Hermana Jakob will not be able to write home tomorrow because she will be travelling to the mission home in Concepcion in preparation for her return home Tuesday evening. She will be flying into Toronto Pearson International Airport before 1pm on Wednesday afternoon, if all her connecting flights go well (fingers crossed X and prayerful pleadings!).
We got to see and talk to her through Skype this afternoon with her companion for a Mother's Day treat and I said I would relay her thoughts for her as her letter home this week. She promises once she is home, she will share more stories and pictures to her blog which she didn't have time to do previously.
Hermana Jakob was tearful as she expressed her love for the people of Chile and her gratitude for the time she has had these past 18 months to serve and share her beliefs about Jesus Christ and learn Spanish - like a pro, I might add, so much so that she has a Latin lilting to her voice when she speaks and says English feels foreign to her after all this time.
Her and her companion sang a Mother's Day song for me in Spanish which was really pretty.
She will leave a piece of her heart behind in Chile forever as her thoughts and prayers will always return to the friends she has made and the people she has met and come to love as she has taught, prayed for and served them. This is the hardest part of coming home for a missionary, because after all the wonderful experiences and struggles that they go through, the love they develop for what they do and the people they meet becomes like the feeling of family to them while they are away from home and it changes their lives so profoundly that they will never be the same again. Her experiences will impact her in so many positive and sustaining ways for the rest of her life. In many ways, this has prepared her for adulthood, independent living and how to be a good contributing citizen of the world while having learned to rely on God through faith by trusting Him in all things.
She is excited to come home on Wednesday and see her friends and family, yet nervous to see all the changes and a little apprehensive for the big life decisions to consider for the future. Leaving one place she has learned to call home for the past 18 months and returning to the home she's always known is bittersweet, a little sadness for things that are ending yet sweet for reunions with loved ones missed.
One thing is for sure, this girl is amazing! We love her a lot and know that she will excel in anything she puts her mind to. She has an unconquerable and determined friendly spirit and will do many great things in her lifetime, whatever new path she may travel. We look forward to seeing what new adventures await our beloved Hermana Jakob.