I said I'd finish my email from last week, so here I am. :) First things first. 1. If you want to contact me, you're going to have to do it though email. :P I just barely received a bunch of Dear Elders, a letter from Opa, and a letter from the YW of the ward. They were from March. Seeing as it is almost June now... I think we can all safely assume that email is the way to go. :)
Last week I really wanted to talk about the Atonement and the Gospel in people's lives, but I didn't have time. But now I do! :D I cannot explain how heartbreaking Mexico is sometimes. I thought that since I was going to the north of Mexico, it would be a bit more Americanized and not as poor. Well, seeing as I've never been south of here, I still can't really make a comparison, but it's.. well, heartbreaking here. There are areas where I just walk down the street and I want to cry. The worst is the faces of the people and the children; you can tell they just exist because they exist, and have no real purpose in life. The contrast between everyone else and the members here is stark. I don't think anyone realizes what the truth gospel of Jesus Christ does to people until they've lived in a place like this. There are so many people who take the church for granted, or feel negatively toward it for the stupidest reasons, and sometimes I wish they would be transplanted here to Mexico, or anywhere, really, to see how the rest of the world lives. Haha. That was a little harsh, but I feel like that. There's a reason why the church sends all their youth on missions for 1.5/2 years of their lives. When you walk down the streets and see parents beating their kids in their houses, or men drinking themselves to death with sallow faces, or the terrible, terrible effects of drugs... When you see things that you don't know how to explain, and don't want to either,.. You realize you have a whole lot to be thankful for, and you realize what a blessing this gospel really is. Our message is truth, and it really does improve lives and bring happiness. It's not just a catch phrase to convert people. And we teach people about Christ because we love them and we want to share this happiness with them in their destitute lives, and bring them to change for the better, not because we're looking for more baptismal statistics.
Throughout all of this, I'm just really greatful for the Atonement. I can't imagine the world without the Atonement. All of the terrible, awful things that pass, all the suffering of children and families and hopelessness in the world... the Atonement makes up for all of that. It gives all people hope now, and in the future. It is the only thing to bring balance and order and completion and fairness to this world. I never understood how necessary it was until I saw all that I've seen. A world without Jesus Christ and his Atonement is a world of hopelessness and nothingness. It is a world that, despite all the well-intended people that work so hard to make it a better place, will never be better, and will continue to degrade in sorrow and calamity. However, with the Atonement, we have a bright burning hope and knowledge that all the pain and unfairness in the world will be rectified. What a beautiful, unexplicable blessing that is. I cannot explain my feelings in words. I'm just very, very grateful. It's beautiful to see faith work miracles and literally change lives. It's beautiful to see terrible lives turn into great ones, and broken families and hearts become strong.
It's beautiful to be a missionary, and it's beautiful to be a servant of God.