I am happy here. I just want you all to know that.
This week was filled with highs, lows, and in betweens.
I learned this week that I can not run faster than rain. Elder Beltran and I left a lesson and the sky was dark. I felt the light breeze sweep past my neck. I knew what was to come. The rain. The bullets of water started slowly but within seconds the light drizzle turned into sheets of water flying down from the sky. The heavens must have been pretty sad because it wasn't just a drizzle. Standing on a street corner, we saw it coming towards us. The wall of water rushing toward the very spot we were standing. We started to run. We could hear the roar of the rain behind us but we did not dare look back. We ran faster and faster. We tried our best but we were soon engulfed by the mystical water from the sky. We were far from home and far from anyone that we knew. We walked for what felt like hours. Cold, wet, sad, hungry, wet, cold, wet, and a little wet we finally arrived at the house of a family in our ward. They let us in and gave us tshirts to change into. They happened to be light purple v-necks. We were a little embarrassed to say the least, but they were dry so we didn't care. We helped them with their work for a little while and then we left and went to another lesson. I don't think I've ever wanted to stay inside more than in this moment. But its okay. We are still alive.
Also this week we had intercambios. I was with an Elder from Guatemala. It was weird.. And hard. and Different. He is very very serious. Always. And I am.. well.. the opposite of serious always. It was a great learning experience and my eyes were opened to the reality that I may not always get along with my companions.
We are excited to work this week too. We have a baptism planned for this weekend but the young woman who is preparing to be baptized is having doubts. We are working hard to help her resolve her concerns. We also met a family who are pastors in their church. I think they're more religious than anyone I've ever met but they love listening to us and they accepted to read the Book of Mormon. We are praying for a miracle with them!
Also one of the members we are working with made us Ninja throwing stars. When Elder Beltran and I are tired in the nights after getting home sometimes we throw them in a plank of wood we found. I maybe shouldn't tell you that. But oh well.
Also this week I ran into Sister Willis who I studied with in BYU. Weird. I felt like we were in a Walmart in Provo. Also this week I think I found my favorite word in the Spanish language. Esposas. Which is very different from Esposa. (And it is not the plural)
Esposa means wife. "Despues de mi mision, quiero una esposa."
Esposas means handcuffs. "Quiero comprar esposas en la calle aqui en Bolivia."
I couldn't stop laughing when the plural of wife is handcuffs.
Other than the little bit of Spanish I learned this week, we were pretty successful and are very content with our work. It was not an easy week but I learned a lot about the missionary work here and personally I came to know my Savior a little bit more.
This week I studied the Atonement and death of Christ. I don't think I will ever come to understand fully the importance or the magnitude of this selfless sacrifice, but I love reading and learning more. I listened to a talk by Jeffery R Holland this week in which he talked about the lonely and bitter path that the Lord took as his life was coming to an end. I also read in Matt 27 which is a powerful chapter that contains one of the most widely know stories in history. The judgement and death of Christ.
Its crazy to me that not only was Christ rejected by the political leaders, but by the people in the streets. He was put into prison with Barabbas. This is, as Holland described, "one of the greatest ironies in history." Barabbas in Aramaic is a name or title that means "son of the father." In Matt. 27:21 the governor at this time asks "Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you?" And they responded "Barabbas" We learn of the blindness that the people had in verse 22 when they said, referring to Christ, "... Let him be crucified."
Elder Hollands words were profound in his talk when he said "So... one godless son of the father was set free while a truly divine Son of his Heavenly Father moved on to crucifixion."
The perfect plan of our Heavenly Father required for Christ to die so that we could overcome physical death but it is hard to imagine that humiliation that Christ felt during this time. To fulfill the Atonement for us not only did he have to die physically but He had to know what it felt like to die spiritually. He said in verse 46 of Matt 27, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" I don't think there was a time when God was closer to His son than in this moment, but Christ had to know what it felt like to have no one, to alone, and to feel hopeless.
He felt utterly alone during this time for one reason. So that we never have to feel that way. We will always be lifted up in the darkest of times. I love my Savior with all my heart. He loves me and I feel his love daily here in Bolivia. At times I feel alone and I've started to complain before but then I remember this moment when Christ called out to His father for help. I realize that I am never alone. He is always there.
I love you all, I miss you all. The work is beautiful. The Church is true. The Savior lives. He descended below all things so that we don't have to.
Hurrah for Israel!
Hurrah for Israel!
|This Elder Munoz, Elder Funk, Me and Elder Beltran with the dad of our pensionista. His parents are from Germany and he wanted a picture saluting. He salutes Hitler.|
This is a Parrot.
These both are from our visit to a family on Mothers day here in Bolivia