So at the end of last week, Elder Argueta decided that he was going to go home. No matter how many times I informed him that the decision that he was taking was the wrong one, and that doing this would not bring him any sort of happiness...he had made his decision and was in no attitude to change his mind.
And to be honest, I was tired of trying to convince him.
Elder Argueta had one last interview with President to make sure that he was sure about what he was doing. It only lasted about three minutes. Afterwards, I was called into president's office. I felt discouraged, beaten, betrayed and frantic in that moment...happy that I had done all that I could, but sad that it was not enough.
"I'm sorry for everything that has happened," I said.
President looked me in the eyes and told me, "What are you sorry about? Elder Monson, this is not your fault! You can't change the agency of others! I don't blame you one bit!" Then I felt like I had just had a great burden lifted from off of my shoulders...I had been so worried that I had done something wrong that it was eating me away from the inside...and at that point all I wanted was to just get a clean slate and try again. President continued, "now I've got to figure out what trio I'm going to be putting you in."
So when we got back home I started to pack and prepare myself to say, "Ta Ta" to El Tesoro.
Elder Argueta went back home on Thursday morning. Though I did not approve of his decision, I loved that missionary to pieces, and I hope that everything goes well for him in the future...
I spent all afternoon hanging out with Elder Prestwich in the offices and working out on the streets of Montufar again. It was fun to be able to go back and say hello to the Francos, Ana Victoria and Minor and Veronica...it felt like it had already been so long since I left that area, that their houses were foreign and familiar all at once.
The next morning we got a call from President, and I listened to Elder Prestwich as he spoke on the phone, "yeah....okay....San Cristobal? ...sounds good, we'll send an extra bed over there today..." He hung up, "Elder Monson, you're going to San Cristobal with Elder Linford and Elder Gudiel!"
I got all wide-eyed...why on earth was I going to be going to San Cristobal? I had heard of that area before, it is notorious as one of the hardest areas in the whole mission.
It's so difficult because it's so developed. All the houses there look like they could come out of a "Better Homes and Gardens" magazine, and in order to get into one of the hundreds of closed communities, you have to know somebody...
Meaning, it's a place where you have to work with the Members...or not work at all.
By lunchtime on Friday I was in my new area with my two new companions. Elder Linford is a missionary that will be finishing in December, he's from California, and the first companion that I've ever had that I've actually known before we were together. He's a great missionary and he's hoping to finish things off well. He's training Elder Gudiel, a Honduran Elder, who's super sweet. They were already a great companionship, so my hope is that I'm not coming in here to be a dead arm to them....
On Saturday and Sunday we watched General Conference in the Stake Center. All of the English-Speakers went to the High Council room and enjoyed a spiritual feast (and also a physical feast on Root Beer and Gummy Worms...gotta love conference snacks). It was an incredible conference, and it went by incredibly fast too! I was surprised to see that it was all over.
But I loved every minute of it.
It was a great week...and I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for the San Cristobal Threesome...
It's gonna be great.