Well, first some comments on previous posts. Jason's mullet has inspired me to grow my hair out again. I know he wants us to think it's a wig, but I'm pretty sure it's his real hair. He probably thinks it'll increase his chances at Disney. But I'm thinking the comb-over is in again!! So you can all send me some hair spray for Christmas.
Next is the couch out in the yard -- who puts couches outside the house? But it's a good picture of three lovable people.
And then the snow storm in UT -- looks like great fun. The closest thing we've had to that is a fierce hail storm that not even the locals had ever seen -- hail stones as big as golf balls which did a fair amount of damage to cars and windows.
Lastly, thank you very much for the sweet Thanksgiving messages. We're very grateful for the relationships we enjoy within our family. It's tough to miss those events but it'll make them all the more enjoyble when we get home.
Thought I'd share a typical Sunday for us down here. Our meetings start at 9:00 am, but most people don't actually get there until after 9:00. Last Sunday the air-conditioning wasn't working so everybody was fanning their faces during sacrament meeting (between breast feedings). The person assigned to bring the bread for the sacrament didn't show up so we were scrambling at the last minute to get that ready. The concluding speaker on the program didn't show up either so we had to wing it, but it was worth it. We had a couple of recent converts share their testimony -- they talked about how the Church has totally changed their lives. It was very heartwarming to hear these humble unsofisticated people share their feelings about how the gospel saved their life and gave them new hope.
During the second and third hours I try to get as many interviews done as I can since it's so hard to get together with people during the week -- many work until 8:00 or 9:00 pm or even later. So I interviewed this one elderly man who works in the "campo" -- in the fields doing heavy manual labor. He'd been through the temple many years ago and now wanted to be sealed to his second wife. So I get to the question about daily wearing of the garment as instructed in the temple and he leans forward and very earnestly tells me that he only has one pair of garments and he saves them to wear on Sunday, hoping that was OK. He then paid his "widow's mite" for tithing, laborously afixed his initials to the recommend (since doesn't write well enough to sign his name) and I gladly signed his recommend.
I then had an interview with a13 year YW who's one of eight children being raised by a single mother. She doesn't like to attend YW's classes because they're "boring" but she's over at the building almost every day hanging out because she just loves being there. I asked her why it's important to study and learn the gospel. She didn't know. I asked her how she's going to gain a testimony if whe doesn't study and learn the gospel. She didn't know. I asked her how she's going to resist temptation when it comes if whe doesn't have a testimony. She didn't know. So I had a chance to explain all three steps -- we learn the gospel to gain a testimony to resist temptation -- when it comes at her in the form of some sweet-talking young man. She's such a little sweet heart, I hope she gets it and survives this deplorable environment.
Our Primary president didn't make it to church last Sunday so Mom and I went and visited her that evening. She shared some of her story -- she was "married" and had her first child when she was 14 years old. The missionaries found her and she and her family were baptized when she was 28. She's now about 40-ish, been pretty faithful in her church attendance, and wants to go to the temple and be sealed as a family. Her husband has worked doing what he can and also been faithful in his church attendance. But as a result of their desire and preparation to go to the temple, they feel like they've already been blessed -- he just got a job driving truck for a very good wage -- 4500 pesos a month (about $1000).
At the end of the day, Mom and I felt very grateful for not only our own abundant blessings, but the privilege of associating with such humble people of faith. This mission has really been an experience and helped us appreciate even more how the Lord is no respector of persons -- the gospel can work a miracle in anyone's life.
So how about a few pics to go along with all the verbage:
Well, looks like I'm having trouble uploading the pics so I'll send this and try doing them in a follow-up post. Love you lots and glad we're all in the same family.
XOS, kiss hug,