Monday, October 26, 2015

Ironing Out the Soul

Hermana Castillo and I had a pretty fun week.  After visiting the Cataratas de Iguazú last Monday, we had the opportunity to do divisions with the lovely hermanas of Iguazú, Hermana Marvian (Las Vegas, NV) and Hermana Gonzalez (Chiapas, MEX). Hermana Castillo stayed in Iguazú with Hermana Marvian, and Hermana Gonzalez accompanied me back to Eldorado. We had fun searching for a less-active member who was baptized three years ago. Cool story about him: a while back, our friend Mirta, a recently returned missionary, accompanied us. We taught a young man who said ​"Oh yeah, one of my friends is Mormon. His name is Emmanuel." Mirta recognized the name and later commented to me, "I was thinking about Emmanuel recently. I remember accompanying the missionaries to his lessons before he was baptized, and they were always really spiritual. I wonder what happened to him." That night as we rode the bus back to the pension (still with Mirta), who should happen to board the bus? None other than Emmanuel - surely inspired timing! For various reasons, we hadn't been able to find him until this last week, but we found him and visited with him and his mother and they are wonderful people. Pray that he will come back to church and that she will get baptized!

As a spiritual thought today, I would like to share a quote from one of my biggest heroes:

"I feel like the temple helps me iron out my soul, helps all the angst of life, all the conflictive emotions, settle down a bit." -Karl Watts

After divisions, Hermana Castillo and I had the opportunity to do some service for a friendly woman we met. She had a pile of laundry that needed to be ironed and folded before her son came to visit from college the next day, so we stopped by and spent about two hours ironing and folding clothes and chatting with our new friend. I thought about what my dad had shared with me. It's been a long time since I have had the opportunity to go to the temple, and I expect to have a long time remaining before I can return, but I have found various substitutes for the peace the temple brings. Principle among them are paryer and service. So as I ironed clothes, in some degree I was working to iron out my soul, to smooth out the wrinkles of sin and weakness and pain and frustration.

This gospel has the cure for every heartache, every illness, every illness, that is part of this mortal journey. May we all feel of the peace that comes from abiding by its principles!

Hermana Watts

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Wonder of the World

​Not much time this week, so . . . pictures!! Guess where we spent our p-day :)

GORGEOUS!!!  They say the Lord's voice is like the "rushing of many waters" - you can definitely sense the majesty and wonder of that description at the falls.

(This is Iguazú Falls - one of the world’s seven natural wonders)

One more story . . .

(This last video was intended for me, but it was so cute, I thought I'd share. ~ Krista)

Monday, October 5, 2015

In Tune

One day this week, when we left the pension, I had a headache.  It was just a dull ache, easy to ignore, but I was not excited about having to walk around in the hot sun.

Our plan was to find a family that had been taught by the missionaries some two years ago.  We found their teaching record in our Area Book: three boys, ages 19, 15, and 14 (at that time), who had been ready for baptism.  The last entry in the teaching record describes how the missionaries went to give them the baptism interview, but the mother didn't want her sons to get baptized in this church.  Beyond that, we didn't have much information.  The only address written was "Two blocks past the Crizantes family," with the name of the street.  (Although I suppose that's a step up from "around the corner by the mango tree.")

With my head aching, we boarded the bus.  When we got off, I got confused and went down the wrong street, and we ended up several blocks past the street we needed to get to.

Then it began to rain.

The rain caught us completely by surprise.  We had nothing - no raincoats, umbrellas, nothing!  We walked down one muddy street after another, trying to make our way back to the correct street.  Every house we passed looked uninviting; there was nowhere to take shelter from the storm.

I paused to rest under a tree, which offered some protection from the downpour.  I said to my companion, "I don't know what we should do.  We don't know where this family lives or how we are going to find them.  Even if we do find them, we don't know if they will lest us in."  A little rain, and I was ready to give up.  

My wonderful companion, ever in tune with the Spirit, would not surrender so easily.  "I think that's just Satan trying to keep us from finding this family."

Something in her words convinced me.  "All right," I said.  "Let's go."  Words from the scriptures echoed in my head: Yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions...and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls. (Alma 17:11)  If ever I needed patience in afflictions, it was now!

We braved the rain and mud and eventually found the street.  As we walked, the rain began to gradually let up, and our clothes began to dry.  We found the home of the Crizantes family and began counting the blocks - but it wasn't very clear where "two blocks" started or ended.  Our plan was just to ask around, see if someone knew the family.

My companion nudged me.  "That house."  I had been eyeing it too, as it was the only house with the door open.  It seemed humble but inviting, as good a place as any to begin our search.

We asked for the family name.  A woman came out.  "Sí, somos nosotros. (Yes, that's us)."  I asked for the name of one of the boys.  "Mi hijo. (My son)," she said.

My heart sank.  This was the mother who had been less than enthusiastic about the baptism of her sons!  But as we kept talking, she turned out to be not nearly as terrible as I had first thought.  In fact, although her sons weren't home at the moment, she invited us to return, saying, "There was a difference in my sons when the missionaries were teaching them."

I am grateful for a companion who is in tune with the Spirit and for the opportunity I have, as her companion, to witness many miracles.

Hermana Watts