— Chinese proverb
A few days ago, I realized that it’s been just over a year since I received my mission call. I remember thinking: Spanish, Machu Picchu, llamas, unsafe water, weird food, jungle, huts, rain. Only like half of that was what my mission turned out to be. And here I am now, speaking Spanish fluently, running around in one of the largest, craziest cities in South America, teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone who is interested to hear. I have met so many wonderful people who have had an impact for good on me. I know how to help people with social, psychological, marital, emotional, and spiritual problems! I have learned so much about myself and how I have so much more do to before I’m ever going to be near what I need to be. It’s crazy how much life can change you and teach you in such a short amount of time.
This week has been really cool as far as lessons go. One of the families that we’re visiting is comprised of one long-time inactive member named Norma and her boyfriend Enrique. Norma has two teenage kids from her previous marrige that didn’t work out. Now she’s living with Enrique. We’ve been teaching them for a couple of weeks. Usually, as missionaries, when you don’t feel otherwise, you teach the classic discussions in an order. Lesson one, lesson two, lesson three… You’ve got the picture. But with Norma and Enrique, we’ve been teaching the lessons all out of whack. We’ve just felt like they need different things each time. Last week, during a quick lesson on prayer, as we left their house, Hermana Zumba and I both had the same feeling that the next time we go, we should teach them about Eternal Marriage as a means to show them what the gospel offers as a means to make goals today. We didn’t say anything to each other about it until we had our weekly planning session. It’s odd because that principle is a part of lesson 5, which is usually reserved for members, less active members and recent converts! But we went along with the feeling and studied up. During the lesson, the Spirit was so strong… It was amazing. Enrique was really pumped to learn about the temple, and he even asked us about if he could be baptised for one of his friends who had passed away. We told him with a smile, ”Well, hermano, you have to get baptised yourself first!” He smiled and was clearly contemplating it. He was really pumped about the idea of eternal marriage and told us that it was something he wanted. At the end of the lesson, he asked us, ”Do you guys prepare your lessons for each person, or do you just teach on the spot?” We told him how we study for a couple of hours every morning and prepare specific lessons, and we told him about how we felt last week. He said, ”That’s incredible. Every time you guys come, at first I’m dragging my feet to listen because I know I’m missing my favorite show on TV but every time you start talking, the subject always just draws me in and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else right now. I just feel so peaceful and whole and motivated when you guys are here.”
And that, my dear friends and loved ones, is the Spirit.
Every drop of sweat, every bruise, every ache, every hour of missed sleep.. Is wholly and completely worth it to hear that the Spirit is working and touching the lives of the people you teach. I know that we’re broken vessels; we’re humans and we’re weak and we have so many things that get in the way of being perfect, but the work is worth it. When we’re obedient, and we’re in the right place at the right time, I can testify that the Lord will put people in your place. It just happens. So many times. We always pass by just when this happens, or we happen to call right when somebody has that question. We happen to chat with this taxi driver or restaurant server or mere passerby, and it just turns out that they were looking for some spiritual words of comfort or advice. The church is true. Missionary work is true. For this, I know that the commandment to share the peace and joy and healing of the gospel with every creature in every country in their own tongue, is a true commandment from the Lord. And that it has a purpose.
And time defeats us, as always. What a shame. I had some funny stories to write too. But it’s ok. The story with Norma and Enrique was my favorite.
Have a great week! You guys sure are in my prayers!
Check out my poor shoes… ha ha. I have to take out the old insole now though, luckily I’ve got my new plantillas to put in there!! (Insoles)
We got jerseys for our zone ”Limatambo”!
My watch tan is growing
Really cool toy that I found… bet you’ve never seen all of the rings done before!! Ta Da!!