Saturday, March 19, 2016

And they all lived happily ever after..... eventually... probably.

I've finally gotten the Guts to write my last Mission post... *sob sob*

My last week as a missionary... was well... I won't lie and say that it was great... haha  but it was definitely a week full of learning for me. It started just like every week does... P-daaaaay! it was our last week of the transfer and i was ready to finish the transfer with a bang...Little did i know that that was exactly how i would finish the transfer... and my mission.

Tuesday went just as planned, we carried on with the usual missionary work and then got to bed a little early since we had to leave for the hospital at 6 am Wednesday morning.  Here's the thing... i was expecting to go in there and have my ECG and ultrasound of my heart and they'd be like "yup you've got a murmur but it's no biggy... carry on with life"  that's usually how things had worked out before... I just carried on and nothing was ever a big deal... so i'm lying there and the technician leaves.... brings back someone else to double check... but i'l still in LaLa Land thinking it's all good.  Before i leave they tell me that the results will take 5-7 days to get to my doctor and then he will discuss the results with me.  sweet! so we head home... by this time it's like 9:30 am and i'm like... I need a nap yo! because we got up so early... an hour later the doctor calls... "Sister Botts, your results just got back to me, I need you to come in immediately so we can discuss the results"  well, there goes my optimism... all the worst case scenarios go through my head... worst worst worst case is that i have to go home right?  so i'm sitting in the car, mentally preparing myself "They're going to send you home Christi, but its ok. it will all be ok"... Sometimes i prepare myself for the worst in hopes that i'm being a drama queen and it's not going to happen... so I get there... the doctor comes in and tells me that the issue with my heart requires surgery... so i'm a little freaked out but still smiling like an idiot because i'm so so so in denial....  "How long have you served sister Botts" He asks "14 months as of today".... "well Sister Botts, your mission is served"
I'm so prideful i'm trying desperately to hold back the tears like it's all cool... but i couldn't. i sat there sobbing like an utter fool... Cleaned my face and headed out to my companion... slightly red eyed but no longer sobbing... Thinking, the longer i can go without saying anything the longer it will be before i start to cry again... i probably made it like 30 seconds... we didn't even get to the elevator door before i was sobbing once again like an idiot....

one side of me is recognising all the small things that Heavenly Father had given me to prepare me for this happening... the other side of me is still so sure that these things don't happen to me and everything will be fine.  it always ends up just fine right?  

They had scheduled me for a CT scan to double check the results... they said that it would be in about 5 says...  well that gives me some time at least... So once i stopped crying enough to be in public i picked up the area book and we picked a name to go and see... not even a minute after we decided on who to visit the phone rings... so much for 5 days.... CT Scan in 30 minutes... Great.  but that's ok... because everything was going to be fine... This test will point out that the other test was wrong.. sweet!!

Ok... not so sweet... But i'm still hopeful that despite the CT Scan confirming everything, they will let me finish!! I only have 4.5 months left!  I can finish!   I had been in contact with a member from my first area with everything that was going on and she was coming to meet us for dinner near the hospital... She brought Back Up!  Roxsan and Emily! I don't know if you will ever know how much i appreciated you two coming that night! it was just what the doctor ordered...  well actually he ordered Surgery... but i like you guys more than i like surgery! hahah

Thursday morning I still hadn't spoken to president about going home... so i'm happily assuming that it's not happening...   Nonetheless some Elders came to give me a blessing.... Straight after the Blessing the mission President called... I would have preferred that there were't 4 elders there to witness what happened next... because i ugly cried... like REALLY ugly cried! President confirmed that i was being sent home... He suggested the next day... well i'm rather stubborn and said no...  we managed to decide on Monday morning instead...  so i went to a member's home ( I freaking love you Emily Asbury!) to skype my parents and let them know what was happening... lots more crying... i don't know why i even bothered to put on make up that day... TWICE!
After Skype we went and had lunch with the other Elders in our District! I loved that district so freaking much! we had so much fun together!

Friday was zone training... it was good because i got to say goodbye to so many people that i loved. I just love the missionaries in my mission so much! but it also sucked because i'm just such a cry baby!! so bad! Then i went to the mission office to pick up a package that had arrived for me... as we got there so did the mission president and his wife... with my travel itinerary.... So... yeah you guessed it... More crying!!   The rest of friday was spent packing and then we had a dinner appointment. They bought me a birthday cake!! it was so sweet!!  I love the members!  after our dinner appointment we went back home and prepared for the next day... WE WERE GOING TO THE TEMPLE WITH THE LUJANS!! They were being sealed!! what a great birthday!

