this girl has a heart the size of Texas LOVE this girl!!
Attached is a picture of me and Maria Ortega. I bought her glasses today. She literally is blind. I could not believe it. We will pick them up for her this week sometime so that she can see. Mom, I took money out of my card from home... Not much. 20 pesos. Which is 40 bucks. The glasses and the exam costed me 23 pesos or 46 dollars. NOTHING. Anyway, it was wonderful to serve her and to see her happy.... and for her to realize that she really CANNOT see.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BRETT THIS WEEK!!!! HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY TO DAD AND BRYAN!!!!!!! =) Old farts.
This week I will complete 11 months in the mission. We're almost to the 1 year mark. I can hardly believe it! Time is flying. Seriously.
We met a Evangelical pastor this week, Boris. I felt like I needed to knock on the door of this random house... and he came out. We talked for about 20 minutes and he told us he had been looking for something more... we have been invited to come back to his house to speak with him and his family this week. It was an inspired conversation. After we talked to him, Hermana Tax said to me, "do you realize what you said to him? I would have never thought to say that." I have no idea what I said to him other than I had him looking up scriptures in the Bible to support the belief that the Heavens are not sealed and that a prophet lives and receives revelation today for all the world. Other than that... no clue..... I couldn't even give you a run down of what I said. I have been blessed here in the mission to learn Spanish so quickly and to have words fly out of my mouth in the moment that they have been needed.
I am realizing more and more how hard life is here for so many people. We talked this week with an inactive member that we searched out a few weeks ago named Flor (Flower). She told us that she had a really hard life. I was thinking abuse, away from parents, something like that. Not even close. I couldn't even imagine what she was going to tell us. She told us she was married at age 13 to a German because her grandparents (abandoned by her parents at a small age) would not accept her to have a child outside of marriage. The German was 27 years old. She had 2 children with him. Did not finish college until years later. Lived the darkest time of her life with him for 5 years. Separated after and married her best friend who she is with now and has been with him for 35 years. WOW. I realized in that moment that I literally have NOTHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT. Be grateful. We are a blessed people and nation.
So as promised, I have my notes as to what I learned from my assignment from President Wright. Remember the assignment was to study: #1 the doctrine of desire or of the heart, #2 how that relates to or carries us to good works, and #3 how those two things produce good fruit.
Well, my study notes ended up being 4 pages long. It was an inspired homework. :) I loved this quote: "Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine out actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming.". In that quote we have the desire, good works (we act on), and good fruit (changing, achieving, becoming).
President Wright said to me that he doesn't think that good works always produces good fruit. So got thinking about that and came up with the conclusion that if one is just going through the motions (good works without desire) then there is no progression... There is no fruit. And eventually these good works will die because one isn't achieving anything. However, if we have a vision of the fruit or of what we can become, then we have a desire and will act accordingly.
I found this formula for good fruit: (1) faith in Christ and yourself, (2) study eternal truths, (3) ponder and pray for understanding, (4) strive to incorporate principles of truth into daily living, (5) exercise integrity in all things, (6) act in accordance to a standard of excellence. #1 - #3 is the vision. #4 is the desire. #5 & #6 being the works. Good fruit depends entirely on our vision of why we are acting and a desire to do so, then with those two we act because we want to produce good fruit.
We will be known and judged by our works (as it says in James 2: 17, 20-26) because our works reflect the desires of our hearts and the vision of who we want to become (the fruit). I love the scripture in Alma 37:34. It says to never be weary of good works. Sometimes we do become weary of always doing the right thing, of serving, of thinking of others before ourselves, of being obedient... But if we remember our vision and why we are doing good works (the fruit)... we won't be weary.
So I made a little chart. We'll see if I can do it on the computer. :)
Vision of your potential ---> desire ---> works *good or bad* ---> fruit *good or bad* (depending on your works) ---> increased vision ---> increased desire ---> increased works ---> increased fruit................. ---> potential achieved.
But remember if you take it the vision and the desire and are only going through the motions (works).... there is no fruit as it breaks the cycle. Hence with time, the works will stop and the vision or potential is never achieved.
We watched a short movie this past week from one of the youth conferences. There was a group of youth (20 or 30 young men) who decided they were going to go out and rescue some of the young men who had not been to church in a while. They literally when knocking on doors to find them and once they did.... they joined the group and played basketball together. These young men had a "rescue activity" every week and now have an attendance that is increasing continually. Who do you need to rescue? Get together with some members and go out and find the wandering sheep.
I love you all. A lot. Thankyou for all of your support. I will be home soon.
LOVE LOVE LOVE