Manuel is about 60 years old and we visit him nearly everyday. he looooves talking about "the palabra" or word of God, well so does everyone. but he lives with his sister and brother and dad, basically everyone lives with family members. he was married a long time ago but now hes just solo. he,s in a wheelchair and lacks a foot from knee down. SO everytime we visit he wont let us leave until we have cookies and soda with him or something. lately hes been cooking for us which is adorable. we are his hermanitas. and he loves learning and has been trying to impelement all the commandments into his life and he agreed to come to church with us on his crutches, but only if it wasnt raining cuz it was super cloudy the night before. its a big deal because he is super shy about his foot and he wanted to wait for his prosthetic, but he felt like he should come with us. so of course we prayed our little hearts out that it wouldnt rain and manuel would be ready for church in the morning. thank goodness it was a gorgeous sunny morning!!!! so we picked him up and he sat in the front row with us (by the piano) which was a big part of his reason for coming, to see us sing and me play. its a good way to get people to come to church, to witness my lack of talent. oh goodness its bad. one of the hardest parts of my mission right now, having to play the piano with no practice time and not wanting to burden the bishop as you can imagine. manuel says he knows the church is true but he doesnt believe in joseph smith cuz hes white... soo we still have work to do. the church wouldnt even be here without him! he said if he was a mexican he,d believe in him. a little frustrating as you can imagine haha.
by the way our bishop is spectacular. dad he always asks about you "hows your family! hows the bishop!" always haha. and yesterday he bore his own testimony after the talks, and it was perfect. he was talking about how we as members arent responsible for other members actions and how they use their time and which commandments they have issues with. honestly who are we to judge. the only reason people come to church on sunday is to learn and progress! if everyone there was perfect what would be the point!? he said "if someone doesnt pay their tithing theyre not gona cut the lights." so think about that haha. basically, it is never our place to judge people because they dont understand a commandment as well as we do or have had an experience with a commandment as we have. it doesnt affect us and our obedience to them. when people go to church, its an act of faith and shows that they are simply TRYING to be better. theyre not there to be judged or feel excluded, its a personal experience with personal revelation. I hopé that makes sense, because its a big deal and everyone should try to understand it.
okay so last night we went to visit a couple old ladies and their neighbor was over and was immediately intruiged by us. she said she had never heard of the church or even the term mormons. we started sharing simple principles and she just kept saying "wow!! really!?" and she was so excited and amazed at the information. and we sang a hymn for her (sidenote we sing for everyone. its normal. i think) and she kept saying wow after and we asked her how she felt and she said she couldnt even explain it and that it was something she had never felt and it was in her whole body. how perfect. i explained to her that it was the holy ghost, who can testify to us when things are true and good in our lives. she was soooo happy and was asking us questions and had us write down all the scripture references we used. then she kept saying how blessed she was to have God send us to her. oh AND she ran home to get her cellphone because she wanted a picture with us hahaha. so we are going back to teach her tonight! she said she was catholic but she wasnt learning anything so she left for a christian church.
BACK to the fact that its all about learning. learning new things about ourselves and the church is a possibility daily. i was reading talks from conference this morning and it just made my whole day alot better. ive also been reading a book "our heritage" about the church and joseph smith its incredible. you guys would really like it. joseph smith was awesome i want to meet him so bad! hes my hero! im happy. really really happy. i trip alll the time. my companion thinks i might have a problem. i twisted my ankle stepping off the curb today and hobbled across the street with our groceries. so thats cool. always twisting my ankle, what a blessing its not broken cuz im so clumsy. p.s. MOM you know my gray pearl necklace with the ribbon intertwined in the pearls? well the ladies in the ward keep taking it from me cuz they wana make one. so it was a young womens activity, and now the whole relief society is gona make them on saturday. so funny! pearls are a big thing here. just a big pearl earring or necklace or any color.
This church is life, a new life everyday and a new way to enjoy the life youve been given. its being so sure about one thing, that everything else falls into place. i love you all.
ALWAYS BE HAPPY, EVEN IF YOURE NOT.
AND LAUGH EVERYDAY. ON PURPOSE IF YOU HAVE TO.