I suddenly noticed that my planner is heading towards the last few pages... which brings me to the cold and painful realization.. that ANOTHER transfer has nearly flown and ended... and it just getting out of control.
It has been a total roller coaster-week... and I, as usual, have so many mixed feelings and thoughts.. that have been stewing and blending in my mind... and might come out a little.... mixed. Belize is such a beautiful place, so unique in SO many ways... the kind of place that no one will understand until has personally and fully experienced it- no matter the attempts I make to paint it out... the colors are too vibrant, exotic, and bizarre to fully capture in any way besides one's personal eyes. I feel like serving here as a missionary has only 2 possible and strong effects. It can complete smash one's testimony.... or it can build it to be unbreakable and eternal. I feel like every day... my experiences are carving my heart.. sometimes I wonder if the carver is applying a little too much pressure, that the tender heart might be penetrated too hard and break.... but I have faith that in the end... through the expertise of the Carver's hand... that as long as I make my heart available to His work... it will eventually become the masterpiece He had initially imagined and intended to make.
We watched the dedication of the temple in El Salvador, and I have so much to try to say about it... but... even in the little chapel in Belize... I felt a taste of the temple. It's true as they explain, that in the broadcasting of this sacred ceremony, that the chapel becomes an extension of the temple. I can testify of that. I wept with such relief to feel the familiar security and warm of the temple... like we had our own oasis of Heaven here. It was so beautiful. I think sometimes the missionaries here are a little tempted to feel a little alone, or that they're carrying a huge load. Like the Elders that serve on the far out islands or as branch presidents in other areas of Belize... because the church is still so new here.. and Satan's presence is so strong. He's becoming more and more obvious and dummy to me... and doesn't strike me with fear.. but with a big tweak of frustration to see his deceitful and relentless work with the leadership here. He is constantly busy. We are so busy too, trying to do clean-up work, and build up the "fortifications" stronger. It reminds me of the hurricanes here... but that's another theme. Anyways... to be able to participate in the dedication yesterday what just what this weak little missionary needed. It was just as an angel was telling Sister Clark personally," lift up your head, be of good cheer, turn back, and get to work!!" It refined and broadened my perspective, and was such a tender mercy to me at this time when so much is happening here.
We were blessed to watch the big cultural celebration on saturday night and then the 3 dedication sessions. I fell in love with the people of El Salvador all over again. Oh how I loved them. Watching these youth in their costumes, performing the dances that they had labored for about a year to organize and perfect... I saw a big part of my heart in that stadium on the big screen. These people are so happy, and SO grateful for their temple. The dances they performed told their history, starting from the Lamanites to today. Watching the light beaming from their faces, the happy tears they shed, and the joy they expressed in their dance... the words of the prophecy of Doctrine and Covenants 49 floated in from my memory, that the Lamanites would "blossom like a rose in the desert"... and we are so clearly seeing that revelation coming to pass. They are such a chosen people. Listening to the promises completed and more given to them in the dedication, I could almost feel and hear my good friends Mormon, Moroni, Nephi, and Enos... who had all so fervently prayed that these people would again come to the fullness of truth and would again be a "delightsome people"- I know they were rejoicing and celebrating with us to see so clearly the completion of the promises God made to them because of their faith and prayers on behalf of their people. They truly are once again, a delightsome people... and will continue and blossom and grow more than we can imagine right now.
There are so many things that have happened this week that would just be too hard to try to explain... and I feel like prophets when they say, "I was going to write more.. but..." .... so we'll just leave it there. :) I love this gospel so much. It truly is my life. Not just because I'm a missionary... but it has become who I will always be. I realize every day how much I needed to be out here... and I just hope and try to give even it everything- even if it's just a fragment in comparison of what I have ultimately received.
I love you all! Thanks for all your support and good work over there!