Sunday, December 18, 2011
Love You All!
I'm not sure where to start or what to say. I just... feel SO MUCH love for my family right now... I hope to someday find some way to adequately express it all. (without the "verbal vomit" as Andrew accurately calls my letters. :) haha I feel the Christmas Spirit. I don't think it's much different than the same incredible Spirit and joy I've been feeling the last 16 months... but it's still just as sweet... and it's how I want to feel every Christmas... and always. Despite the perfectly "mild" weather (I won't go into how cold 70 degrees feels to me now.. it's been shocking to this already acclimated body)... it really does feel like Christmas in my lovely little world.
This calling, especially this assignment really keeps us guessing. You know me... I can never follow the normal routine and keep it regular. The Lord has continued to spoil us. For the last 6 months we've been hearing about this "SOY" program "Strength of Youth" that they're having for the first time in Belize. It's like a mini EFY. This is HUGE for the members here- because they never have anything like it here. They've been planning and preparing it for the last year... and things just started going wrong... so now they're suddenly sending Sister Rodas and I there for a week to do the music and maybe some medical stuff? We're not really sure what's going on.. but we're SUPER excited. The youth need SO much support here... and I am feel so blessed to be given the opportunity to be with them and be a part of such a great work with them. SO... I'm not sure when/if I'll write next week. We'll be in Belmopan all week... I might freeze. yikes.
I LOVED Joel's letter- about the silly little sheep running away when all you want to do it give it food and love. haha... oh how true it is. Oh how I love these little sheep. They are not my herd, nor am I their shepherd... but I hear the Shepherd's voice calling for them so loud and strong... and it's really difficult sometimes to see how deaf and cold they are to His voice. I don't think I've ever understood charity like what I've learned here. I often wonder if this stubborn and cold heart of mine could have ever been impacted and molded to be filled with so much love.... in any other way than the daily fight and grind here. Though, it does no good to wonder... because I am here... and am I slowly learning. I am so grateful for the love that I have received throughout my life... and I am realizing how ungrateful I have been. I marvel at the wonderful life God has given me... as I see so much pure hate, greed, selfishness, lust, pride, and abuse all around me. Something especially painful and torturous in my experience here is the incredible child abuse that we are constantly seeing. I won't go in to it much... I don't think I'd ever like to really share what I've seen... but I have been enriched with a greater desire to have a family, and to truly love, nuture, and raise my children how the Lord would have me do it. It's so hard as missionaries not being about to really just grab these sweet children and just... cuddle, kiss, and heal these beautiful angels that are suffering so needlessly and intensely. I cannot work in Pediatrics. I couldn't stand feeling this way every day. I'm just not strong enough for that yet.
In the last 2 weeks we've seen 2 families be baptized, and other families are coming to church... and the work is really starting to progress- because of families. I've been doing a lot of reflecting on families and the gospel, and all that I've been learning... and I found an incredible scripture yesterday... that answered so many inquiries or worries that I had. Deuteronomy 4:9 " Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest though forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons". That is exactly what I intend to do.
Despite the disapointments, frustrations, battle, creepers, pain, and exhaustion.... I am in love with it all. I love this work, my life, my family, the gospel.
Have an awesome week. Remember the only important part of Christmas: Christ.