He's got 10 years and 1 eye going for him.
And his name is Bryan.
It looks like the first baptism I will help out with in my new area (San Martin, close to San Felipe, for all those who will Google Earth it) will be of my new biggest hero, 10-year-old Bryan.
While he doesn't have a lot going for him (nobody knows who his dad was, and nobody knows where his mom is now; he's been growing up with his great aunt, who can't read, since he was 1), he does have the gospel of Jesus Christ. It has been a gold-wrapped gift from God to teach him in these days, when my companion is having some serious health problems with her back and we had to go to the mission office several times. Every time we come back to teach Bryan in his aunt's humble home, I feel a really special spirit. If Christ were to come again right now to my part of Guatemala, I thin Bryan would be one of the very first children to sit on his knee.
We teach him about the Sacrament and why he's going to get baptized, and who prophets were, and what life after death is like, and he listens politely with a 10-year old's embarrassed, I'd-rather-be-playing-right-now smile on his face. But when he answers the questions, in his one good eye (he lost the other a month ago in a nasty accident with a clothes hanger), I see a lot of light and hope. And at the end of the lesson when he prays...
¨Heavenly Father, thank you that the sisters could come. Thank you for my aunt and that my cousins are here. Please help me to be a good boy. Help me to be baptized on the 10th. Help them to put my eye in on the 20th- Please bless us that we can have enough food. And please bless the sisters. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.¨
More of less, that was the prayer we got to hear yesterday. Maybe you didn't cry just reading it, but if you'd been there... This is one very special kid. And we have such high hopes for him. I know with what he will learn in the church, he will grow up knowing who he is and that he has at least one set of parents (the Heavenly ones) who love him very much. With this knowledge, he will be able to overcome whatever obstacles that await him. Maybe, one day, he'll be a missionary. And then, maybe one day, he will be a father. Who will love his wife and children very much.
Maybe the world can't see it right now, a one-eyed child playing marbles in the dirt, but God knows it, and me and my companion know it. This kid could change the world.
I love you all, and am out of time. Last thing: The holiest place I've been this week was a baby shower the Relief Society had for a new mother. They played this game where basically they had to go around in a circle giving advice to her about the birth and the first few days with her kid. Somehow, basically every single comment, turned into something spiritual. Pray before going. Sing hymns to him. Thank God for this gift. Etc, etc. The spirit came.
Please be nice to people and remember who you are... and who you can be.