Well, on Wednesday they had transfers and, as expected, my wonderful companion went away and another amazing sister came in her place. Hermana Escoto, from Honduras. She is an excellent missionary and we are working hard and happy together :)
The Unheard Of
Tomorrow will be a day that goes down in history.
It is the day that more than 700 Books of Mormon will be distributed among the youth of southwest Guatemala, the future of the country.
This is possible, from what I understand, because there's some kind of law passed in Guatemala where they want students to learn about different religions in the schools. There's also a giant high school in our town run by a stake president (church leader).
Take those two facts and 2 plus 2 is 4, or rather, 700, because it means we'll be going around to every classroom tomorrow, showing a four-minute Mormon Message video about the Book of the Mormon and giving them to the youth.
The elders and branch missionaries have been working diligently to cut and paste lists of questions of the soul in the front covers of the books. Every list includes questions that we all have about the purpose of life and why bad things happen to good people, and some that are less cliche, like how we're supposed to balance school or work with family, and the scriptures that address those topics.
Once every kid has their book, all of them are going to brought together (which is an accomplishment in a school without a gym or auditorium) and they'll be a presentation where the mission president bears his testimony and the choir sings that song 'Hallelujah' en four-part harmony.
It's going to be amazing.
We know that not everyone is going to read it, but some will. And it's a TRUE book! So it's a huge step toward them knowing that this is not a false church, Thomas S. Monson isn't a false prophet, but that God really lives and works miracles and talks to his children individually and collectively once again. The apostasy is over, the good news has gotten even better because the Second Coming is even closer, and if we repent we have no reason to fear!
Whew. I'll stop myself now, before sliding into more scripture lingo. But it's true, all the prophesies, all the scriptures weren't written for nothing. The light of truth is shining once again, and this is the dispensation of the fulness of times!
In 20 years, when I have 10 kids...
...it will be because of this week.
It was Sunday morning and we passed by for the last time for a family that has said they're going to go to church three times but has never come. The wife had her bucket of atol (oatmeal-like drink) on her head and was walking out the gate of her house to go to work when we arrived. We talked for awhile, and finally she said ''Look, sisters, I'm going to tell you the truth.''
She proceeded to communicate to us that she is going to another church and will not be changing. It doesn't matter that she thinks the Book of Mormon is probably true (she doesn't know how to read, so it's hard for her to say for certain) and that she felt like everything was correct the Sunday that she did come visit the services. She said the other church is closer and it's where her family goes and that will be the end of that.
Those words are some of the most frustrating a missionary can hear. With no idea what to say, I took a breath and looked down.
There he was, 4-year-old Jose Luis, sipping his half cup of breakfast coffee and watching our interaction with his mom with wide, innocent eyes.
In that moment, I could not help the strong and unexpected tears. I just let my companion say whatever it is that she said.
It was then when I really came to understand, for maybe the first time, why the prophets invite members of the church to have as many children as they want.
It's not just because of the commandment to Adam and Eve, to multiply and replenish the Earth. It's because a child born to active, honest LDS parents is born into a house with the truth. If his parents live as they should, he will not suffer, he will be protected from so many things Satan and the world try to do to him.
And it's because there are a whole lots of souls still waiting to come to this earth. Souls who deserve to be born to parents who will at least search for the truth, who will be faithful to GOD, not traditions.
I do not harbor bad feelings against this mom who will not search for the truth. I know that one day, she will. And she will find it in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In the meantime, I'm just grateful that God has a lot more patience for his children than can be found in one weak, human heart like mine.