After a glorious start to the week on Tuesday in the temple, the rest of the week proved to be a little bit of a trial, with a lot of our plans falling through and people falling through and our faith falling through just a little. We experienced a little bit of heaven with the hour we had in the temple together, and I don't think I have ever felt such a lightness or happiness in my heart than when I was sitting in such a holy place alongside my three companions, past and present. With Hna. Wilson and Hna Martinez and Hna Huerta all alongside me, a great feeling of gratitude arose within me as I felt of the merciful goodness of God in giving me such three lovely companions to know and love and have forever. Each of them are strength and goodness and steadfastness, and I am beginning to recognize how good God is in giving us relationships with people outside of our family that can extend and expand into the eternities, too. Hna Wilson and I have decided that we are going to be companions again (for the rest of the mission, preferably in Campeche) after we both finish training (because surprise — we had transfers yesterday. Hna Huerta and I are still celebrating the fact that we have six more weeks together in our little area of Mulsay).
With the temple being the highlight of the week, the rest of the week didn't bring much change or progress for a lot of our investigators. While many things have yet to change and get better here, I came to realize this week that there are always little changes that happen within the daily threads of life and within the daily beatings of our heart — the types of small changes that shift a heart, open a mind, give eternal sight to mortal eyes. They are the small odds and ends of these changes that come together to make up a whole, better version of what was once there before. It is becoming more and more evident to me that this mission in changing me through the simplest and grandest ways, and this is because I am finally coming to the realization of all the things that I need to change or do in order to reach that eternal identity and potential that God in His goodness has given to each of us. There are so many small shifts in the universe that have changed me here — seeing the change in the prayers of Hno Alfonso. someone who used to have to read his prayers in order to say them because he was too worried and nervous to speak an unplanned prayer. And yet now, we listen to him every single lesson give a prayer that is more like a conversation with his Father. He really talks to God; really asks Him questions; really explains his soul. Sometimes he asks God to give him more faith so that he can understand and accept all that we are teaching him, and sometimes I think it is quite beautiful that this is his only request — to give him more faith. This humble father has changed the way I think of prayer and the way I think of talking to my Father. And then there is Hno. Mahonri and his wife, a young couple in the ward that don't live in our area, but always volunteer to accompany us to our lessons even though he is the second counselor in the bishopric, is studying at university and working, teaches night classes in the stake center, and has an eleven year old daughter to think of, too. They are incredible and have changed the way I think about my future. They have given me a vision of what it really means to live a good and successful life by showing me how much they love each other, how much they work together to accomplish the same goal, and how much they dedicate to the Church. They are the type of people that really live their faith, and I want to do that, too.
I feel these words are inadequate in explaining the small changes that are really the grandest changes I have ever experienced or seen or felt in my life. They are changes brought about by these good people of the Yucatan that God has given so willingly, but most importantly, the changes brought about by our Heavenly Father. As much as I love to see the small shifts that are occurring in my heart because of the people here, my greatest hope is that God is the one that changes me the most, because I know it is only by His hand that we can return to the person we were designed to be and can become the person we are meant to be for the eternities.
Thank you for being those people that have changed me and continue to do so — I love you wholly and look forward to the hope and knowledge that in one year from now (because yes, it has been six months in the mission now!) we will be together again.