Well this week turned out to be one of the hardest yet. I finished 6 months apparently, but I´m not really sure which day I entered the MTC, the 13th 14th or 15th. So I just kind of wrote my journal entry for the 14th as the one. I honestly don´t count the time too much, and that’s the best way to go about it. I forgot grandma´s birthday last week, so wish her a happy late birthday from me, I´d like to say that preserves my track record of birthday wishes.
Anyways, as for the hard week, I couldn´t just not worry about Darci and Joe, or pray for Braden an Ashley, because well, even as missionaries we are human beings. I don´t want that to stop you from ever telling me what’s going on there, just to let you know that missionaries are heroes...but they are heroes from among us, that we all can be like. That’s a pretty complicated way to put that every member is a missionary. I learned a lot about the atonement this week, or better put, I put into practice a lot about the atonement this week. I´ve been preaching for 6 months about how the atonement works for not only the sins of the entire world, but their pains, sicknesses, and anguish as well, but I hadn´t really been putting it into practice. Mom, you know that all of my life, I have had an on or off switch, either I was in Bottle it up and deal with it later, or I was mercurial, a little bit of a hot head with thin skin. I know that I was hard on you and dad as parents, and that isn´t how I am now, or how I try to be. I know that I still bottle a lot of things up, but I´m trying to release the pressure valve more often so that things don´t get out of hand. I know that the atonement is that pressure valve, and the reason we have companions isn´t just to save us from the dangers of being in the mission field. It´s to help us with our problems as well. They ought to be our best friends, those invited to our weddings and those who we pray for. Every person has their story, and as companions, we ought to know and play a part in that story. Basically, I´m beginning to be a more open-hearted person, and that´s extremely important in life.
We had one family, the Ostos family, the mechanics, that fell this week. They are in a dispute over the title of their house and at the same time are paying the bank for their house and with those two pressures, they just didn´t make the time or money to do the necessary things for their marriage papers. We had a lesson with them about how if we are willing to keep a commandment of God, then He will put the means for us to be able to do it. With all of their responses my heart broke a little more every time because all I heard was, "I don´t have the faith or trust necessary to allow Him to do that for me" It was hard, but we are working a little less with them now, and concentrating on a few other families whose marriages are coming up.
One of them is Roxana, her mom and her boyfriend Pablo. We had a lesson with Marlene and Roxana this past week on Friday. Things were going alright in the lesson, about how the gospel can bless families and how one of the ways we get closer to our families is by going to church. Marlene started to talk about how she wasn´t always a loving mother. Hugs were sparse and I love yous even less, but she hoped that her children could see the love with which she went to work for them and made sure they never lacked food or a place to sleep or clothing. I had the strongest impression to tell her that if she would come to church this Sunday that she would be able to hear somebody say something that she would know was directly for her to hear. She broke down crying and promised to come to church the Sunday even though it would mean missing an hour or two of work. Well...she didn´t come to church and neither did her daughter and daughter’s boyfriend. Turns out 8 o clock church was too early and they all slept in. Well....the third speaker spoke for 20 minutes on how to develop loving relations with your family members. I knew it was just for her and it showed me that the blessings are there for us to claim if we are but willing to step forward and claim them.
I love you family, I know that these weeks have been absolutely crazy, but remember that we have a constant in our lives, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it makes us the happiest we could ever be.