Monday, July 21, 2014

Week 71: Purple and Orange Roses

A Tender Mercy for Tired Eyes

The two year-old was maybe two feet tall and making the cutest scene I'd ever seen: in the middle of the church hallway floor, with a full-sized long-haired mop, trying his very best to mop the floor.

Someone made a comment about it, and hearing it, his four year-old brother, who was just a little taller, came to take over. When I turned the corner on the way to utility closet, I walked past the reason and root of all this brotherly love: the father of the two sons, mop and bucket in hand, cleaning the church.

In a culture where so few men can be caught doing household chores, and where the majority of men I meet day after day teach their sons how to drink and watch TV and talk bad about women, it was a ray of golden sunlight to see this simple family in the aftermath of the other ward's activity. It made me realize how much a father can influence his whole family and how doing simple, humble things can make a big difference. I know these children will grow up to be gentlemen and missionaries, simply because because they have a father who, smiling on a Saturday morning, mops the floor.

Favorite Moments from Sunday Church

This week Gabi didn't go to church because she didn't have any shoes. I don't know if she's going to school either. 

A recently married couple was assigned to give the talks. He came wearing a tie that matched her dress, but what most impressed me was the profound sprituality of their talks. She spoke about sexual purity, and he about having integrity for the commandments of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The convert elder's quorum president is usually very gruff and, when he gives the class in Sunday School, often sounds more like an Evangelical preacher than a humble Latter-Day-Saint seeking the Sprit's guidance. This week though, the Spirit broke through. When he talked about his son in the mission, he broke down crying. I thought grown men don't cry (but I still remember that there's a country song about that!)

Please tell my father that he has a twin here in Guatemala. Everyone who sees the pictures of my family compares him to a member of the high council here. There was even a Primary kid this week who was convinced I was his kid. 


This week I read almost all of the book of 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon, and it has suprised me how many times the Lord urges us to read the scriptures.Seriously! I would look up all the references, but there's not time. 

This week we also went to visit a woman who was baptized in December, but who almost immediately stopped coming to church because of comments her family made. She also didn't read the scriptures because, like most people in this part of Guatemala, she has a super low reading comprehension. I was so full of feelings in that lesson, I just wanted to burst! If only she could read what I have read! If only she could know of the words that all of the prophets have written, crying and praying and looking ahead to people like her, who would need them.

One of the counselors in the bishopric stood up on Sunday and said, "This week, I repented, because I had been spending too much time reading my law books for the university and was neglecting the scriptures. Is it possible that Guatemalan law will be important to us in heaven? Obviously not. We should seek first the kingdom of God." 

It's so true! I LOVE the scriptures. There's something in them for everyone. If I could do anything for the country of Guatemala, I would just open a zillion libraries and make reading a cool thing. Bookshelves are a very rare sight here. So it's not surprising the scriptures get shunned. But it's still dissapointing. Becuase it's the word of GOD, who is our Father. 

I challenge each and every one of you to open your scriptures this week, every single day. And I promise you that if you do it, the windows of heaven will open and you will feel a little more of the peace that comes from God. 

Until next week!

Love you always,
Hermana Ison

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