 (week 103)

End game. VĂ©ge.
I'm writing this email with a heart overfilling with emotions. The past days have been insane and all over the place. Ups and downs.
On Saturday, our investigator family was baptized. Oh.My.Amazing. It was like all the stress and work of the past three months with them culminated in a two minute ordinance and it was over. Just all over. I confirmed the mother on Sunday during church and life was just perfect. The Bishop stood up and publicly called me out and said "On behalf of the Kispest Ward, I would like to thank Elder Giacalone for his service in the Hungary Budapest Mission. He will be greatly missed" and then they sang "God Be With You Til We Meet Again". Thankfully I was sitting in the far back row with a brand new investigator, who was probably freaking out by then, so no one really saw that I was crying into my planner and telling the people around me that I had an eyelash in my eye. 
Our last transfer call came this morning. It was from President Smith. He asked if I had been informed of the April Fool's Joke of me NOT going home and staying to continue! Honestly, it didn't even occur to me that it today is April Fool's! Also, turns out we are getting white washed by another set of elders, so we get to go back home, BOTH of us will pack, and then clean the apartment and make sure the investigators are taken care of. Should be a party, but I'm always down for a party :)
So tomorrow I head up to the mission home to drop off my bags and then go with my last companion for 24 hours, Elder Neely (smiles all around) and say goodbye to all our mission friends and make our way back to have our departing interview with President Smith. After that...I don't know what will happen. It's all up in the air...haha, get it? Up in the air? LOL

Today I'm grateful for my mission. The past twenty four months have been the hardest of my life, but they have been so, so very worth it. Every single investigator was so precious, every hour of tracting in the cold in nasty ten stories worth it, and every desperate prayer was heard by Heavenly Father. I've come to love the quote by Ugo Betti "To believe in God is to believe that all the rules will be fair and there will be wonderful surprises". I've learned that when we are obedient and keep the commandments we receive blessings, and that in the end that's all He really asks of us. He really wants His kids home, you know.
I love Hungary. Goodbyes are so hard. But, the other side awaits. I'm ready. Bring it. I started my mission with the lyrics to the song "Lead, Kindly Light", and it seems appropriate to end it with the last verse:

"So long thy pow'r hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone.
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!"
I love you all! See you soon :)

Sok Szeretettel,
Elder Joe Giacalone (last time I can say that...)