We met a whore. I'm saying it blatantly because she told it to us that way. She's 16 years old and the neighbor of a member. She has a kid already, who lives with his dad. Her mom doesn't know what she does. We're teaching her mom, as long as her interest lasts.
Anyway, meeting her was sobering.
This week, my companion learned that leaving food out in the open causes cockroaches to come (I have no idea how she didn't know this, except that where she lives in Guatemala its 'cold' and I guess there aren't cockroaches like there are here), but it's okay because cockroach killing is an excellent companionship bonding experience. Turns out we both scream in the same language :)
But seriously, I am getting good at killing them and am not really scared anymore, though it was terrifying when one touched me.
The other thing she learned was that there aren't any kangaroos in the US, only in Australia.
When my companion's visa comes and she goes to Mexico, it'll be the first time she's left the country and flown on an airplane. We met someone this week who ranted to us about Joseph Smith's plural wives and random awful things in the church's history. It was the first time she'd heard of most of it. I really admire my companion's faith. Because when I learned about those things, it shook my faith a lot. And I'd had the opportunity to go to Nauvoo and watch awesome church movies and objective documentaries and read the Book of Mormon a bunch of times and really make up my mind. But where she grew up there's really just not that much access to information. (And I'm not being patronizing or anything, it's just we're in a developing country and there's just not always internet access or a library or a TV in the house or a really good university in your hometown with a bunch of super educated people to talk to, like I always took for granted. In fact, this week she told me that the majority of the older women in her ward can't read or write, but they have all the words to the hymn, 'We thank thee, O God, for a prophet' memorized and sing it strong.) Anyway, my companion just believes Joseph Smith was a prophet because she's prayed and she knows the church is true and that no one person wrote the Book of Mormon and she has a lot of faith and trust in God. She is an example to me in that aspect, big time. I love her a lot.
Well okay, for a little bit of a philosophical essay: Today I read in the Bible, 'Don't doubt, only believe,' that Jesus says to the family of the 12 year old girl he brought back to life. There were so many people in that instance that laughed and said it was impossible, and made fun of Jesus. They relied on their own intelligence: and they were right, weren't they? People don't come back to life.
But they forgot, or didn't believe, or didn't want to see, that Jesus was Jesus and God can do anything.
So it is with Joseph Smith. People hear things about polygamy and revelations and think Mormons are crazy. And they have a bit of a point, don't they? Polygamy is gross and Moses and Noah and prophets got done a long time ago.
But they forget that God is God and he can do anything. That he loves us and that these are the last days.
And for this, I say that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the restored church of Jesus Christ, as it was throughout all antiguedad (antiquity) and when Christ was on the earth. The Book of Mormon is the Bible of the Americas, and Joseph Smith was a prophet, just like Thomas S. Monson is today.
So... not a philosophical essay, but a testimony.