March 17, 2014
Here It Is!
I honestly wish you all could have lived my week with me. I have absolutely no words for how incredible it was. I would write in my journal at night, totally exhausted, with just enough energy to go to bed smiling my little head off and write that I’M SO HAPPY like how Emperor Cusco would say it. Ah, ha just noticed that. His name is Cusco. Makes sense that I would be quoting him. [Because there’s a city in Peru called Cusco?] Ok, get off my back that I thought that was funny. I’ve had to learn how to laugh at very slightly mildly funny things here. Love Peru, but shoot, they have never been to a Dalton family reunion. Humor just isn’t the same.
Whoa, off topic. Ok, because really, I am nothing but pure great. Listen to this! First, yes, I did hit a year this week. It’s totally not real, and I never think about ending, so whatever, it’s fine. No one worry about it. I’m not. Because I want to stay in Talara forever! I might have cambios [transfers] Monday..... Oh my gosh, hna Johnson, focus. Ok, so, the story is, that it just so happened, that I was comps with the one and only hna Giles, my sweet comp from the MTC, the day we completed a year. It was fantastic. Included is a picture of us eating PB from America (her family loves her) [ouch!] with bananas and chocolate cake. It was so good being with her. Someone who knows me as more than others. She was able to tell me what I was missing, and we cried together the two sweet hours in the bus back to Talara. It honestly was just so what I needed. It was so healing to talk to her (yes, we talked in English, get off my back). And I just left there feeling rejuvenated. And so known by God.
It’s interesting what happens on missions to a person. We go through hard things. And if we did it right, we will end up different. And sometimes that’s terrifying, because it seems like you got worse. And that may be a little true. But here is my testimony—that God will never punish His very loved children for doing what He asks us to do. He has control of this, and sometimes we are tempted to think that our weaknesses are just too weak for Him. And that just because we did some things not perfect that we will suffer. The thing is, is that we suffer. But, that is so that we will see Christ how He is. So we won’t be lost when He comes back and looks at us. That we will be able to look Him in the eyes, and cry, and then fall at His feet. If we didn’t know a little bit of what He felt like, we could never be grateful for Him, we could never have real tears at that meeting. But this way, we can become like Him. We can come to understand Him a little bit more. And that is what we all wanted upon coming to Earth.
I imagine that Christ felt pretty weak during the Atonement. I imagine He was tempted to think that He couldn’t do it. I bet He was tempted to think that God didn’t love Him. But He kept going. He fought all that, with His perfect love, and His perfect knowledge of who God is. That was all He was left with. Sometimes we may think that we are bad people for being tempted with these things too. But temptations do not define us. We are not who Satan wants us to think we are. We are not the natural man. We are celestial beings of infinite worth. We are beloved children of a perfect Heavenly Father who takes perfect care of us AT ALL TIMES, perhaps especially when we can’t feel Him. I am so happy to say that I have come through some hard things alive. Of course there were times when I felt like I had nothing left. But the thing is, that I always knew that God was there. Even if I couldn’t feel Him. And that is testimony. Maybe I haven’t always been perfectly happy, and lamentablemente, I haven’t always loved perfectly and haven’t submitted the way I should have to my Heavenly Father’s perfect plan for me, but Christ paid for that. And now, I can understand Him a little bit more. My chin will quiver when I see Him. I will start bawling. And I will fall at His feet.
Lots of missionaries say that they gained testimonies when they came out on missions. Honestly, I knew before that it was all true. I knew that Christ was my Savior, that He established the truth to help us and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that Church, that He loves me, that He lives, and that I can after too. But on my mission, I have come to understand Him. Not perfectly, but more. He has changed me. And yea, there have been hard things, but the thing is, is that ultimately, deep down, I have always known that God would reimburse. That He isn’t the type to just take. That He would send me the light. And He has :)
Ready for the light? The brightest shining light story? Guisselle and her kids, Xiomara and Kristopher were baptized and confirmed this week. It was so beautiful. Honestly, one of the coolest experiences. The night before, her sister and Sobrino decided to get baptized too. Because Yuli had started reading the Book of Mormon because Fernando had started going to seminary. And the Book of Mormon strikes again! That’ll be in two weeks. And the morning of, we went by to check on them, and the mom of Guisselle, who has been a little bit of a stumbling block, invited us in, and apologized for how she has been treating us. And then when we were there, lots of people came, and it was so beautiful. When we were in the bathroom with Guisselle right after the ordinance, she just started crying, telling us how she felt. That she wanted to cry, and laugh and shout, and that it was super weird, because she had never felt like that before. That she just felt so adored and loved by her Heavenly Father. That that short moment under the water, she felt the arms of her Heavenly Father around her. And that she knew that she was a new person, and all she wanted to do was start this new life. And Xiomara just said, I am so so so happy. And Kristopher, who is so shy that he never even answered one of our questions in the beginning, gave his testimony that he knew this was true. And that God was with him. In front of everyone, with confidence. Sunday, his confirmation said that he would bring the gospel to the lives of his friends, bring blessings to his family, serve a full-time mission, and have his own eternal family. Something I will never forget, and never stop being grateful for. That family changed Talara. There is hope in that branch.
Yesterday, consejo [ward council] was actually real. They made plans about what they were going to do, because they felt like maybe they could make a difference. Because they were all involved with the baptism, and so now they have this confidence. They felt the joy of that experience, and they want it more. We will now do weekly FHE’s as consejo. Isn’t that cool? And those three kids are three of the five kids who go to seminary every day. They have literally changed everything. And are the hugest answer to our prayers.
I just want all of everyone to know. That your Guisselle will come. That even if people say no, it’s ok. Because the good will come. Your prayers are being worked on. We just have to work while we wait sometimes. The light will come. I know it will. Because God loves you. He has not, and will not, abandon you. He will answer every single prayer. It’s just that His timing is better than ours. He has a lot in mind for us. Isn’t that great? I sure do love Him. And I sure do love you. And He hecka loves us.