Myldsmail.net just started working, so this is gonna be short. Lucky week, huh fam? :)
We had a beautiful district conference- all the members from Corazol, Orange Walk, and the Island of San Pedro came in, and it was so wonderful! It's so neat to have everyone together, and to see that we're truly not alone! One of the newest converts of Belize City branch gave an incredibly powerful testimony and shared his conversion. Benny is SO on fire and is one of the meekest and kindest people I may ever meet. He spoke so powerfully of the blessing that tithing has had on his business, his life, and his faith. I want everyone to have a Benny experience.
About 2 weeks ago, we heard, as we so often do, "Elders!"- but then that familiar zing of the Spirit hit me again... and I halted to a stop and looked around to see who it was from. We then met our new friend, "Tom". He is a man in his 50's who spent 30 years or so in the states in the military engineering weapons- especially bombs. He had been to Iraq several times... and has had a life full of trauma, sin, and heartache. He is now in Belize for the same reason that so many are- to "get away", or to... hide from themselves. He is very wealthy, and still receives money, lives in his mom's old house... but still works 2 full time jobs... just to distract himself from... himself. He started talking to us just to say hi to a fellow American .. but as I started asking questions... his story came out. All I could think as I listened to his experiences and saw the pain in his eyes... is, "Only the Atonement could help this man". He is VERY VERY intellectual, and has read nearly anything under the sun... except the Book of Mormon. We gave him a copy and invited him to read. We pulled up to his work a few days ago, as when he turned around... I barely recognized him.. and doubted that we were approaching the right man. He glowed. He smiled- not just with his teeth this time.. but with his eyes and his soul. He immediately and enthusiastically declared, "Hey! I am reading that book- and it's CHANGING EVERYTHING!" He said that even his students in the high school as him, "Hey... what happened to you?"- as he is filled with more patience, love, and concern for them. He says that he's starting to see himself differently, and he is the happiest he's been in 30 years. He reported that "before, the first thing I did what I came home late at night.. was eat.- now... I race home.. and open the book first". He says he reads until he falls happily asleep- and that's the miracle. For the first time in years since he went to war- he sleeps. This was certainly not the same man we ran into 2 weeks ago. This is a man that is starting to understand the Atonement. I love love love the Book of Mormon. We got to teach him the Plan of Salvation yesterday... and he was SO thrilled, "I can't even count how many pastors I've talked to and asked these things to... and NO ONE has given me a real answer like this!" I am so grateful to have the whole truth. I love seeing it sink into the hearts of those we teach. I love seeing those blinding scales slide off from their eyes.. one by one.
The mission is just a beautifully trying "blast". One of my missionaries decided not to talk to me about a mysterious lump on his head... and decided to cauterize/brand himself with something random and HOT- resulting in a very awkward and obvious bald mark and battle wound. They're just preparing me for motherhood, huh?
oooook! Love you all! Have a BEAUTIFUL week! Enjoy all the celebrations! I will be trying not to think too much about Haley getting married... but I will be praying for her to feel better and have the BEST DAY OF HER LIFE.
- Sista Clak