The thing is. My last few emails have been straight out of loserville. Wow. I am extremely apologetic. I am going to try and ramp things up today for you all.
The mission is flying by. Its crazy how the weeks slip and slip and slip right through your sunburnt fingers. August is upon us! Which means Kylie has reached a year in the mission. Which means I am not far from a year on this wild experiment called a mission.
This week brought its fair share of laughs, battles and spoils. First of all, I ate applesauce.
To most readers, this is a normal, if not everyday or every week experience. But. I have not eaten applesauce in like, 11 months. Deprivation is the name of the game. Haha but seriously there is an American military family living here, and they have us over for dinner from time to time. How strange it is to step into their home--which is like little America. Last night they gave us a couple cases of applesauce. Such a simple leisure. Such great joy in consuming it. It was quite nice.
Additionally, my companion and I met Lucifer this week. Evidently he lives in Belize. If you can imagine the jokes are flying. We were worn and tired on a Wednesday afternoon when I asked my compa if we could stop and buy some bread. In the process of doing so, a man whizzed up on his bike, came to a screeching halt, and introduced himself to the ladies selling the bread as "Lucifer, son of the morning. It’s a fine name! Nothing wrong with it!!!" then he turned to us, "oh!! I didn’t see you there!! Oh well don’t you think Lucifer is a great name?" Use your imagination to finish the conversation we had. Actually we didn’t get a word in edge wise. But Lucifer was actually pretty kind. Maybe a little insane and a Bible-hater, but he was cordial. That's the least you can ask. Now when anything goes wrong, my compa and I throw our heads around searching for our friend Lucifer. He must be near....
We recently baptized a man named G. G is a pearl. He has come out to teach with us three times in the past three days. If I’m not mistaken, he is batting 100%. Nice! Well he is a crack up and sometimes I love the conversations that ensue between visits, as we are traveling.
Yesterday, we came to the topic of childbirth. G explained to me that when his wife gave birth to his sons, he realized that nothing could be more painful. I asked him how he knew...like if she had screamed or something.
"No. she just squeezed my hand really tight"
I was undone. Why is that so funny to me? Who can say?
The work is good in Belize. The people are more receptive here, more willing to listen to us. I have been studying a lot about the atonement though. Just trying to understand it and use it. The incredible part is that it is two-fold. Through it we are cleansed from our sins and made more than we are. We are enabled and strengthened. I love this incredibly succinct and true statement from a prophet of the Lord,
President David O. McKay said: “The purpose of the gospel is . . . to make bad men good and good men better, and to change human nature”
While I think I have been conscious of this fact for some time--that the atonement of Christ is not only for sinners but to make good men saints--I don’t think I had internalized it, or really tried to use that power of Christ, His grace, to become what I cannot on my own. The mission has a funny way of humbling you so severely, that you HAVE to rely on that strength of the Lord to become more than what you are through your own "sheer grit, willpower, and discipline, and... obviously limited capacities"
There is a cap on our human abilities. There will come a point in our lives where we need to be more than we can on our own. Maybe Sister Hirschi has hit that point. How grateful I am for a loving Father and a perfect older brother, who--through his atoning sacrifice, gives me the power to change my very nature.
In addition, I read another great talk this week by President Uchtdorf
We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available—all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect. “This is the day which the Lord hath made … ,” the Psalmist wrote. “Rejoice and be glad in it.”
Brothers and sisters, no matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it.
How true that is. I can testify of that! No matter what, the Lord is blessing us. There are things for which to be grateful. Always always.
I love you all. I love America. I love applesauce. I love my family. I love the Lord.
Stay safe, choose the right, and avoid encounters with Lucifer.