Well, this week has been an interesting one to say the least. It was really busy, and I actually have stories to tell this time. But first I will answer the questions that were in your e-mails. I have seen Michael Jackson “This is It” posters all over the place, and I have to say that it is the first time in my mission that I have contemplated going A-wall and sneaking out to go see it…ok not really, but that might be the FIRST thing I watch when back on American soil. Sorry Harry Potter. Anyways, for Christmas…I don’t know. Ha just kidding Mom. I guess I’ll take some ties and a car waiting at home (Audi A4, or something similar). That’s all thanks. I will say as well though, with all the love and thanks that I possess, that it does not need to be as big as last year’s. I probably won’t be getting mail the day Elder Bednar comes, I assume anyway. I would say the Italian influence is most prevalent in the food. We either eat meat, or pasta of some sort. Yesterday we had raviolis.
So, on to the news of the week. First, I think it is important to announce that there is a new office elder here. His name is Elder Palacios and he is from Chile. He only has 8 months in the mission, so he is still a pretty young elder. He is really cool though. I already knew him before he came in, and he was just training, so he had to leave his son just like I did. I haven’t brought it up yet because I am sure it was painful. Anyway, he speaks well in English, so he should have no problem being in the offices. So he is here to replace Elder Sabey, and got here last night to start his duties, which makes me…his new companion? Yes, shocking but true, there is no replacement coming in for me. I will be here to start my fifth transfer in the office. That is…7 ½ months…almost a third of my mission. I have mixed feelings about it. I love the ward here, and being around President, but I was a little anxious to get back out working full time. Not going to lie though, I am a little excited to see what the holiday season is like with the Benton family. So yeah, it is a little strange after being with Elder Sabey for six months, to think about having a different companion. I am sure I will have more to comment on next week after it all kind of sinks in.
I have been thinking a lot about people going through repentence. For someone who has tripped and fallen on the path, the last thing they need is for someone to point their finger and laugh, or talk about how weak they are. No, they need someone to support them and help them get up and running again. I didn’t understand that fully 16 months ago. But something that I have learned here in the mission, and something that Elder Fox mentioned as well, is that the people who judge you or say things about you aren’t the ones who care about you, and obviously don’t understand much about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The people who are going through a repentance process are the ones who most need our love and support. They don’t need to be shunned like they are defiled. They aren’t lepers! It goes back to what Hermana Benton said, “People already know about their faults. They need their strengths emphasized.” I would be embarrassed and ashamed if one day my Father asked me why I didn’t help someone trying as hard as they could to get back to His presence and I had to say…because they messed up and I think I am better than them…? How childish. Anyway, just an interesting thought, how sometimes when we mess up we receive the most heat from members in the church, when you would think that they would try lifting you.
So with the temple closing, for some reason they are giving away almost everything that was inside. It was like a massive garage sale where everything was free. We got a bunch of paintings and furniture to put in the offices and the apartments of the mission. It was kind of fun. We drove by at night, and the temple lights were all off. It was just a huge looming building, but it was dark. It was no longer a beacon of light unto the world. So we spent a day hauling stuff back and forth from the temple to the office.
I had another interesting experience this week, too. Elder Sabey and I contacted one of the references we had, and upon getting to know her (Maria) we found out her husband died a little more than a year ago. She probably talked for a good ten minutes straight about how it was a true love and how perfect they were together, and little stuff they used to do for each other. The plan of salvation was PERFECT for this lady. Well, it is perfect for everyone, but you know what I mean. We taught and testified of the plan of salvation, but long story short, she didn't want to hear more. She just talked about how she believed in God, was thinking about being a nun, didn't need us, and how she wasn't going to see her husband again so she wasn't going to have false hope. I felt the spirit strongly as Elder Sabey testified that she could live with him, and how we wanted to help her believe. She wasn't having it, and just said, "No lo creo." (I don’t believe it) Come on! I felt like asking, "Do you even want to believe? Doesn't it at least sound like a nice idea?" We testified one more time, gave her a folleto (pamphlet/booklet/thing) and told her we would come by later anyway to talk with her more, but I just sat thinking about it for a while. If she really loved her husband like she said, wouldn't she do everything possible to be with him again, no matter how far-fetched it might sound? And if she believed in God, why would you think that He would be so cold as to not let you even have the chance to be with your family after this life? It was so obvious, but she didn't even want to try. There was no desire, and it was sad. I was sad that she wouldn't try. We were there. She was there. The Spirit was there, and she wouldn't try to believe.
It was interesting that as we got back into the car, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD we were listening to came back on, and “We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet" started playing. I don't think it was a coincidence, because its message was perfect. "We doubt not the Lord nor His goodness. We've proved Him in days that are passed. ...Thus onto eternal perfection, the honest and faithful will go. While they who reject this glad message, shall never such happiness know." How sad! She will never know this happiness we have if she doesn’t try. That’s why we all have to do all we can to help others realize how happy they can be if they have this gospel in their life.
My Last Week Was SPECIAL....
6 years ago