Hola hola hola.
Today we’re hiking up Mt. Breakneck. STOKED! I love Hermana Hutchison. She is the best.
Well, I’m pretty stoked because Yesica and Hugo get married on Saturday! So stoked. It has been a long time coming! This has been such an excellent week–our little zone is just doing well and I’m feeling so stoked for the next few weeks and months. Man! What a wonderful time to be alive. The leaves continue to turn and it is gorgeous….also freezing cold, but at least there is no snow yet. Disclaimer: I like the snow. A LOT. But not as a missionary….sorry. I want to play in it and adventure, but I can’t right now. In fact, it is hard to walk around and I’m terrified to drive in the “feet and feet” of snow that come up here (so I’ve heard). Just a heads up. Snow is great.
Mosiah 2:17–wisdom. “…When ye are in the service of your fellow being ye are ONLY in the service of your God.” Service heals the wounded soul. Service brings us closer to God. Service warms the heart of stone and starts us on the path to be true disciples of Christ. Filled with perfect love. I felt that this week when we visited a sister named Carmen. She is so so sick….with several things. She answered the door and when I hugged her I felt like I was holding the weight of her body up, and I was nervous to let go fearing that she would collapse from exhaustion after walking to the door of her apartment. We talked for a few minutes, and then we shared the Mormon message called “lift.” I love that video. We hoped it would boost her spirits, and sure enough, it did. After a funny comment in the video, Carmen threw her hands up, and titled her head back letting out a big smile and deep belly laugh in such pure delight. I remember looking at her and thinking how wonderful she was, how real her laugh was, and how grateful I was that I could be there in that moment…see her laugh and be with her as she walks such a hard and exhausting and lonely road. For a moment I felt like I saw the true Carmen, one with more energy and life in her. It was so beautiful to me. Hermana Hutchison and I walked out of her home feeling so warm and happy. So full.
Funny: While on a split in Kingston this week, I laughed so hard I thought I would pass out. Kingston is…….hmm. Interesting. Hippie (the legit and slinky gross kind). “Natural.” And in the boonies a bit. ANYWAY, there are some very interesting people up there. We were doing lookups just trying to locate a few potential investigators in the neighborhood after the other missionaries had tracted through there a week or so ago. We walked up to a home with some strange ramp going up the stairs. It was definitely not sturdy enough to support the weight of a human…let alone one in a wheelchair or something. I kept wondering what it was, and then I looked behind me and parked outside was a lady in her car with her trusty ancient beagle. The ramp must be for him. Hmm, I thought, she is is probably the lady we’re looking for. So I walked around to the car and to the driver’s window. As I did so, she slowly turned her head so she wouldn’t have to look at me. I started moving around to the front of the car to get into her line of vision and she just kept turning and turning so she wouldn’t have t look at me! It was SO funny! She kept a super straight face and I was out there just busting up. I couldn’t help it. Finally, her hand reached down and then she started her car so she wouldn’t have to hear me trying to talk to her and ask if she was “Anna.” It was just so…..uncomfortable. So funny. Ha! And then, we saw a HUGE buck! I was so excited. We were just pulling away from our dear friend Anna’s house, and then there he was–strolling down the driveway across the street. I told Sister Burnell to stop because I just wanted to look at him. And then the brilliant and sophisticated California girl got out her iPad to take a picture. But being so smart and wanting an excellent close shot, she rolled down her window and stuck her hands out with the iPad outside. At the point, the buck was about 6 feet from the car. Somehow, I spooked it, and in a flash it was darting toward the car! I threw myself back from out the window and screamed and kept screaming as I rolled up the window–which goes about half a mile per hour!!! Man. It was terrifying, I was using all my mind power to roll it up faster–they need to make an emergency mode on those so they can roll up in half a second if you’re in danger! Ha! I just felt like such an idiot–why did I roll down my window and stick my torso out just to take a stinking picture? So dumb. I’m sure Heavenly Father was laughing as he saw me terrified and screaming while rolling up the window. Ha!
Laura and Scott are doing well–Laura has so many questions. She sure keeps us on our toes. But, you know what? It is so refreshing. Someone on a real quest and asking for truth. Trying to find truth. Not trying to make us convert to them or challenge us or belittle us. I love that. I’m so grateful. She always compares what we teach to what she has heard about other religions. Ha, this last time we explained briefly how eternal life–“heaven”–is available for everyone. Every single person. Eternal families. And she said, “yea, see, that resonates with me.” She always says that after we say some gospel truth. “That resonates with me.” I know she has heard this before (pre-mortal life) and it is beautiful to me as we sit there with her and help her remember.
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love the atonement. I love the enabling power of the atonement.
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father
I love this scripture. It has always been a favorite. But, I’ve always focused only on putting off the natural man. Being hard on myself and denying myself of so many things that I thought would help me be more “holy” or something. Hmm. How often do we all focus on that? On PUTTING OFF THE NATURAL MAN and then just forget entirely about the second half. Putting off the natural man just makes you empty–numb–if you don’t fill it with something else. If you don’t fill it with the Saint that is in all of us through the atonement of Christ. THAT is grace. THAT is the enabling power of the atonement.
Let’s become saints, shall we? Link arms and pull together, now!