Sorry for the short email last week — I read a chapter in Mosiah this week about how King Benjamin's people were so full of the Spirit and the mercy of God that they couldn't give words to their feelings. I guess that is how I felt last Monday — full of the Spirit and God's mercy and love.
This week it rained and rained until we forgot what it was like being hot all the time. Lightning, thunder, and wind for a good two days. Then on Saturday it went back to being a hundred degrees plus again ... we are learning to find joy in the heat and in the sun. Because there are so many things in which we can be joyful, such as:
1) Hermana Villalobos is now addicted to peanut butter. We both eat toast with peanut butter and bananas every morning — small victory on my end.
2) The elders in our area are our new best friends. Elder Harris is training Elder Linares, who just got here two weeks ago from Mexico (I realize that I am in Mexico, but everyone here believes that the Yucatan and everywhere else in Mexico are two very different countries). Elder Harris is from Idaho and has a little more than a year on the mission. Sometimes we think he is like Mr. Knightley from "Emma," because he demands respect with his goodness and pure kindness. We get to eat lunch with them every so often during the week, which are now some of our favorite days of the week. They are wonderful.
3) Recognizing the perfection of God's timing in all things. Mario told us about how he first came to know about the Church this week as we sat outside on his porch on metal rocking chairs that are actually really comfortable. He told us how he had been a drummer in a band with his friends, and that one weekend they traveled to Campeche to play in a concert. He was only there for two days, but on the last day he met a girl who happened to be a member of the Church. She is from Cancun and had gone to Campeche for the concert. They started talking and continued talking long distance for a year. During this year, he went to visit her a few times. He went to church with her and listened to the missionaries and started going to church here in Zazil-ha, but by this time there weren't any missionaries so that he could receive the lessons and be baptized. And then Hermana Villalobos and I showed up. And I started thinking, how did God know that a twenty-two year old needed to go to Campeche in order to meet a girl from Cancun in order to find Him and His truth? God is perfect — in His timing, in His wisdom, and in His love. Mario read Moroni chapter 10 this week, and even though everyone always talks about verses 3-5, he liked verse 32 the best:
Yea, come unto Christ and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves all ungodliness and love God with all your might, mind, and strength, then in his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ.
My heart is full of Christ's grace and His love. I will forever be grateful for this (almost) year that I have been given here in God's wilderness — learning to love His children and becoming perfected through His Son. It is hard, a lot of the time. But it is also glorious and joyful being able to know and learn from those that have heard the good word and chosen to be perfected in their Savior.
sending all my love and joy your way,