Letter received June 29, 2015
BIENVENIDOS A PERU!
Well Irvine, I'm sorry for your loss. It truly will not be the same in that city without my beloved parents! They are finally winning the battle of Bedford Falls and are onto bigger things! And can I just say... I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU GUYS TO COME!!! Amo este pais y ustedes. You're gonna love it.
This past week was fantastic. Lots of changes, but change is good! The new area is great. I'm in zona/estaca La Victoria in Barrio Union. It's not too big of an area, so I shouldn't get lost too much after my companion goes home tomorrow and I have a new companion... It's all good! As I taught Hermana Molina to say (in English), "Everything will be alright!" I know it will be. The members here are really incredible and ready to work. Hermana Kingsford has only been here a total of 3 weeks and all the members are throwing her parties and giving her gifts! They really are so loving. I love Peruvians. And I can't wait to REALLY get to know each of these families well.
Also, Hermana Kingsford is THE BEST. Even though we have only had a week together, I am so grateful for her and all that she has taught me.
So last Sunday was the temple dedication!!!!!! IT WAS AMAZING I love the temple! I miss the temple. My heart LONGS for the temple! But all is well. Last week we had just a little taste. President Uchtdorf and Elder Bednar both came and each of the stake centers were converted into "mini templos" and we got to watch the broadcast of the dedication and the cultural event! I got to see many of my young friends from Cajamarca dancing in the event, as well as hear one of the ladies from Atahualpa who always accompanied us visiting SPEAK at the dedication. She is one of the temple matron's assistants now. #tendermercies #gocajamarca
Because we are in Peru after all, there were a few technical difficulties, but what we got to see of the dedication was absolutely inspiring. Uchtdorf told an absolutely incredible story that really will forever be in my heart. I t really changed the way I look at the gospel, the world, and the Savior. I don't remember all the details, but he spoke of a man named Martin who owned a small shop. Martin had a dream one night that the Savior came to him and told him to be ready because the following day he would be coming to his shop. Martin got up early the next morning and cleaned and reorganized his shop in excitement over the Savior's coming. Well, the day passed by and the Savior did not come. In fact, hardly anyone had come in all day! In the morning, there was a man who passed by cleaning the street out in the cold. Martin had given him his only coat to keep warm. Later in the day, a woman walked by selling apples and a little boy darted past and stole one. So Martin went outside to calm the woman and have the little boy apologize. In the evening Martin saw another woman out in the cold with her freezing baby. He invited them in to eat some hot soup. It was the soup that likely kept the baby alive. Still as the day ended, Martin didn't understand: why didn't the Savior come?? Then he sat down for his nightly reading of the Bible. He felt inspired to open to a different chapter than where he had left off. He read in Matthew 25:35-40:
For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Martin then understood that the Savior had indeed come and that He had taken Him in.
I LOVE this story. I want to be like Martin. I want to be like my Savior. I want to be the one to take Him in. The one to lend a hand. The one to lift His heart. In the mission, I have truly seen the world in a very different light. Service is more than the sign-up sheet that is passed around in Relief Society, or the needed hours in National Charity League... If we're not serving and offering love to everyone around us every minute of everyday... are we really serving the Lord? Are we really loving the Lord? The Peruvians are oh so loving. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else! They are the greatest examples to me. nd so are my pops :) They are giving up all their personal comforts to let the Lord in. They get it. And so did King Benjamin...
Mosiah 2:17 states: "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." AMEN. May we all serve our neighbor and serve the Lord just a little more. Love you.