Here I am. Right at the half way mark. (She is halfway done with her mission, only 9 months left)
And throwing up everywhere.
Who authorized this? Who sanctioned this?
I gotta admit it’s been one buuumpy ride. Who knew at day one, that Belize was going to be holy ground for me? Who knew that I would climb ruins, be chased by drunk men with machetes, fall off my bike numberless times, learn Kriol, drink wood juice, watch great canoe races, and meet my best friends in the world?? Who knew!? Only God.
This week brought another onslaught of awkward moments, mistakes, and pure ecstasy.
Firstly, K and his daughter R made the decision to be baptized. I love their family with every little tiny proton and neutron and electron of my heart. Every little string. Their baptism was well attended and they were so happy. So was I. R has really begun to read the Book of Mormon and she is falling in love with it. I felt to cry when she told me that, because I too love the Book of Mormon. She said when she started she couldn't stop! Her mom wanted her to help with the cleaning, but she didn’t want to put it down. It is a sacred book.
The baptism was beautiful--except for one sharply painful learning experience for me. Do not ask the elders to sing with you a special musical number 15 minutes prior to the baptism.
Secondly, do not allow peer pressure to persuade you to sing a solo with 0 practice. bad iderrr.
Are you kidding me?!!?!?! I am not a soloist! Who thought this was a good idea? No one. But I did it. Because I hate it when people are like...'I can’t do it!' Just do it. So I thought, 'alright I’ll just do it.' Phil knight and I are on the exact same wave length.
So I started the song, which was fine. But I was nervous, and the first two notes I sang--well we will just say that I saw two birds drop out of the air dead. But. After that I was fine! Everything on tune. Until the Elders had their part. aaaand they slaughtered it. So I jumped in to sing with them. But I think the spirit had left long before we could salvage a normally beautiful song. What have we done to the reputation of this gorgeous and touching hymn.(Oh My Father).
Evidently my comp and I weren't too abhorrent, because the Branch President asked us to sing the same song the next day in church--without the Elders.
Apart from that, I FINALLY learned how to make flour tortillas this week. I am STOKED. I can do it all on my own! Now I have the power to raise my future children on Belizean cuisine! This has been my dream since day 13. Maybe I will open up my own tortillaeria. (shoot spelling on that...wrong). The point is that Ii am very happy about all of this.
Additionally, I made a giant twister for our branch family home evening this week. What a hit. What a blockbuster. The people--they loved it. If you've never played giant twister before, its highly advisable. Of course it always draws a laugh. I never knew Belizeans were so incredibly inflexible.
Also Zac Quist. Yesterday I met a girl here named Sabrina from Payson. She knows you. I think you are the most popular person in the world because every country I go to I find people who know you.
So I think beyond doubt the most precious part of my mission thus far has been two-fold. One is seeing the growth and change in others. Two is seeing the growth and change in myself. Hot dog! I have learned a ton! Secular leaning has occurred (considering the fact that I can speak Spanish!) but more valuable to me has been the spiritual growth. I am just so GRATEFUL that we can change. That we can grow. That we can learn.
So I read a talk this week--it was from the Priesthood session of General Conference which is super good without fail every time. I read this story which touched the depths of my soul!
So often it is so easy to get caught up in this world--in the day to day. But we must remember that we are eternal beings! We lived before this world, and we will live again thanks to our Savior.
I have a friend who learned this truth in a very personal way. His son was raised in the gospel, but he seemed to be wandering spiritually. He frequently declined opportunities to exercise the priesthood. His parents were disappointed when he declared that he had decided not to serve a mission. My friend prayed earnestly for his son, hoping that he would have a change of heart. Those hopes were dashed when his son announced that he was engaged to be married. The father pleaded with his son to get his patriarchal blessing. The son finally agreed but insisted on visiting the patriarch alone.
When he returned after the blessing, he was very emotional. He took his girlfriend outside, where he could talk to her privately. The father peeked out the window to see the young couple wiping away each other’s tears.
Later the son shared with his father what had happened. With great emotion he explained that during the blessing, he had a glimpse of who he was in the premortal world. He saw how valiant and influential he was in persuading others to follow Christ. Knowing who he really was, how could he not serve a mission?
"A Choice Generation"--Elder Ridd
I wonder what I was like. But regardless, every single one of us on this earth chose to have faith in and trust the Savior. I hope we will not let ourselves become distracted from our incredible potential and from our true selves. Christ is the redeemer. He is also our brother. We trusted him enough when we lived before this life to follow Him--let us trust Him enough now to continue to follow Him in all things. He always fulfills His promises!
I love the Savior. I love this work. I KNOW He accomplished what He said he would. He overcame death and sin for us. This is Christ's church.
I love you all. Please remember who you are. SImba style.
PS--the World Cup is the coolest. go Portugal! and Espana!