Sometimes it`s just hard to write, to put things out there and explain or share everything I`d like to. Unfortunately these short emails really don`t embody everything that happens, nor even a small portion, but life is what life is, and that must suffice.
Thinking on my past couple of weeks, I`m filled with a lot of different emotions, the small triumphs and the big failures, the frustration and the gratitude, the discoveries, the yet-unanswered questions, happiness and sadness. I feel like I`m living a life of opposites, but far from disliking the fact, I find that I quite enjoy it. My successes are painted neon by my failures, marking that although I sure did mess up a lot (a lot) There were a lot of things good that we did. There is a scripture in the book of Mormon that says if we didn't have bad things in life, we wouldn't appreciate, or even understand and enjoy, the good things.
I had an experience this last week that kinda put things in perspective for me. We baptized Keilor and Yolanda about two months ago. After the baptism it was a little hard to get out to see them, and unfortunately they weren't coming to church very often. The change they had worked so hard to make, was slowly being undone. To give a little background, K and Y always say how before the started learning about this church they always fought - never at peace. And how as they started to learn, things began to Change. Keilor specifically did a 180, he went from drinking and partying and who knows what, to a man who forsook all of that to have a better family. About a month ago we were able to start visiting them more frequently, and they started coming back to church. One Monday, after a family home evening in the house of Alfredo, we were bringing them home, (a member was helping us out) Keilor said something that gave me pause. As members of this church, we go to church for many reasons, but primarily it is to partake of the Sacrament. After your baptism, the sacrament is like your weekly opportunity to be washed up. To cleanse all of the bad stuff. When you don`t take it, the bad stuff sticks to you, and accumulates. That is what was happening to Keilor. Seeing him after he had missed lots of Sundays was a shock. All of the wonderful light that he had at his baptism had fled. But by returning to the church, you could see a black and white difference. As he told me on the ride home how he had begun to feel the change, I realized that this is all worth it, everything we do, if only having helped this one family be happy. I had the privilege to ordain Keilor to the priesthood this past Sunday. I would have preferred that a member do it, but he asked. Notwithstanding, it was a privilege to do it.
Unfortunately, I know that I haven`t done this story justice. But it is a miracle in my eyes. Never underestimate the good you can do in a life. If you help even one person, count yourself lucky. Also to those who are members, you are indispensable to the missionaries. Much of the success we had with Keilor and Yolanda had to do with exceptional members who helped us.