Saturday was Glorious!!
I was still feeling rather sorry for myself, I felt like I was being punished and like God had decided that i was not good enough to be a missionary anymore. I was still Heart broken. (both literally and Figuratively) We Met up with the Lujans and then drove up with them to the Denver temple! I was so excited to be there with them! I had never been to a sealing before so they would be my first!  I love them so much, after 3 months it felt like i had never left... Got straight back to beating up the boys! hahah

While we were waiting in the waiting room for them, Bishop Lowder from The Rio Grand ward (My previous area) Got there! Happy days! Bishops have like this magical power to make you feel better when things are crappy!
So then we went in for the sealing. it was so beautiful!
After that we headed out of the temple... as i got to the foyer i saw a familiar face... AH!! a sister from my second Area That i had grown very quickly to love very much! She recognised me and stood up and i walked over and we just had a really big long hug!! we talked and i let her and her husband know what was happening... then lots more hugging and some more crying... She Said "I knew i was going to see someone that meant a lot to me today" it was at that moment that i realised that Heavenly Father didn't hate me. He wasn't punishing me. He cared about me and wanted me to get better... and He was showing me this by giving me all these little blessings during what was really the hardest trial of my life... I have never done anything harder than going home early from my mission. it meant everything to me and i thought i would still have 4.5 months to prepare myself for it's end.  now i got 4 days instead... But this was just a little sign to me that Heavenly Father was still there. He hadn't abandoned me like i thought he had.

After the temple we set off to have lunch together! I hadn't eaten properly since tuesday so i was pretty hungry! Bishop Lowder had left but sent me a message saying he felt that he needed to ask if i wanted another blessing... I said yes! I felt like it was totally okay to have a bajillion blessings right then! I needed them all!  So once we finished our lunch... They sang to me... Awkward hahaha... we headed back to colorado springs to Meet The bishop. Once we got there He and Brother Lujan gave me a blessing in the middle of a Wendy's parking lot... it didn't matter where we were though. the Spirit was there. The blessing was exactly what i needed. It confirmed to me that I was not forgotten about and although this was not what i wanted, It was always the Lord's plan that i would only serve 14 months. (i Wish he would tell me these things before the time! ) And with that, We all said goodbye in the parking lot... cry cry cry some more.  but it was an amazing day! it was a good way to end things... If i really had to end things...

From there we headed to see Sister Kirby! She had prepared a Birthday meal and cake for me!  Mmmm steak and potatoes!  my fave!  we spent the rest of the evening there with Sister Kirby and Emily. It was a fun night! we played Apples to Apples... they usually don't like playing that with me haha and then we headed home... to pack and cry some more.  sad days.

Sunday was both terribly hard and awesomely great!

After Church on sunday Roxsan came to say goodbye... and let me hold her baby.. because i just had to do that before i left...  When all of a sudden, Elders Zaugg and Nelson show up at the apartment with cake and banners and balloons and streamers... it was like a party in a box!  how sweet was that? I just love them! Loooove them! After they and Roxsan left we headed out to Choir and dinner... we had pot luck at choir!  and then from choir... we went home and i packed my stuff into the car and we headed out to the Work of Salvation Missionary Fireside... when i got there there were a ton of members from my first area!  what luck that they were there on my last day as a missionary! i got to talk to a lot of them and say my goodbyes... Goodbyes suck!

The only upside to leaving so unexpectedly (in my head) was that i didn't have to give a departing testimony... i always dreaded that part... and i was happy to have gotten away without doing that... when suddenly... President Rehm calls me up during the fireside... and had me give it there and then... dun dun dunnnnnn...   once that was over i had to meet with president and Head over to spend the night at the Sister Training leader's place so they could drop me to the airport on Monday morning.  it was all kind of a daze and i felt like it still wasn't happening.  it was all going to work out and i'd get to stay.... i felt that way all the way up until i stepped on to that first plane. Then i kind of just died inside.  It was all over... Allllll over.    That was the hardest four days of my life... Literally! But through all of that i was reminded about blessings and advice i had received during my 14 months as a missionary. One blessing said that i would know when to work and know when to rest... another said to rely on the atonement of Jesus Christ, that He knew what i was going through and could help me.   It's funny because at the time i had received those blessings they helped... but i didn't realise that they would help me even  more much much later.

I was sad and heart broken the entire time but i still felt of the Saviour's love. I hate that i'm not a missionary anymore. sometimes i'm still surprised when i wake up in my own bed in the morning but at the same time, i know that This is in the Lord's hands. I may not like this plan right now but I  am comforted by the fact that i know it is HIS plan. and His plan is always better than mine.
I'm probably still going to get frustrated with things... all the time... i probably murmur more than my heart does! But besides all of that, all of the times when i know i'm going to feel like a whiny baby... like "Why meeeeeee?!"   I know that there is more to the plan. And that the plan is a good one.  The best one.


  1. My life moto - Gods plan is better than any plan I could make without Him.

    Thank you Christi for sharing your journey. I have loved reading of your experiences, your enthusiasm and your spiritual insights.

    You are amazing. A Botts and Spencer Spear trendsetter. An example to all of us, especially your nieces and nephews (including my kids!) who look up to you so adoringly! Thank you for your strength, your service, and your example of humility in leaving this trial in Gods hands. Our hearts are with you, and our prayers are for your strength and healing. xxx

  2. Christi, Angel, you continue to inspire and make us proud. Thanks for sharing all of your experiences and being honest. Your nieces and cousins and your children in the future will view you as a woman of strength and faith. You are a wonderful example to us all. Love you HUGELY

  3. Oops.... I forgot the nephew. How could I !?!?!?!?!?

  4. You are amazing Christi-thanks so much for your example and strength and belief in the Lord and His plan. So grateful that you at least had the 14 months. We love you lots.