Never in my life, would i have thought that I would be writing a blog with such serious matter. One that will probably be closest to my heart than any other blog. Right now my heart is swollen with sorrow, with joy, and with love. Never would I have thought that I would be attending a funeral/memorial service for a fellow servant of the Lord in the Utah- Provo Mission. Never would I have thought I would be saying "see you later" to a friend of mine. But this passed Thursday, I had to.
Jeffery R. Guerra, 23, passed away Thursday May 9, 2013. He was out doing his morning exercise as part of the normal missionary routine, and he collapsed. They rushed him to the hospital to find out that he had had a brain aneurysm. He was rushed to surgery and when the doctors were able to do what they were supposed to do, it was too late, his brain was gone. My dear friend that I only got to know for a transfer (6 weeks) back in October 25-Dec 5, had passed away. His parents and siblings were flown in from Sweden where they had currently reside after leaving Peru nearly 19 years previous.
On Thursday we were at a Zone Training Meeting and we had received a text message from the mission office that Elder Guerra had experienced a medical emergency and was in the Hospital. Later that day we got a second text saying that he had a brain aneurysm and was going into surgery. Then we didn't hear anything for the rest of the day. We had gone to Taco Bell after our Zone Training Meeting and I asked my Companion if people died from Aneurysms, and she said she didn't know. For some reason I just knew that something wasn't going to be okay with Elder Guerra, but we went on our way doing what we normally do as missionaries and I had nearly forgotten about Elder Guerra. Then Around 8 pm, we were in an Appointment and I pulled out the cell phone to get a phone number for the people we were with, and I saw that President McCune had called and left a message. My heart was racing, I knew something wasn't right, otherwise why would President call? So after the lesson we called president back and his voice was heavy laden, stressful, mournful. He had told us that we lost Elder Guerra. I just started crying because I was in his very first district when he came out of the MTC, we had become friends. And that hurt me a lot, never in my life did i ever think this would happen while I was on my mission.
We had the Memorial Service for him, and majority of the Zone's did a special musical number for the program, Eastern Utah Zone did "I know that my redeemer lives" and his parents got up and spoke and told us a little more about Elder Guerra. Ever since he was a child he was trying to be like Christ. They had told us a story of when he was 1 1/2 years old and living in Peru, where it was christmas time and his dad was the bishop. There were children who came from poor families and Elder Guerra's dad knew that they wouldn't be getting presents for Christmas. So all the gifts had been given out and they had noticed a little child with no shoes on and Jeffery only 1 1/2 at the time said "Papi, give him my gift i have plenty of toys." Another story they told about how he had found this baby bird who had fallen out of the tree and he did his best to take care of it so it could live. They shared a few other stories like this, and I just knew that Elder Guerra was preparing for something GREAT, and that Heavenly Father had a plan for him on earth, granted it was only 23 years, but thats all Heavenly Father needed of him and now he's on the other side doing missionary work. And how as I can just say that I'm grateful for the plan of salvation, to know that there is life after this life, and that Elder Guerra was definitely called home for a special reason.
I have deep love for his Family, they were so strong. Going through all this reminds me of when my step-dad passed away. And I know without a doubt that the Plan of Salvation is real. That Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of us so that we can be able to return to him and if we have faithfully finished our mission that Heavenly Father has sent us out to do, He will welcome us back into his fold saying "well, done my good and faithful servant" And I know that is what he is going to say to Elder Guerra. He did all that he could to be more like Christ, to love one another as Christ would, to help others on their way.
All I can ask of you guys, is to pray for the Guerra Family. Thank you.