Our Zone Leaders had a great training lesson on Tuesday. We have either Zone or District meetings on Tuesday morning and I am always amazed at the communication and teaching skills these young men have. They are basically just kids and come here for two years to serve the Lord. In that time, they gain so many wonderful life skills. These two, Elders Griffin and Rausa [we lovingly call them 'Mutt and Jeff' because of their height difference] taught us as the Savior would. We love these two young men and are so grateful they are our leaders.
|Elder Griffin and Elder Rausa|
I simply asked him why he didn't attend church. He muttered some answer and I took his chin and turned his eyes to meet mine. I told him the Lord loved him...the Lord needed him...his wife loves and needs him..and finally asked him if he was praying and reading the scriptures. With downcast eyes, he shook his head 'no, sister'. I again turned his eyes to meet mine and asked him why he was not reading his scriptures. 'I cannot see them Sister'. When I asked him if he WANTED to read them, he hesitated for along time and shook his head yes. Then I gave him a challenge with a promise...'if I provided a way for you to read them, would you promise me that you would pray and read them every day, finish the first chapter of 1Nephi before I come back next Tuesday and go to church with your wife on Sunday'? He nodded yes.
We finished our time together and then hopped in the car. IMMEDIATELY we went to the palenke, bought a pair of reading glasses and drove back to his house. We happened to pass him on the road as he was bicycling to work and he stopped. The surprise on his face as he realized I kept my promise and the hope in his eyes when he then realized he needed to keep his.
Tuesday we went back as promised and Randy got to come with-HIS ENTIRE COUNTENANCE HAD CHANGED!!! I am not kidding you...he looked so different! We did introductions, started with a prayer then I turned to him-did he follow through??? ABSOLUTELY HE DID! Then in tagalog amid many tears he related the following story..
He went to church as he promised me he would and when he walked in the door, the members flocked around him shaking his hand and patting him on the back. How do you think that made him feel?? It was a glorious day for him. He had a home...he was wanted...he was needed...he was back! He related that experience to us and with tears streaming down his face [and ours too], told us that he has had a total change of heart. He no longer wants to partake of coffee, miss prayer with his wife, miss studying the scriptures with her and most of all, activity in his branch has become a high priority to him again.
|The Delphinodo family with the Sisters and us on their porch|
Last night a similar thing happened as we visited with President Munoz. I again challenged a man who has a wonderful family, a return missionary for a son, a wife who is active, etc. When I asked him about reading the scriptures and got the same answer, I just held my palm up to Randy, he handed me the keys and off I went, right in the middle of the lesson. This time I bought 6 pairs of reading glasses!! hahaha! He has promised, as did brother Delphinodo, to rise up to my challenge and time will tell if the fruits of my efforts will pay off again. I feel like my new tools are a nudge from the Lord...I can afford the glasses and because of the poverty here, it is difficult for many of them to solve that problem and soon, their inability to read becomes their excuse...I am simply removing the excuses. A simple investment of 100-120 pesos [about $2 US] will bring them blessings they can't imagine! Oh, I almost forgot to tell you...the Delphinado's are talking temple, had questions about the cost, and are enrolling in the 'prep' classes on Sunday. I know, it is only ONE week that he has returned but if you could all have seen his eyes...you would also know he is back!!
Our weather is warming...the air is becoming more humid...the rice is planted...our lives are ever changing. This is such a grand experience for us-I thank my Father in Heaven every day for allowing me to come and trusting me, this silly mid-western gal, to touch the lives of these precious people. I remember Sister Carlos telling me about them before I even considered a mission and she was right-they are the most humble, loving, happy, content, and inwardly righteous people I have ever known. We are definitely the ones being blessed!
|My new tools...|