Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Week #36 - Untouched Light

Hello Family!

I'm doing so very well. Sis Bradley and I will be parting ways quite shortly, as she is transferring, and I am taking over the area. Yikes! I'm a little bit scared...But it's going to be okay. I've got all resources I need in life! Prayer.  Scriptures.  Holy Ghost. What more do I need?
Right now, we are working with a beautiful family from Ecuador. The father + 2 kids were baptized not too long ago. There is a LOT of hurt in this family. The mother had abandoned them about 4 years ago....and has just returned. The father immigrated first with the children and she was supposed to follow thereafter. They waited and waited and she wouldn't come, always insisting that they needed more money. Finally, she came to America and had been there for 4 years. Her sons, which were 5 and 9, are now 9 and 13. They refuse to let her leave the house for fear she will abandon them again. It rips at my heart. They love her so dearly and trust her so completely. Her husband, however, wants a divorce. This amazing man that has changed a complete 180 is truly starting to understand the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. He is becoming converted...in the most painful way possible. And his wife wants to take the lessons! We had one lesson with her, very shaky because we knew of the sensitive relationship she had with her husband. There is a lot of anger and hurt in that family. But we had one lesson with her and felt the Spirit so strong - the strongest I have felt in a long time. She committed to a date to be baptized!
Now, yes I'm extremely excited that we finally are having a little bit of success with the area....but most of all...I'm so grateful for the lesson I learned from this family. I have been able to see Robert during the time of abandonment, the return of his wife, the interest she has started showing in his haven and the hurt that cries from within his eyes. We have been able to see his mistrust, his anger, and his complete alienation of her. It is so.....real.
There is also another family that we are working with. This family is completely different. The 14 yr old twin sister got baptized not too long ago. She recounted years of abuse she received from her father, her attempts to commit suicide twice, the tales of depression and bipolarity...and how after she got baptized she felt so good. So new. So light. Now, she refuses to come to church because it is too "boring" and won't read the scriptures because she would rather sleep. Her pain is just as real and intense as this father's. The 14 yr old twin brother claims to be atheist and avoids all contact with us. He has been to an FHE with the ward and BAWLED because of the good feelings he said he felt. But now refuses to enjoy the blessings that come. 
The difference that I noticed between these three real life, no kidding examples is the way in which they have reacted to their pain and suffering. We are going to be given trials in this life. Hard trials that twist us till we almost break and push us until we almost fall. It's inevitable. We were warned and we knew it would happen when we came to earth.
The father in this family is fighting hard. He is using the atonement. He goes to church, prays every night with his kiddos, reads the scriptures, and is working towards going to the temple. He is actively using his Savior's sacrifice for HIM in order to overcome something so potent. The change we have seen is AMAZING. This family is HEALING. Every day, we get to see them and watch as they become a family again. The truthfulness of the gospel is healing them! It is changing their hearts, helping them to forgive and allowing them to try again. During the times when there is no one to trust, trust in the Unfailing One - our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, will never let us fall. They won't take away our mountains but They will always help us climb. Hard is not bad, it's just hard.
The twin sister fought hard in the beginning....enjoyed the blessings she felt but then returned to her old ways. Everyday we see how her pure innocent heart is getting more and more tainted by people and things we cannot control. She continually chooses to give up the Atonement in order to seek after other things - the things that don't bring peace. We asked her just the other day if she still felt those good feelings...and she said, "No." IT BREAKS MY HEART!
Lastly,  the twin brother. He is fighting hard as well...but against God. He pushes Him away, purposely putting things in his life to chase away the Spirit because of the anger and hurt within his sweet heart. His anger at God for the trials he has been given blinds him from seeing the Conductor's purposed behind each crescendo and decrescendo. This family is so special. But they won't FIGHT! 
This is not just a passive life we have been given. THIS IS NOT A BALLAD! This is a WAR. We are not meant to sit by and watch as the world falls around us, crying "Save Me!". We are supposed to fight!! Satan is geared and ready; his soldiers come with murderous intentions and they will not stop until we die spiritually - until we spiritually turn ourselves off. God has given us the armor, but we are the only ones who can dress for battle. 
If you have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask...Can you feel so now? Our Savior Jesus Christ loves each of us so completely and totally. I have felt those times when I gave up, fought against Him, or sought for peace in other venues. Only in and through the Prince of Peace will we find peace. 
I love this work. I love each of you and these amazing people of Florida. I couldn't be happier to let the Lord give me hard things; it shows that He trusts me :)
Hermana Lake

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