Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Week 29: Faith, Hope, and Prayer

This week was awesome and crazy. It was my companion's birthday, we went to the temple, and we found out we have changes! I may be training a new missionary, but we'll see on Wednesday.

Also, I can't believe it took me 13 years of reading the Book of Mormon to find out the Alma war chapters are not about literal war. They apply to us today and teach us (or at least this week they taught me) that we can not glory in contention. The Lamanites wanted to go to war for the sake of their pride and bloodshed. If we use biting words or make snappy comments or in other ways show hatred or fight verbally with someone to make them feel bad, we're being just like them. It's better to be like the Nephites, who only picked up their swords to defend their families and freedom. If we have to contradict someone to defend the right, we should do it, but do it respectfully and with honor, with soft words and gestures. Nobody needs another reason to feel bad.

Hope you are all enjoying the beginning of fall! Does it feel like fall yet, or is it still swimming pool hot? I have a feeling I'm really going to miss hay rides and hot chocolate. Also, my body slash mind just like automatically knows it's time to start school and asked me this week why I wasn't there. I told it I had better things to do, and it agreed. Hope everybody at Ball State is adjusting well and having a wonderful time!

Yosselin (the crazy awesome investigator who followed us in the rain) came to the temple with us on Saturday. We left at 5:30 and drove through the mountains in a recycled American school bus as the sun was rising. It was impossible not to marvel at the wonders of God, the mountains and colorful houses and crops planted on a slant, the clouds dancing around the tops of the hills and the sun coming up in the east sky. So pretty!

We woke up at 3 am to go and it was so much fun! But I will never forget standing in the dirt floor doorway of the house where Handry and Celeste live (the teenagers who really want to join the church but have Catholic family) in the 5 am darkness while their Dad crushed all their hopes at the last minute and said they couldn't go. It would have been such an eye opening experience for them. I honestly don't know why they're obedient.

Just kidding, that's a horrible thing for a missionary to say. It's good to honor you're father and mother, everyone should do it all the time. But only God knows why this man's heart is so hard, and we will just have to trust that God's hidden hand will do something good for these children. So they're not going to get baptized, and now he's not letting them go to church anymore. Which means it's just not their time, but I know one day it will be, and one day their father will overcome his horrible alcohol addiction and be happy again.

And maybe, one day, all this family will be seen walking into the temple of Quetzaltenango together. One day...

God works miracles, I just try not to get in the way here.

And also try to put myself in the right place.

Last night we only had 30 minutes before we had to be in the house and were looking for someone to teach. My companion had the idea to pass by with a member who didn't come to church that day. We ended up running into her daughter, who was raised in the church but now isn't going. Standing there in the front of her house, we talked about faither and prayer. The daughter, 22-year-old Ramiro, offered the closing prayer. We sensed it was the first time she had spoken to her Father in Heaven in months. She ended crying, and we gave her strong hugs.

The church is true. And I don't know what else to say. That girl's front step felt about as holy as the temple grounds, with the Spirit so strong there.

Confide in God. Talk to him. He lives.

Love ya'll so much.
Hermana Ison

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