Monday, September 7, 2015
The Price of Truth
Congratz on getting asked to homecoming debby!!! I know you will have a BLAST with Britton :)
Some would look at us as missionaries living in Mexico (or anywhere in the world) and say we live poor. Little do they know is that we live the richest lives that there are to live.
We see what the world cannot. We teach what the world doesn't understand. What most would call crazy we do. We make sacrifices that the world doesn't. And we feel what the world tunes out.
And as the woman in the street mocks us for walking under a brutal sun, telling us why we shouldn't do it and why someone should pay us to do it, you, and only you will know why in your heart. We as missionaries do it all for God. We love Him. And we love His children. The lessons we learn in the streets are far more priceless than any salary, position, or fame in the world.
Because when we have an investigator, only 14 years old who comes to the door with tears in his eyes, his family yelling profanities at him, and beating him because he is listening to the message that we share, our hearts break.
Thus is the story of hermano Julio. We taught him for the first time on September 1st. He was golden, the spirit was so strong, his heart had changed because we told him of a boy like himself who in 1820 found God and His Son Jesus Christ in a grove of trees. The member who was with us, also 14 years old, gave him the book of mormon that he used when he would go to preach with the Elders. He gave it to hermano Julio all marked up and really special. When we told of the experience of Joseph Smith, everyone was silent. Hermano Julio accepted baptism and pleaded in his prayer that he could make it to church with us that Sunday. Everything was beautiful.
We went back to find Julio and when he came to the door it was obvious that he had just been beaten up. His family yelled and he humbly told us he wasn't available in that moment but that he'd been reading the book of mormon and prayed to know it was true- and that he had recieved an answer. He said he wanted to be baptized again but that he wasn't going to be able to come to church on Sunday.
Well yesterday arrived and we saw hermana Julio in the street. He then could open up and tell us more because his family wasn't there to bug him. He told us that he has to go to the catholic church because it is the wish of his parents.He seemed complacently sad and only looked to the ground like he had the very first day we met him. We encouraged him to search for the missioanries and the church when he is 18 and to be baptized. He said he would and then walked away.
And then I was sad. This is what we as missionaries have to walk through. This is what we as missionaries see that the world can't see. How much does one have to suffer to have the truth? We hardly know what we really have.
What hermano Julio taught me was humility. The whole experience reminded me of the meekness and humility of the Savior. The Savior went like a lamb to the slaughter, and opened not his mouth.
Oh, the pain I felt when I saw his humble face, knowing that for our visits he had been beaten. May God bless this poor boy that he can one day rejoice in the true gospel with a forever family.
This week Hermana Mendez and I passed through some experiences that drew us nearer. We were walking in the street and it was getting dark and rainy. We started to smell gas... We kept walking and as it got stronger I knew we needed to run. We saw a family running franticly from their house, and all the neighbors too. We started to cough and I could hear the sound of gas spilling out of a gas tank. I shouted at my companion and we started to run for the other direction. My mind flashed back to the experience that dad always tells about tear gas in New GUinea... in some way i was living the same thing.
We ran and found safety in a little fruit stand about a half mile away. The ambulance got there about 30 minutes later- they aren't very quick here. I don't know what ended up happening to the family but we haven't gone back to where it happened.
The next day when we got to the house we had left the shower nob on and our house was filled with water... Noah had arrived but we hadn't listened.. ha ha. HEre in Grijalva our water is on rations. One day there is water and one day there isn't. So there we are, sweeping out water for about an hour and a half, mopping it all about and sweating like dogs. ha ha.
Believe it or not my companion has been pretty sick to the stomach these past 3 weeks. She has been taking medicine that the doctor told her but nothing seems to be working. We just keep marching forward and hoping on.
We had 2 investigators at church, 2 young girls who want to be baptized, but what do you know, their dad is catholic and he doesn't like the idea.
Really quick I wanted to tell you guys, when I left Xochimilico, we had gotten into the house of a less active older lady. She was married to her husband in the temple and her husband is active but she is not. We were able to get in because I brought my violin with me. When i left the husband thanked me with tears in his eyes and said the misionaries hadn't entered in that house for years.
This week we ate cow utter.. a little tough but not bad.
I loveyou family, pray for hermano julio