I was hit really hard this week with quite a few lessons that you have taught me throughout my life. I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have done for me. All you are. I would not be the same person...and definitely not the same missionary...without all of the precepts that I have come to learn from things you have done and experiences I have had with you. I thought I would share a few!!
Do you remember when I was just a little rat? Probably running around in footsie pajamas and screaming "TWO BATTERIES!!!"? On one particular occasion the little runt of a dude I was, found himself under a dining room table in hopes to escape your grasp as we played. You were chasing me with a foam bat and scaring me half to death! I imagine that I was pretty darn upset as well! Haha! This past week I realized something though...Don't we sometimes feel hopeless and under a table? In danger and in fear? Don't we often feel like God is picking on us? You finally had your laughs and set the bat aside. You slowly and gently pulled out the chair and laid on your belly and told me I had no reason to be afraid...and that you would never hurt me. I finally had the courage to come out from under the table and all that was waiting was your loving hug and a heartfelt kiss on the forehead. At times we feel under the table with fear and doubt. At times we don't trust in God. But all that is waiting for us is God's loving and extended arms pulling us in for a hug. All it takes is to have a little faith and trust in Him who tells us to have no fear. Thank you for helping me realize what faith in God means and how to show it. How to be hugged. For showing me that God gives no danger or fear. We cannot feel "under the table" with Him. He only waits for us to come unto Him to lovingly welcome us into His arms and kiss our foreheads.
"WHERE'S MY PIE? GET IN THE TRUCK!" That line will never be forgotten! Within SECONDS after just finishing a full course meal you have always asked, "Where's my pie?". This principle has played a big role in my mission and I did not realize it until this past week. Grandpa, there have been times here where I have been shattered. Getting rejected is hard. But each and every time we are denied...we keep on looking. We shake it off and get on our horses. Where is the next soul? Where are the sick in spirit? Where are the afflicted? "WHERE IS MY PIE?!?!" No matter how destroyed my heart gets at times...how many doors are slammed in my face...or how worn down my shoes get...you KNOW I am going to be looking for my pie!
I think I will finish off with the most precious of all: This week you strengthened my testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Things I have seen you do my entire life did not click until just recently but when they clicked...my understanding of the Savior and His offerings sky rocketed. I grew up watching you give it all. The bill at the restaurant was always paid on your card. The groceries at the market have always been paid by your cash. Every gift you have ever offered has been amazing. "I would that ye should understand that God Himself shall come down among the children of men and shall redeem His people." In Spanish it says that "He shall descend"...The Lord descended from His thrown, His glory, and the presence of God to come to earth and do the will of the Father. Christ paid the price for our sins..."because He hath poured His soul out unto death; and was numbered with the transgressors, and he bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors". He paid the price of it all just as you always paid the check at the restaurant and the price of the groceries. You helped me understand the price that the Savior paid for sin. He paid it all. He paid for the sins that we would commit just as you paid for the food we ate and would eat.
Now comes the beauty of it all. No matter what you had given us throughout the day you always called us up to the counter. We would hustle over and watch as you inserted your hands into your pockets and scurried around for a short moment until you pulled out every last cent you had and put it all on the counter. From there you would separate the money equally and give it to us. EVERY LAST CENT.
"He is despised and rejected of men...acquainted with grief...surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows...but He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him...He was oppressed, and He was afflicted..."
You have taught me on a deeper level of what it is the Lord offers us. The Lord pays our groceries and covers our bills. But after the miracles are manifested, the example set, the ordinances taught, and the price of sin, doubt, fear, and pain paid for...He took upon Himself a nail driven cross. he was lifted to die in the middle of two thieves after being whipped, smitten, spitted upon, and crowned with thorns. Jesus Christ gave it all. Every last drop of blood. Every last ounce of effort. He gave us all of His love. All of His heart and compassion. And then comes more...
And then comes the most miraculous of all...
And then He does what you have always done...
He emptied His pockets...
As I think of all the years spent with you I think of the Lord's Atonement and all He gave us...and then I think of you emptying your pockets and I think of the Lord emptying His for my eternal salvation and exaltation. Giving me the chance to rise again. You have given us every last possible cent just as the Savior gave us and gives us every last bit of everything that He has.
I know you know this...but thanks to Christ's empty pockets He lives.
Thanks to our Savior and Redeemer's empty pockets there is a hug and a kiss waiting for us if we will just come out from under the table.
Thanks to our older Brother's empty pockets He gives us the diligence, faith, and disposition to get in the truck and get the pie to save souls.
Thanks to His empty pockets I will see you again.
Thanks to His empty pockets there is more Finadene.
Thanks to His empty pockets I can feel of your love and your light.
Thanks to His empty pockets you will live again. Our family will live again. I will live again. And we will live in the presence of God, the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus the Christ.
All thanks to His empty pockets...a principle taught by a "Big Dufus" of a guy! YOU! A Big Dufus who I will be seeing shortly. Odie-O-Tote to you until all is restored to its perfect form and we can say it together.
I love you.
What have Christ's empty pockets given you?
Love you all!