Monday, May 23, 2016

Rich in Spirit :: May 23, 2016

Lexi went to a pretty waterfall on her P-day

Eating fresh bread action shot…so yummy

Doing each other’s makeup blindfolded

Sampling fruit smoothies

Butterflies.. We call ourselves ¨Amiga Mariposas¨

Hope everyone is doing well and transitioning into summer!

It has been a great week full of adventures. It is winter here, so it is just as hot but it rains a lot. I love the rain and all of our adventures. I am really loving Guatemala, my area, my companion, and I am even learning to love the tortillas here! 

I have learned quite a bit this week from the faithful, diligent members of Dalmacia. There seems to be a focus this month on women... I have met countless strong, powerful women who have taught me a lot about faith. People here are so prepared, faithful and rich in spirit. 

I cannot say that I have ever truly known what it is like to go without food for days or live on the streets or know what true poverty is. I do, however, know what it is like to be poor in spirit, to be lost from the truth. Guatemala, in turn, is a country where people are very rich in spirit. I have never seen so much poverty in my life as i have here, but I have also never met so many people so rich in spirit. 

Sister Gladys has been a member of the church for about 10 years. She is almost 60 years old and has never been married or had kids. She has had a lot of trials in her life, but she is more full of faith and love than anyone I have ever met. She does not have a lot but give literally all she has to anyone who needs it. She invited us to her house last week to do a family home evening. We went and there was a couple there she wanted us to meet. 

This couple is from El Salvador. Their names are Juan and Yanira. They left El Salvador in hopes of finding a job here in Guatemala. One day, they were walking along and asked a lady in a store if she knew of where to find work. The lady in the store told them that she did not know of work, but that the lady who lived down the street had the most love of anyone she had ever known and could help them. 

Juan and Yanira went to look for this woman and it turns out it was Sister Gladys. Gladys took them both in, two strangers who were homeless without work, to help them get back on their feet. She has introduced them to the gospel. They have already been to visit the temple two hours away and have been to church the last two weeks. We have had several meetings with them and I am absolutely amazed by the things they have experienced. 

Once again, I cannot say I have never known what it is like to have no food or be homeless or have my kids taken away from me. They have experienced all of these trials but still, they are very rich in spirit. I am amazed by their faith and trust in God and I am even more amazed by Gladys' extreme love and Christlike example to take Juan and Yanira into her house when she also has almost nothing. 

I do not doubt that there is a reason for all.. for some reason I do not yet fully know, I was born in my specific family in Alabama, in the U.S. My story, my life, it is unique to me. There is a reason for every story and every occurrence. Some of us may be born more rich in spirit and others rich as to things of the world, but it is all for a reason. 

But, no matter the hurt or suffering, no matter where we go or who we are, Jesus Christ, our brother, suffered for us, whether poor in spirit or poor in things of the world, no matter what we struggle with or the cause. He knows us individually and because he has suffered all, he can succor us in our afflictions and also in our happy moments. 

And, because of this sacrifice and suffering, we are free from the misery we can experience, whether created by our own actions, actions of others or just our life circumstances. Our Savior died for each one. I love my Savior and i will forever rejoice in all He has done for me.

I hope we can all have more love, faith, and be more willing to give what we have, like Gladys! It is all from Him who created us and all things!

Hermana Meza and I have done some fun things this week. We did something different to have something to look forward to everyday. One day, we did each other's makeup blindfolded. Another day, we went to find pan fresh out of the oven and tried smoothies. Today for P Day, we went to a waterfall!

Hermana Jessop

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