Buenas mis queridos,
This week has flown by. I can’t even think of what happened or what to say….the mission time-warp continues, I guess.
We had a visit from Elder Arnold on Thursday. It was a LONG meeting, FULL of truth and inspiration and instruction. Lots of instruction. I felt inspired and ready to serve with more heart. There is a missionary in our zone who is pretty noticeably handicapped. He was in a car crash as a baby and his whole left side is paralyzed. Blind in that eye, stutters, limp, etc. I have loved serving with him. When Elder Arnold asked a question during our meeting last Thursday, this elder stood up and answered. Elder Arnold didn’t say a word after his response, and just walked over to him. He leaned over the table and embraced this elder. I was sitting in just the right place to have the best view of that hug. My eyes welled up with tears–it was so beautiful. Pride and joy, and love and honor shone in that embrace, and I was reminded of the great privilege it is to serve as a missionary. All that this elder had given and suffered. How much harder everything is for him, and how happy he is. How unafraid to answer and participate in the conference; how happy to be there and wear Christ’s name and honor it. As I continued to play that moment back in my head, I thought of the tender reunion of the prodigal son and his father. And then of my own return home to Father. I hope to come to Him almost like this elder….diligent and good, but not perfect yet. Sliding in with my station wagon full of kids and their homework and sports equipment, and muddy pants with peanut butter on my thumb from making their lunches that morning (Sister Hinckley quote?). And seeing Father and embracing him. Home at last. Job well done.
Excited about some new investigators we found–Scott and Laura. A MARRIED couple. Yesica and Hugo are getting married next weekend. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting a little brighter. While teaching about the restoration this week, Hermana Hutchison made a comment that made me think–referring to Alma the younger and Joseph Smith. How they both exerted all their strength and focus and heart and soul on calling upon the savior Jesus Christ:
15 After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.
16 But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction… (Joseph Smith History 1:16)
17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.
18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. (Alma 36:17-18).
In those moments of greatest alarm, of greatest sorrow and hardship, they both called for their Jesus (2 Nephi 33:6).
And they fought the battle on their knees.
16…just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon meIt no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound.
17 When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other–This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! (Joseph Smith History 1:16-17).
19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! (Alma 36:19-20).
Light–the result in both cases–will always come to those that pray in faith and call upon God.
Off to the temple today. What a blessing. Love you!