crowns of glory

mi bonita familia,

This week we walked. And walked. And walked. It got to the point where I started repeating the words to the Primary hymn (Pioneer Children Sang as They Walked) until I couldn't take it anymore and didn't feel like following the example of the pioneer children and face my frustrations with a song. While some of the days were long and all of the days were hot, God gave us happiness and miracles right in those moments we were beginning to lose that hope and light that only comes with a real testimony of Christ. These stars of light came on: 

Wednesday: When we had a noche de hogar with Hno Alfonso and all of his children (minus one). We had an activity to see how well they knew each other as a family— I love seeing how well we know the people we love, and seeing how much we don't really know about them, too. There really is no end to knowing a person, and I think that is why God gives us the eternities to discover the real heart and the real hopes of another. We laughed a lot during our hour with them, and like every time in their home I only remember seeing and feeling light. This is what good people bring, I think— light. The type of light that can only be added to and that can only become brighter. This family is light to me, and I love them with all my heart. 

Sunday: Lunch with Familia Mena Garcia. We have lunch with the members of our ward every single day, and this family just happens to be one of my favorites.They are incredible and help with the missionary work in our area so much. We asked the parents how they met, which began an hour long story of their courtship, followed with their marriage, followed with the life of their family. After telling us their love story, they began giving us all sorts of counsel about the type of person we should marry and the type of marriage we should strive to have, and how there is nothing harder but nothing greater than the family. We took notes, because they are great and their marriage is great and we just love them.

Sunday night: While walking to the edge of our area boundaries (literally) to contact one of our references, we came across a three year old girl playing outside of her house. We passed by once, but had the impression to return and talk to her (maybe because we are learning that the children here are usually the ones who want to listen and want to be baptized and are more of an example of goodness and faith than a lot of their parents). As we were talking with her for a time, her dad joined us—a young 20 year old father with two children and a wife and a new house of his own. Without really giving us the chance to explain why we were here or what our purpose as missionaries is, he invited us to share our message of Christ with his family. We taught him about the Restoration and eternal families, and by the end of our lesson when we invited him to be baptized (because yes, we are those missionaries that invite people to be baptized in the first lesson...I never thought I would be one of those), he promptly told us that he would like to be baptized and asked us what he needs to do in order to prepare. We were only a little more than happy on our walk home that night, knowing that God had given us one of his prepared children to teach and give more light and knowledge. We had been praying for an opportunity to find the people in our area who God really has prepared and prepared for us in the eternities, and well, we think we got our answer with Hno. Gamaliel. 

This week I have been thinking a lot about the phrase crowns of glory, a phrase I came across while reading in D&C 58. I like these words, the type of words that speak of another world but not an unreachable one, the form of phrase that tells of of those eternal blessings instead of those in mortality. Many times we cannot see those blessings and the glory of God manifest on the earth with our mortal eyes, but I know there are times when God gives us a moment's glimpse into the eternities and into His world. In these moments, God gives us more knowledge of that eternal glory, of those crowns of glory, that we are promised to receive. A family united for a noche de hogar for the first time in their lifetimes; the face of one remembering the eternal truths that their spirit already knows; a new, young father searching for truth and help for his small family and finding it; whispered words telling us that they prayed and know the Church is true; following the stirrings of the Spirit and seeing Gods work made manifest through our works — these are my crowns of glory, my small visions of that eternal world that we are all bound to inherit. 

Wishing you experiences that give insight into those crowns of glory, and a week full of the type of joy that can only come with this good life.

love love love,

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