Friday, November 29, 2013

Back To Brazil

To spare you the expense of having to read a travel log, I will leave it up to you to read the title of the blog today.  Suffice it to say, I had the amazing opportunity to visit some of the people that I learned to love so much while serving a mission in Brazil.

As I reflect on the moments I had while teaching, praying, and working for Amanda to understand more about the gospel, I know that it was all made worth it in the moment that I saw her be sealed to her sweetheart for time and all eternity in the Recife Temple. For the first time, I understood what it meant to sacrifice for someone that you love. All of the hard work I was blessed to be able to partake of while in Teresina is a lot to comprehend. 18 months away from my family and loved ones in the hot sun while speaking a foreign language was not always easy. In fact, it was most often very hard. Very, very hard. But this week as I saw the happiness that comes with comprehending eternity, I knew that I would do it all again to give someone a moment to be closer to God in His holy house.

Amanda's Baptism - 11/3/12
Amanda's Sealing Day - 11/26/13
In reality, I didn't do much when teaching Amanda about the gospel. I was in the right place at the right time as a servant of the Lord. What she did for me this week was much more significant. She gave me a part of my mission back. She once again made me treasure the sacrifices that have made me so blindingly happy for the past few years of my life. I would spend 18 months of my life in 105 degree weather while having dozens of people turn me down for another moment of pure joy like this one.
Thank you Amanda.

Thank you to all of my friends who made this week one of the most rewarding of my life. I got to spend a marathon amount of time in the temple, at least for me. In three days, I spent more than 24 hours in one of the most sacred places we have here on earth, and I did so with some of my very best friends. Carmem, thank you querida for helping me to understand that we are all capable of greatness. I cannot thank you enough for reminding me that I too, "presta." I met these two women at a time when I was not enjoying my missionary service to the Lord as I should have been. They raised me up and helped me as I tried to help them. Once again this week, I went to show my love to them by coming from very far away to see an important moment. Yet again, my best friends lifted me up and reminded me of what I am worth.

I know that God lives and He loves us because He is kind enough to remind us of His love again and again. He loves us enough to give us good friends and family to support us in moments of doubt. He loves us enough to give us temples where we can be sealed to our beloved families forever and ever. I am thankful to He who gives us all the chance to redeem ourselves from past hurts to become better than ever before. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for giving me a reason to really smile for the first time in a while.

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