Oh man, where does time go. This week was INSANE.
I spent most of the week pretty sick... Had some bad food and got food poisoning but I was able to receive a blessing and I feel tons better. Who knew Mexicans had a solution for EVERYTHING. and who knew they could fix your stomach with a simple magical drink! Blessings. Seriously.
Anywho. We had Zone Conference this week and I'm not sure if it was because we talked about the importance of families or what but ALL WEEK we taught/had experiences that had everything to do with families.
One of these experiences hit me pretty hard. Part of our area covers some pretty sketchy trailers, we visit often in hopes of finding one family that had been taught previously. They have had a pretty rough life, their trailer is BARE, its really sad. Anyway, we visited and only found the kids there, James (7) and his little brother Jerry (4). They were walking around barefoot and hungry, it was so sad. As we talked to them from the door I asked James if he had ever heard about God, he said "yeah, he's the one who takes care of us--gives us the things we need. He helps", so I asked him "who taught you there's a God?" and he replied with "YOU Did" and a big grin on his face. I had no Idea that the one time we were able to catch his mom and her sister home he had been listening. Tears flooded my eyes and I had no idea what to say. I felt SO many emotions, I was mad that no one was taking care of them, mad they didn't have food, mad they had an Iphone in their hands yet their clothes were tattered and worn--it broke my heart. We walked to the car and all we could do was pray, pray that they would be okay. We were reminded of the story in Alma 14 where Alma and Amulek are witnessing all the women and children be burned alive and they can't do anything about it. Amulek wants nothing more than to reach out and help them with the power he KNOWS he has because of his calling... and they don't. Alma replies with:
" But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.
I'm so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that is just as just as He is merciful.
As we've been focusing on the importance of helping families become Eternal Families we have seen a lot of opposition. it seems like the pattern is always SIN, REPENT, REPEAT. Whether we commit the same sin or a different one the process is always the same. But as we truly repent the sins that we commit are no longer of the same magnitude, if we want we can change and slowly strive to be perfected through the Atonement. Our Branch president gave the 5th Sunday combined lesson and it was all about our fight for perfection ( Becoming Perfect in Christ By Elder Gerrit W. Gong). Part of the purification process is sin, but it must be coupled with repentance to be able to achieve perfection.
Speaking of Eternal Families. Juan was able to receive the priesthood on Sunday! It was perfect because I had to speak ABOUT the priesthood and he received it! Next sunday he will help with passing the sacrament, he's so excited! It's so cool to see this family progress, they will be going to the temple to do baptisms on the 23rd so that's way exciting!
I love that the more I study the more I learn about the importance of families. I'm so grateful for mine!
I love you all! have a wonderful day!