On Monday we showed up for our night appointment with a particular family, but one of the daughters was extremely sick...bed ridden, tubes, etc...we offered to give her a blessing. I anointed and Elder Gomez blessed. Seconds after we blessed her she was able to suddenly gather the strength to get up for the first time in a couple of days and go to the bathroom! The Priesthood is the power of God... and it is REAL! That I know! Later that night we went to another members house for Family Home Evening... we shared a quick spiritual message.. .and then had fruit smoothies!! The fruit here is UNREAL. Nothing compared to my Dad´s smoothies of course... but they were pretty dang good!
On Tuesday I went on an exchange with Elder Pagoada. He is a teeny tiny dude from Honduras! He is the biggest stud EVER! He knows English pretty well too which helped a lot... and guess how he learned English? FROM LISTENING TO ONE DIRECTION. If any of you know me I am sure you know that Elder Pagoada and I got along pretty well! ;) HAHA! Their area is pretty neat! Almost completely Bamboo and mountains...we actually got to help a family build their house for a little bit. Cutting bamboo and what not! Pretty sick! It makes me flash back to the construction days... only this time I wasn't wearing a tank top and I don't have lushus hair! ;)
Wednesday...holy smokes... I. WAS. ROCKED. There is no doubt in my mind that The Lord was behind me the entire day pushing me up each step... lifting my legs each step... and lifting my spirits every second. There is no way that I could make it through these hard days without His strength. On one occasion we were just strolling past a Banana field and I LITERALLY slipped on a banana peel. I landed right on my booty! What is life? I thought that only happened in Mario Cart?! I guess not! Brothers and Sisters, I testify that
banana peels are real life slippery!
We encountered a massive... ran over... RAT. It was gross! Right after that we saw two HUGE COCKROACHES! AH! They were nasty! If only my little sister was there to kill them for me! ;)
Kind of a strange experience... we were just tracting and a woman came up to me and starting getting all up in my grill! She was yelling at me, spitting in my face, poking my chest, and telling me that I am a fool for being here and a fool for believing in Jesus Christ... amongst some other things...but all I could say is I know that Jesus Christ lives and I know He is our Savior. Then we left. I was heartbroken that a daughter of our Heavenly Father could be led so far from the truth. Right after that we taught a mother and her two daughters. We invited them to be baptized and the mom just lost it! Yelling at us...telling us to get out of her house... amongst other things as well... and again... heartbroken. All we said is that we were very sorry and that her Heavenly Father loves her. AND SHE SHOWED UP TO CHURCH YESTERDAY! I guess the moral of these two stories is that you never know what impact your words will have on people...so make sure they are positive and that your words ALWAYS edify our Master.
We helped build another house apart from the bamboo one...this one was made out of bricks! Haha! So that was fun! Service is the bomb here!
On Saturday there were two girls who wouldn't stop staring at me and smiling...YOU KNOW I am taking this charm to the next level BOOM! 2 Contacts! Haha!
I am loving every second here! Honestly! The best has got to be when the little ninos run up to me and give me the biggest hug! Then the little girls hold my hand as we walk down the street and the little dudes jump on my back for piggyback rides. Nothing better! I am looking forward to another awesome week with new experiences!
Thank you all for your constant love, support, and prayers! They are much needed! But our investigators need them more! Please pray for them!
So many things this week seemed to remind me of home...not only because some of the people I have met or the things that I have experienced... but the things I have felt.
I sat in on a lesson where the INVESTIGATOR bore her testimony to her son. It truly was incredible. Every single day...I see parents... non members and members... fill their child's plate with food and leave absolutely none for themselves. Families kneeling in their concrete homes in prayer thanking their Heavenly Father for all that they have. Couples sacrificing their weekly earnings to go to the temple and be sealed for time and all eternity. A single mother giving up work on Sunday to go to church. A widow exhorting every last bit of her strength to lift her two adult children with disabilities into a bus. The list goes on.
Brothers and Sisters, the love of a parent is amongst one of the most powerful things on this earth. In General Conference, Tad R. Callister said, "Parents are to be the prime teachers of the Atonement and Gospel of Jesus Christ." It is incredible to see so many people here follow that principle...members and non members!
The reason I am reminded so much of home is because every single time I see an act of love from a parent to their child I can't help but think of my parents and all that they are and all that they have done for me. I know without a doubt that my parents would lift me into a bus. They would sacrifice everything and have sacrificed everything to put food on my plate. They give me the entire world and they give others all that they have to offer as well.
If my mom were a Pioneer she would be pushing a widows handcart with her left hand, pulling her children with her right, dragging another with a harness tied around her body, carrying a struggling fathers cart on her back... and somehow managing to make the best chips and salsa the world has ever known... AT THE SAME TIME! As my mother does this... my father would be right by her side.... pushing her load right along with her. Making her load half as heavy... while carrying a full load of his own.... and somehow he would still manage to exercise his Priesthood and play catch with his son after fixing a '73 VW Bus as if that was a thing back then?? HAH!
Obviously I don't know anything about parenting... but I know that a mothers job is to strengthen the family and a fathers job is to work and teach his children how to work. Parents have such a divine roll that I think it is often underestimated. Unlike any other calling in this world and life-time...the calling to be a father or mother is eternal! I was blessed enough to not be born of "goodly" parents but of amazing parents. I was not taught "somewhat" in all of the learning of my father but COMPLETELY in all the learning of my father. Like the Strippling Warriors, I was taught by my mother to not doubt. EVER. Parents have such a sacred obligation to build a home that is 100% based on the rock and foundation of Jesus Christ. With the family unit based on our Savior... we CANNOT fall (Helaman 5:12).
"What parent ever let their child head out to the front lines without their helmet, shield, and sword? The same applies today for a parent who lets their child march out the door without a prayer, scripture study, and expressing love!"
I know blessings come to righteous families who build every ounce of their focus on Jesus Christ. I know that there is NO price tag for the sacred calling of a mother or a father. I know that families are eternal and that when built upon the teachings of Jesus Christ, we can fight the whirlwinds and turbulence that this world brings forth... together as a family unit.
I am forever grateful for my parents and forever in debt to them for all that they have taught and continue to teach me. I would not be who I am today if they had not raised myself and my incredible siblings on the principles of this Gospel. They will never know how much I love them... nor will I understand how much they love me!
A little side note...CHILDREN! Obey your parents! They know what is up! Stop what you are doing and give your mom and dad a hug! Tell them that you love them! They give you the entire world and more! And they love you more than you know. You will never know how lucky you are until you can't walk into their room 3 hours after curfew and tell them you love them and hear them say it right back.
Do remember... the incomprehensible... incomparable love your parents have for you is only a FRACTION of the love that our Heavenly Father has for you.
He loves you without end.
I testify of the power that parenting has. I am more than grateful for mine and I hope that the day comes when I can repay them even for just a half percent of what they have done for me.
I testify that there is no better way to raise a princess of the Almighty God than in and through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I testify that there is no better way to raise a Son of the Almighty God than through the true and Restored Gospel.
Don't underestimate your divine roll parents! Keep changing lives!:)
Love you ALL! Have an amazing week!