Monday, November 10, 2014

"I think the feather would weigh more"

Bairon and Mari with Johnny "Elder Vivas", our unofficial third companion. You don't need a name tag to be a missionary

Believe it or not, it gets chilly in Honduras!

Hello, all of you wonderful people!                                     November 3, 2014

It's a beautiful day, isn't it? I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but here in Santa Barbara, we're suffering a terrible confusion: this piece of Central America suddenly thinks it is in the Pacific Northwest. We've got the two-fold Seattle action happening: cold (relatively) and wet. All the same, it's another beautiful day on the mission.

I've been having fun this week as Hermana Cumatz gets to know our less actives better. Like the sister who welcomed us in and said, "Do you like this kind of meat? I made it last night, I'll heat it up for you. Put your stuff down. Wash your hands." That's when we looked at each other and thought, Okay, Mom. But we love her. We're also having a good time helping Hermana Cumatz get to know our area better. But her favorite comment is, "I'd better learn quick, you'll be gone in two months." My sister Annie made a comment involving the idea of two months in her most recent email, and then said "But I'm sure you don't need any reminders of that!" Correct! Let's talk about something else!

On Tuesday, we went to visit fam. Tabora Sorto (after an awesome lesson with Bairon about tithing. We asked him what he already knew about it from his 7 previous visits to church meetings and he gave such a thorough summary, we were tempted to just say, "Well, Amen. We'll see you tomorrow") and they were in a tough moment. Mom's very sick and has been visiting the hospital every three days, Dad's stil not in a steady job. I think we got there right as the last straw was breaking the camel's back. But after speaking with Hno Tabora for a few minutes, we walked away, knowing that we couldn't just go on with our day as we had planned. We knew we needed to help, but we didn't know how. So, being missionaries, we huddled on the side of the street and said a prayer. About 10 minutes later, we came across someone who agreed to give Hno Tabora work (it's not permanent, but it's something) and over the course of the afternoon, the small amount of members in El Llano donated clothing and food to this family who has nothing, notwithstanding that a few people who gave could have claimed to be in practically the same state. After that act of service and a few priesthood blessings, that family still isn't out of deep water, but they're not drowing. And they have never showed any hint of the attitude they had for a moment, wherein they said, "Hermanas, we just don't have time for any sort of church right now." The message of the Lord is not a time waster. We always have time for Him who knows how to heal us.

We didn't dress up for Halloween, but we did pack a bagged lunch to eat in the park, like the little kids who have their breaks from school at that time. We went around from house to house, but we didn't ask for candy. We were giving spiritual sweets away :) But the best surprise of that day was our last visit of the night, wherein Bayron had his baptismal interview.

Bayron's family is not exactly jazzed about his baptism. He told us that his mom started crying, she was so upset when he told her. So when we arrived for the interview and his mom answered the door, I was sort of expecting the Latina version of the Spanish Inquisition. But, smiley as ever, she told us that Bayron is an adult and is perfectly capable of making his own choices. He passed his interview, no problem, and on Saturday, we had a baptism that I've been waiting for for a long time. I was thinking back on the day that we met Bayron: Hna Davila and I were walking down the street, feeling for spiritual vibes to direct us in which houses we could contact. I motioned for one, and she objected, because there were dogs. Being bitten twice by dogs has given me a strange lack of fear for them. So I shouted hello, and when this scruffy haired kid that was Bayron came out, the first thing I did was ask if the dogs were dangerous. When he assured us that they weren't, my companion came a little closer, and we started to share the gospel. And I looked at him and thought, okay, what will Bayron look like at his baptism. So when Bayron walked out in his white clothes on Saturday, I just about started crying. (I ended up crying eventually. Whoops)

In the perfect warm up for his mission, Johnny gave a talk on baptism and confirmation and then stood with his friend in the water and baptized him, as one having been commissioned of the Savior to do so. They gave a little time for Johnny, Hermana Cumatz, me, and then Bairon to share our testimonies. (This is when I started crying) I couldn't fully describe the happiness I felt, because it transended my own. Bairon said, "If you put me on one end of a balance right now, and a feather on the other, I think the feather would weigh more." He then proceeded to recount the above mentioned story of the first time he met us. He said, "The voice I heard was Hermana Pickett, and I made motions to Mari (his sister) to answer, but she didn't want to, so I had to. Now, I just give thanks to God that I answered and not her, because who knows if it would have turned out the same way."

Yesterday, after being blessed to receive the Holy Ghost and to be an instrument in bringing his family to the waters of baptism, Bayron was ordained to be a priest in the Aaronic Priesthood. That's a pretty big change from the scruffy headed kid we met three months ago (even though he has yet to cut his hair. We're not speaking too literally right now).

I love this gospel. I love being a missionary. It's the hardest, most wonderful thing I've ever done. I know that this church is true. I know that God is my Father, and that Christ is my Savior. I see the evidence of those truths every single day. That's why every day is beautiful.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Happy November!

Hermana Pickett

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