My comp spent the afternoon cleaning our garbage cans? But hey the house is clean.
Since I have been in Ibarra I have officially seen a guy in mid-day light break the windows of the Catholic Church with a giant stick, and another dude break the windows of a random car parked on the side of the road. Both times these guys just walked away like they just did something so casual and normal. I was just like "Did that guy just? And now he just is walking away like?"
There are 3 things that have changed me in my mission.
1. The sound of pigs dying.
3. The Atonement
1. I don’t know if anyone of you have had the wonderful opportunity to hear the sound of a dying pig? By wonderful I mean scarring and terrible. It sounds like a bunch of death eaters from harry potter.
2. Honestly I am so grateful for my companions. I truly have loved and love every single one of them! I don't love them because we agree and like the same things. I don't love them because they get me and we just click. I love them because of how HARD it is. You have to really work at companionships. You have to pray for them. Serve them. Appreciate them. Look for the good in them. And do all you can to help them feel God’s love. Companions have been the hardest part about my mission but the biggest blessing. "Ama como él." Which means love like Him. This change I have decided I will do everything in my power to love like Him. To love someone, to see someone, and care for someone like He does. That's why I am here.
3.The Atonement of Jesus Christ has not only changed me but carried me through this mission. I like to think of my mission as a prison-temple. Somedays I truly feel like I am in a prison. Like I will never see my family again. But then somedays I feel the spirit so strong or the love of God that my literal heart is going to burst and I am going to die right there because I am just so happy!!!
"We don´t know exactly how Jesus accomplished the Atonement. We only know that somehow during the course of the excruciating and agonizing hours in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross He became our Redeemer."
"Accompanied by Peter, James, and John He went further and was soon enveloped by deep sorrow, which appears to have been in measure, surprising to Himself, for we read that "He began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy. He was impelled to deny himself the companionship of even the chosen three. And he saith unto them my soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death: tarry hear and watch with me. He went a little farther if it be possible let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will but as thou wilt."
That right there is why I came on this mission. Because of Him. His Atonement is and forever will be everything. It is the thing. It is hope, faith, charity, and enduring to the end. It is because of this sacrifice that we can and will overcome any challenge that lies ahead of us. It is because of Him that I will love my companion with all my heart. Even when I know I am not a perfect companion I can turn to Him. Repent. Get up and try it again. I know He lives and in that I find peace and the strength to keep going.
You are never alone. Please understand that. Believe it!
Con amor, Hermana Israelsen