Monday, May 26, 2014
I honestly don’t remember that much from this week! Hahaha, I can’t even believe it’s already Monday again… What in the world. Update on Hna. G–she accepted the invitation to be baptized on the 14th! We are hoping and working with her so that all will be able to go as planned, but it is a challenge for her to attend church. She runs a farmacia and is scared to leave it for three hours on Sunday morning because all three hours she will be thinking of the people who need her and who she cannot help. We are trying to help her attend at least Sacrament, so she can feel the spirit there and want to attend all three hours.
This week I cried for one of our investigators. A young girl and her mother who we were teaching (references from the Elders) had baptism dates for this past Saturday, but about two weeks ago it became clear the mother had no intention of being baptized anymore. On Tuesday it became clear that she was not going to support her 11-year-old daughter in baptism either, even though the sweet girl wants to be baptized more than anything. In our last visit at their house, we asked the daughter if she still wanted to be baptized. She looked at her mother in fear but nodded to us that yes, she still wanted it. She later told us her mother hit her after we left. The mother has a handicapped son, 8 years old, who was baptized a little over a month ago who we love with all our hearts and who is living with a member family until the mother is well enough to take care of him again. We talked with the mother of this member family for a little while on Tuesday or Wednesday while waiting for the mother to come visit her son so we could see her and her daughter again. We waited and talked, but the mother never came. The mother of the member family related to us some things she knew from the 8 year old son and others about the mother but I didn’t really understand until after we left the house. Hna. Pena had to explain the situation to me after, dealing with alcohol and abuse, and as soon as I understood what she had been saying about the lives of the investigator’s mother´s four children, I just started crying. I couldn’t help it. It seems so unfair that children of our Heavenly Father have to be born into and grow up into such unloving atmospheres! Never NEVER take your families, your parents, your loved ones, for granted. We are all so blessed beyond belief!
Today we went to a view that overlooks Lake Atitlan and I WAS SPEECHLESS! Soooo beauutiful. We took a bus to an area in our zone called Nahualá through the mountains in one of the school buses they use for transportation here. GUYS. Flashback to tubing on the lake and holding on for dear life to the handles on either side of the tube. I KID YOU NOT WE WENT TUBING IN A BUS TODAY. Hahaha, Hna. Peña and I were laughing so so so hard and trying not to slam into the people sitting on either side of us. The roads are so windy and I looked today at his speedometer and the driver was going 100 kmh down a mountain side and I laugh slash cried, haha. Hna. Peña named the drive Nahualá Drift. I died. I didn’t even know she knew what that was. Nahualá is gorrrgeous. It´s very very very high up, so on the drive we get to see the most beautiful views and literally look out over the tops of clouds. All of the people there speak Qíche and wear corte, typical Guatemalan clothing. I love the people here and I love their customs! I only know a few phrases in Qíche but it’s the neatest language. Everyone sounds like they’re groaning and I’m just so confused, hahaha. We knocked on a door and my comp goes aaaaaauuuuuu and we hear a eeeeeeeuuuuuu from the inside, ahahha. I was just laughing. I laugh at everything, myself especially. I’m convinced it makes life better. And easier.
I wish you all could walk the streets of San Cristobal with us everyday. We see the neatest things. The other day we heard a brass band playing Get Lucky. That was interesting. One thing that has surprised me the most here is how even the people who dress the nicest live in homes made of cement and broken wood or tin doors, many with dirt floors also, and only curtains for doors inside of their homes. They have to cover all of their food and dishes with clothes because there are flies. literally. everywhere. I kid you not, I don’t even notice them anymore because they just swarm everywhere. Including on the food we are fed, hahah. In many investigators’ homes, we teach them lessons sitting on their beds or on plastic stools by their beds because they only have one or two rooms in their homes.
Speaking of investigators’ beds, I’ve picked up a few things from them. Fleas being one, and remember that allergic reaction I mentioned last week? Well it only got worse, so my companion and I asked a nurse in the ward on Saturday and she took one or two looks at my arm and legs and said it was a little animal living and biting me from underneath my skin. It also lays eggs under my skin. It is also nocturnal, which explains why my bites are 10x as red and swollen and itchy at night. So. There’s that, hahahah. WHAT IN THE WORLD I wanted to crryyy, but I didnt. You guys should be so proud. She told me I needed to only use three pieces of clothing and wash everything else multiple times, including what I wear every day once I get home. HA. We ain’t got time fo dat. We called the mission nurses and they told me I need to see a dermatologist tomorrow in Xela. Hahahaha, THE MISSION IS GREAT GUYS, IT REALLY IS, I PROMISE. And on the bright side, I haven’t been getting any flea bites this week!! We did find a few little friends (fleas) in my bed but we found them a new home.
At a Hermanas’ zone conference with President Bautista in the San Cris chapel. Such an amaaazing conference. I left that capilla walking on a cloud, the spirit was so strong. We watched a video with excerts from Missionary work and the Atonement by Elder Holland and a talk from President Eyring that made me cry… President Eyring said that whenever he feels like he has done enough and deserves a break, he remembers the Savior and his trip to the Spirit world after his suffering and crucifixion. Even though his misison on Earth was finished, he KEPT WORKING, he kept working to try and help souls come to Him and the Father. He said that whenever we feel this way, work even harder and then kneel down and THANK the Lord for the OPPORTUNITY to serve in His work. Wow. So inspiring. (I cried. Nobody is surprised. :))
I know this email is so long; sorry. I want to share with you a part of the letter Hermana Howard gave to me a few weeks ago. If there is one thing that I think about more than anything on my mission (besides peanut butter and real food), it is the Savior. I love my Savior. I LOVE my Savior. Every day I am more and more and more grateful for and in awe at His sacrifice, His teachings, His love for me and for ALL. I had never thought much about His hands until Hermana Howard shared with me her obsession with them in the CCM. We would often stop to admire every picture or painting that had Christ´s hands in it. She wrote me this in her letter:
If there is one thing to remember me by, it’s my obsession with Christ´s hands. I love his hands because whenever I see them I think of how many incredible things he did with his hands. In everything Christ did his hands showed the evidence of his love. He has hands that love and hands that hug, hands that help and hands that heal, hands that serve and hands that suffer. He has the permanent evidence of his love for us engraven into the palms of his hands. His true and everlasting sacrifice can always be remembered by remembering his hands. Strive everyday to have hands like Christ´s and I know that you will become like him in every other way.”
I want to leave you with 1 Ne 21:14-16 and Hna. Howard´s challenge. Strive everyday to have hands like Christ´s. And never forget their power in your own lives. They can lift you and comfort you, if you let them. I love you all with all my heart! Be good! Be happy!
All ma love,