Monday, September 21, 2015

Families can be together forever!!! (But not lice families... they should be killed immediately)

It was a bittersweet week full of endings and new beginnings...

Our ward mission leader´s wife died unexpectedly on Thursday. In every ward I've served in, I always have had one or two families, who are always there for us. Who when we are with them, I am just filled with love. Hermana A. was the mother from one of these families. 

We received word Thursday morning that she had passed away, and we were randomly in Tuxtla (just for a day) for immigration stuff. So we took care of business, caught the first bus to Tapachula and began the long 6 hour bus ride in shock, not believing she was really gone. We got back just in time for the funeral. We ran from the OCC straight to the church. When I saw Hermanas L. and G. crying...I guess that's when it really hit was real.

Hermana A. had been sick for a while, ever since her son was murdered about 5 years ago. I guess she just never really recovered from it. But, she didn't seem seriously ill. We all thought she would heal. It was very unexpected, and a shock to everyone. 

I just kept thinking, "How could this happen to this family? Haven't they been through enough trials?" Their oldest son was killed a block from their house 5 years ago. Their (now) oldest son is addicted to drugs, and he wants out so bad...but he can't. He's in so deep. The dad is unemployed at the moment. Hermans L and G are volunteering as missionaries in the autosufficiencia center, but had to quit their jobs and studies to take care of their mom. The youngest, ran away a few weeks ago, and just barely returned home. And they have had even more trials and problems unspeakable. How could they lose their mother? How are they going to live? How are they going to endure to the end?

So, we were at the funeral. Thankfully, it was an uplifting funeral (nothing like my first funeral in Chiapas...that one was horrible). So it was a lot... calmer. Hermana G, mi mejor amiga, spoke. It was a beautiful message. She said although she was really sad that she had hope and faith that her mom was put out of her suffering. She had shown her love for her in this life and that she happy that she would be able to see her again.

During Hermana G's talk, suddenly her oldest brother, who had was nowhere to be found, walked in. He had bathed and was in a suit and tie. He hasn't been to church in years. I don't even know if I've ever seen him with a real shirt or shoes on, menos a suit! (not to ruin the spirit of the moment... but it was a little "Gossip Girl-y"... like he totally came in "Chuck Bass" style.)

  Later, Hermano R, our ward mision leader spoke. His talk was also inspiring, and full of hope...although filled with a little more guilt. He said since his wife had gotten sick, he's kept his distance from her a little more...because he was afraid he was going to lose her. But now that she's gone, he just wishes he could tell her he loves her. It was a really sad moment. It made me realize how important it is that we love our families and show them we love them here, while we are on this earth. Because even if we have eternity with them, we never will have this earth life back.

As we started to sing the final hymn, the oldest son, in his suit, walked up to the front, stopping the music. He started crying and speaking about his mother. I honestly don't remember everything he said. But one thing that stood out to me was when he said, "I love you mom. I will not slack." Then he walked away from the pulpit. Maybe, just maybe, this will be the trial he needs to get his life back in order and come back to church. 

I don't know why God took Hermana A. away from us so soon. I don't know why this family has had so many trials when I haven't had any. But I do know that God has a plan. And the only thing we can do is go forward with faith....

1 Nefi 4:6 And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.  Nevertheless I went forth!

That's the only thing this family can do at this point. 

On the bright side, there were two new beginnings this week. First off, my new beginning of perhaps living A LICE FREE LIFE. As many of you probably don't know, even after the priesthood blessing.. my lice came back 2 weeks later. I have now had lice for almost 5 months! woo!!! But, I told Hermana C., who we were eating with on Friday. She got down to business and combed me out and picked lice out of my hair for a good 2 1/2 hours. I have had many Hermanas try to help me before. But they usually get tired after about 45 minutes, say I look clean, and quit. I don't blame them.... it's tedious work. But Hermana C. ENDURED TO THE END. And although my scalp and neck KILL.... I know its for the best. I am now working with the stupid lice shampoo again, and although it kills my tortured head I am combing with the fine toothed comb every day! Hermana C is gonna check me out again this week! FINALLY I WILL BE RID OF LICE!! WOOO!!! I'm all for enduring to the end!

And.... perhaps even greater than my liceless life I will soon have...Hermano J. GOT BAPTISED!! The best part is his dad, Hermano H, who was just baptised a few weeks ago, baptised him!! It was such an amazing experience to see the faith of this family grow. Really with this experience, I have seen how God has a perfect plan. 

With going to Tuxtla and attending the funeral, we had to do Hermano J's pre-interview and interview very last minute. So Friday morning, we ran over to their house to see if we could to the pre-interview. They told us to come back in two hours. So we did. Hermano J. was visibly shaking. Little did we know, he had just talked with his dad. He told him he wasn't ready to be baptised, and had decided not to get baptised on Saturday. They were having this conversation when we stopped by the first time.

So we started the lesson, and Hermano J. didn't say anything about this. Hermano H. said, "Son, are you sure there isn't anything you want to tell the Hermanas??"

Hermano J. responded no. But Hermano H. asked him this like 3 more times before we started the pre-interview! We asked him the questions, he answered everything perfectly, and the nervous look on his face turned into a smile. We finished all the questions, and he looked a lot better! We asked his dad to sign the baptism record, and like 4 more times Hermano H. asks his son if he was sure he wanted to be baptised. Every time Hermano J. responded, he responded with surety, "Yes, dad, just sign the paper!!!" Haha.

Later we found out the reason Hermano H. was acting so weird was because Hermano J. was so nervous and upset before..and determined he wasn't ready to be baptised! But Hermano J. said he felt the spirit when we walked in, and it calmed him down.

After he was baptised, I asked, "How do you feel?" He said, "Strengthened!" Awhhh. It was a once in a lifetime experience to see our recent convert baptise his son. :) Now we are working with Grandpa!!!

Families can be together forever!!! (But not lice families... they should be killed immediately.)

Hermana Hansen

Yes..we bought granny PJs from Walmart 

I gave Hermana Ortega my dress cuz I love her