"Elder Galke, what did I eat?"
"It's probably the mole from Hermana Hernandez. she told you up front it would wreck your bowel system, so it's on you man".
If you ever go to a Latin country get yourself a good translator.
Also I decided that wicked hot chilies should be an item in my backpack on any mountaineering trips in the future. Those will keep your belly warm a lot longer than hot cocoa.
WE WILL NOW TAKE AN IMPORTANT COMMERCIAL BREAK AND HEAR FROM OUR SPONSORS ........
Okay this is funny. As I'm writing this, Elder Galke just called from the bathroom (separate incident):
"Agh, Elder, did we eat something bad?"
"Probably. I had it this morning too."
So I guess that illustrates the point. Now back to the spicy part. We walked into that house and I started coughing. The air felt thick with capsaicin. I did my best to man up and eat what she served, praying for strength that I wouldn't start crying in the middle of the meal, but in the end I had to have her package the rest of it to go.
This week we had a branch Valentine's Day fiesta fund raiser for girls camp. It was so funny - Mary showed up! Mary is (was) an English class regular (they stopped doing them before I got here because nobody came due to the cold, but we will start back up in a while). She's also not Latino, she's Chinese! So she doesn't really speak Spanish or English. We were just trying to figure out how she found out about the event. I loved that. She's so bold. Also she kind of stands out since she's a foot taller than everyone. I was the only one there taller than her.
We got a few new investigators is week, Isidro, Maribel and their two kids. They had been invited to the branch Christmas party, where the missionaries shared "He Is the Gift" with them. They really liked it, and finally it's payed off. We shared a message about the Family, using the Proclamation and a Mormon Message, Padre Terrenal, Padre Celestial (probably earthly father, Heavenly Father in English). It was a beautiful lesson. It's hard to describe the sense of power in many of our lessons. The Spirit is there. I can feel it testifying, and we know when the investigators feel it. There's also another feeling there - that is, personal love I have for them. It's amazing how much we love these people we don't really know. It's different than what I've experienced before in my life.
To me an interesting part of Lehi's dream in the Book of Mormon is when he has partaken of the fruit of life and desires for his family to partake of it. He says that he saw Laman and Lemuel and called out to them. When they shrugged him off, why did he not do something about it? Was it not important enough to attack from a different angle? As far as I know, we have no scriptural indication that Lehi had a torn rotator cuff at this point in his life. Why not make it a little easier for them and lob it? Or better yet, go make a personal delivery?
Partaking of the gospel fruit is a personal decision. We have been working a lot with less active members. It's heartbreaking to see that they have chosen not to eat the fruit. It is tempting to be
discouraged. I ask myself all the time what we can do to help them change. But in the end, all we can do is, like Lehi, beckon to them.
It's hard to see all the examples of people who won't accept the gospel or can't see he eternal significance of it. But being able to see all the examples of those who are accepting it makes it so worth it. We are so blessed to have almost everybody we work with progressing.
I love my God and Savior Jesus Christ. I feel like he has given me a small taste of the love that he has for each of us. I testify that the doctrine of Christ (see 2 Ne 31) is not only the only way to return to live with Him again, but also the way to find peace in this life. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.