She's Gettin' Old
May 20, 2013
She’s Gettin’ Old
I BORE MY TESTIMONY AS “SAIDOS” [going home] FOR ZONE CONFERENCE?! Lots of people were thrown off-guard because of the fact that the division of the mission will be topsy-turvy, and there will be no Zone Conferences until September... I’m not sure how I feel about this gettin’ old thing.
[Mom wrote to her: What a choice daughter of God you are, and I am such a lucky mom to have had the pleasure of watching you grow. I could say “I am such a lucky mom to have had the pleasure of raising you,” but the truth is… you pretty much raised yourself. You have always had the strong desire to choose the right, so there isn’t much work when raising a child like that. I love you very, very much!!! And thank you for being YOU!]
I bore my most powerful testimony about Jesus Christ and the Atonement. I even surprised myself because the Atonement is something I have never quite grasped; but, in actuality, it’s a concept that NO human being can grasp. I understand now exactly WHY obedience isn’t a difficult thing for me; it’s because I have NOTHING for which to pay Jesus Christ back. Nothing I do is sufficient payment. HOWEVER, Jesus Christ set the conditions: obedience, repentance, following Him. Take up your cross and stop complaining. As a matter of fact, we promised to not only take up our cross but bear one another’s burdens that they may be light. So, rules, commandments, big whoop. You can see them as barriers and burdens. I see them as blessings and the only way to show my gratitude for my Savior. I’ll never be able to pay Him back, BUT at least I can do what He asked and live and teach His gospel.
The Conference was centered on how to be a successful missionary and how to build the temple. In fact, our missionary motto has changed from “Baptize, reactivate, retain, and establish” to “Baptize, reactive, retain, and build the temple.” They showed a trunky temple movie of a reeeeeally attractive couple getting married in the stereotypical Salt Lake Temple. It was the first time that I really thought, “Dang, I want me one of those eternal families they are talkin’ about.” But that’ll come with time.
Speaking of getting old... I have recently taken a serious concern for my hearing lately. Either my “selective hearing” has gone into overdrive or I really am having a difficulty hearing, especially with my companion. I could blame it on the height difference (my old out-of-place rib has been hurting from Taco Neck Syndrome when I listen to Sister Céspedes in the street) or blame it on her accent, but I’m really not quite sure about this.
Which brings me to another topic: We are teaching a WONDERFUL teenager, who turned 19 this past Saturday. He’s dating a less-active 13-year-old. (Idk, don’t ask me... but I can say they have the same maturity level.) We got to know his very young-looking mom. I, jokingly, asked her, “What’s your secret for looking so young?” You know what she said to me? She said she puts HERSELF no primeiro lugar [in first place]. I love me, I like me, I worry about me. Wait a sec. Maybe I DO have a hearing problem. No, no, ladies and gentlemen, she wholeheartedly stated that loving other people stresses you and wears out your body and spirit. It’s a risk not worth taking. She also said that God needs to come last because people suffer for their faith, practically killing themselves to show God they will follow Him. She said she worships God but doesn’t love Him. I was stunned. There was not a single commentary made... until she started talking about God. Then, the girlfriend’s dad and the boyfriend’s grandma piped in. I just stood there like a statue, trying not to show my complete shock. The only feeling I could express to explain my state of mind at that moment is sadness. Her life is completely upside down. Number 1 is always God. I thought everyone knew that. Then, I understood just HOW ALONE that young man feels and WHY. He doesn’t have a mom who loves him. She separated from his dad because she needed to be alleviated from him. Then, he died; and her son was left with no one who raised him lovingly, let alone raised him. I felt a whole lot of sad because of her. Relationships do wear you out. LIVING wears you out, and THAT is why she hasn’t aged. She doesn’t LIVE. She doesn’t LOVE. That’s not my objective here on the earth. I LIVE and, in these terms, I can’t WAIT to look old. God’s gonna have to take me out of this world one limb at a time. ;)
Getting More Old
Question: I’ve stopped using my glasses because they always give me a headache. Does that mean that I need a new prescription or an adjustment to the pads, etc? Shout-out for Brother Carr. Quando penso no meu bispo favorito, penso em você. Posso imaginar que você riu quando ouviu isso. [When I think of my favorite bishop, I think of you. I can imagine that you laughed when you heard this.]
What a Champ Comp
I LOVE and I’m learning a lot about HOW to show my love from my companion, Sister Céspedes. She is the Molly Mormon when it comes to serving your neighbor. She’s wonderful. We do make quite a powerful pair, according to the assistants to the president. I have already changed a lot with her and have a LOOOOOng way to go. I’ve never had this point of view that I wake up in the morning because I want to interact with my companion, to learn more with her. It was her who changed the way I’m preparing for my future husband. She doesn’t make a list of qualities that her husband needs, she makes a list of things she wants to LEARN with him. How AWESOME is THAT?!
PARQUE DA CIDADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
May 20, 2013
She also has had a pretty topsy-turvy family life. She lived with her grandparents for most of her upbringing because of SO MANY unfortunate circumstances in her family. She counts her lucky stars that her grandparents raised her in the church, and she grew up loving the gospel. She always had loved the gospel, even when she lived with her mom; and she always wanted to be a missionary. She was engaged; but her ex-fiancé called it off because there was a fight, and his parents never approved. Shortly after, her grandma died. She was the one who warned the whole family and arranged for her mom to fly in, warned her to fly in earlier; but no one listened to her. Through this all, she stayed strong in the gospel, even when her grandpa went inactive. Her mission has helped her grandpa, uncles, aunts, and mom return to activity in the church; and she is helping her step-brother prepare for a mission. Oh, the miracles of the mish. She asked to extend her mission while Presidente Lima was giving us a ride to my new area (Niterói, Fonseca). She explained to him that being on a mission has immensely blessed her family; and, thus, she would love to serve a little more time. It was only after she got the phone call and accepted from Presidente that she thought about her grandpa. When she told him she’d stay more time on Mother’s Day, he cried. :) Awwwwww.
So, yes, we have been getting up at 6:00 am to do exercises; and, yes, we have run the 13-story stairs in our socks so as not to wake up the neighbors. And, yes, Sister Céspedes isn’t keeping up with me; but let’s face it, who can? Baahahhaha. BUT, she is QUITE a champ. None of my companions ever tried, hahahaha. I take that back. Sister Dávila tried once. Sister Romão once. That’s it.
Scripture of the Week
1 Sam 12:24
“Only fear the Lord and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.”