This week was quite a happy one. After finally knowing our area and not getting lost on buses (even though we did walk in a complete circle for an hour on Sunday without even realizing it — God is still keeping us humble and and helps me remember that I am still directionally challenged...), we have decided that Zazil-ha is good and that the two story chapel on 52 is a little sacred haven that holds such noble and kind people. We experienced a few miracles this week — the greatest being the miraculous and heavenly changes we saw and experienced within these human hearts. We have been teaching Jose Trujeque for five weeks now — a thirty-three year old who is completely paralyzed on his right side and has had problems with alcohol for almost half of his life. He would drink in order to forget his disabilities—- choosing to forget that God had given him a life more difficult and more sad than most others have to experience. We were feeling sad and disheartened because he hadn't progressed and kept drinking every single Sunday. We prayed and fasted and he received a blessing and then we left everything up to God because that is what we have learned to do here — act in faith and then wait in faith. This Sunday we waited for him in the second pew of the chapel. He always comes to church. He never fails in this aspect, which is a miracle in and of itself because no one really comes to church here. We waited and he came like always, walking in with his same blue and white shirt and tan pants and a cane that steadies his walk. It is the type of sight that made me want to cry — imagining him waking up at seven every morning in order to catch the bus for our services at 8, making the long and painful trip up three flights of stairs with his cane and without any help. He looked so happy this Sunday, so full of light and life and hope. I have learned a lot about hope this week and the thought about how we always have the choice of choosing to be happy. I was feeling slightly disheartened these first few weeks here — missing the people I had learned to love in Mulsay, trying to love others in Zazil-ha, missing the feeling of God's direction, and trying to find Him again. But then I realized that He had been here all along, that He is always here and isn't that what gives us hope and a happiness that we cannot see? The hope that God exists and Christ exists and that they love us and that everything will be okay in the end?
I learned a lot about happiness this week from Hermano Jose. He can't walk, his friends have abandoned him, he can't work but has to support his mom and sister, he doesn't know how to read, and yet he walks every Sunday to church and listens to discs of the Book of Mormon every night before he goes to bed. He told us that he felt joyful at church on Sunday and has a new light in his eyes that didn't exist before. Despite everything that has happened to him within these thirty-three years, he has decided to be happy and I have come to realize that I want to do the same — decide happiness and then be happy. I don't know why it can be so hard sometimes, fulfilling our purpose of having joy in this life, but I do know that all God really wants is our temporal and eternal happiness and joy and that we can choose to have it or not. I like choosing to be happy because I know that our Father is One that rejoices in light and happiness and human joy, and that that is what He made us for -- "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy." Might have joy.
Sorry for the ramblings and un-organization (is that a word?) of this email. Love you and miss you mucho.
|chilling outside the prison. (don't worry, we are safe here, promise.)|
|with Jose and his family|
|sisters in my zone|
|typical Mexican dress that all the grandmas wear here|
|baby that we love and sometimes looks like a little man|
|I ate fish.|