This week went pretty well. The things with the other Sisters are A LOT better. Thank you for your prayers I know that they helped. They were very much felt this week. These weeks seem to be passing faster and faster. Our Mission President was in the District Conference in Vallenar this week and he had all of his missionaries stand up in the Adult Session in the afternoon (it was more of a conversation than a formal meeting) and he announced the we were all his best missionaries and he sent us here for a reason. And that we are there to serve with all we can. And then he announced to everyone that I only had 2 weeks left, then turned to me shrugged, looked at the audience again and said, ¨She has a cruel Mission President¨ then he chuckled to himself. It was funny.
But this week was a good one filled with many miracles. And with many eye openers for me. I have seen a lot of things in my mission that have really opened my mind and my eyes to the living situations of people and cultures. But this week I had two new ones. Two that break my heart and I feel like I need to share them.
There is a family of investigators here that are progressing very well. We may even be helping them to set a baptismal date this week (faith!). But while we were teaching them, just the Mom and the Daughter, and finishing up the lesson. In stumbled Dad....... Completely drunk. He was still on his feet and coherent. But you could tell that he really wasn't all there..... He began apologizing to us saying it is just who he is and making jokes. And the Mom and Daughter, you could tell that they were just so sad and so embarrassed...... When everything settled down and we finished the lesson they invited us to have a little meal with them. So we did. And while we were sitting there, the father had his little grandson (who is 4 years old) bring him a cold beer. The little boy dutifully went and got it, and before giving it to him looked at his grandpa in the eyes and said, ¨The only one okay Grandpa? Just one.¨ And the Grandpa agreed and went on to drink the can. We conversed more (or he was talking and we were responding but the responses weren't really getting to him, you could tell....) And then he ran out of beer.... And he asked his little grandson again to bring him a beer. The little boy said no. He repeated the request and the little boy covered his ears with his hands so he couldn't hear his Grandpa.
I share this experience because I know my family isn't perfect. But I am so incredibly grateful that my Grandparents, and my Dad, are active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am grateful that I never had this experience. I have such a testimony of the Word of Wisdom, and of a happy family. I could never imagine not being a member of the Church. My companion and I were talking the other day about members who go inactive in the church for whatever reason. And she said, ¨Well we can say things now, but we never know what is going to happen to us in the future to make us go inactive.¨ And I thought about that.... And NO. JUST NO. My Mother always taught me that we make the decision RIGHT NOW about whether or not we are going to be faithful. Or aren't we. I make the promise and the covenant looking forward to a future. Not until the day that I get tired of something or when someone offends me. My Mom always said, ¨Make the decision right now not to break the Law of Chastity, or try drugs, and when the situation or if the situation arises, you already KNOW YOUR ANSWER.¨ It is the same with the church. You were baptized.
You aren't going inactive in the church.
You are going inactive on Christ.
You are falling into your own form of apostasy. And who knows how many people are going to be affected by your bad decisions.
Sorry for the rant. I just love this gospel, and I know it is true and how it blesses people. And I feel so so so so sad. That people see membership in the Lords church as something as an option. It is not an option. It is salvation.
The other experience was with a single sister with no family. She is 64 years old and her children have given up on her as a useless old lady. She built her own house out of cast off wood on the side of a hill. She doesn't have running water or a bathroom. No job. Nothing. Literally, this poor woman doesn't have anything. She has gifts of dishes and a table a little refrigerator, etc. But it is empty. She has no food. Nothing. She had to beg food from a friend to feed her little cat that shares the house with her. And you know what she told us? ¨But I don't worry. God knows me. He knows what I need. He will help me find some food.¨ That type of faith is an example to us all. We are doing what we can to help her of course. But she doesn't worry. She is more than happy to wait on the Lord with faith and patience.
I share these stories, and this lovely rant. Because I have felt many feelings very strongly in this last week. This world is so beautiful. We have everything in front of us, ready for the taking. And when we get to the tree of life.
What do we do?
Do we partake and WALK AWAY?
Or do we eat, and keep eating, inviting our family and friends to partake also?
Or do we reach the tree, look at the fruit and say, its too far, I cant reach it, and walk away.
Or maybe we are among those who partake of the fruit, and then ARE ASHAMED AND FALL AWAY INTO FORBIDDEN PATHS AND ARE LOST.
Make the decision NOW. Don't say what my companion said. Make the decision NOW. And pray with all the energy of your hearts that you enter not into temptation.
I hope that this email makes sense. It is much longer than I intended. But I feel that the spirit has sent me a couple of these thoughts. So I hope that they reach the person that God wanted them to reach. Maybe they were just for me in 30 years. I don't know. But thank you for reading. For loving me and supporting me in this wonderful time in my life. My Mission. The Mission of the Lord.
I love you so much. I will talk to you one more time next week. So until then. I love you all. Think about which decision you are taking right now. Make it now, not later.
PS. And go watch this.