So I have been learning a little bit of Guaraní, the native language of Paraguay. We did some service for a family from that country and I’m trying to understand them. We built a roof for their house, and my job was to make the cement for like 4 hours. Basically I shoveled rocks, sand, water, and cement mix into this big mixing machine. It was very heavy, but very fun! So if anyone back home in Arizona needs to know how to make low-budget concrete, I’m your guy!
Also we got stuck in traffic. But we weren’t in a car. Elder Hammond and I were crossing a very busy street and got to the median, but there was fast and heavy traffic on both sides. I didn’t even have room to stick my arms out! I am happy I wasn’t hit! I am always looking to relate things to the gospel, so as I was in that moment I thought to myself, "this could be a gospel metaphor or something..." I began to think of how we are surrounded by Satan’s temptations every day and all around us. If we are not careful, we can find ourselves stuck with seemingly no way out. But the red light will come and the cars will stop. Just as we found a way out, the scriptures, prophets, and prayer offer everyone a way off the dangerous road of sin and temptation.
I had a great spiritual experience in sacrament meeting this week. Two priests were preparing to bless the sacrament. One of them, named S., is mentally disabled. He had very slow movements and slow and shaky speech. The first priest blessed the bread and deacons passed it to the members. Then the time came for the water. I watched as S. got on his knees and began the prayer. Very slowly, he stumbled along. He messed up a couple of times and restarted. I thought surely his companion would take over and finish for him. But he continued. After multiple attempts, he successfully finished. His companion took him by the arms and helped him of the ground. I sat in the congregation with tears rolling down my cheek, pondering all the times I have quit in my life. I thought of countless occasions where I simply gave up. S. could have given up, but he knew unto what office he was ordained and he wanted to fulfill his calling. I have never, nor will I ever, hear a more beautiful prayer. I am grateful for his example in my life. I am certain he has no idea the influence he had on me.
PS: We played soccer this morning with our whole zone. It was super fun. It was an international team. Elders and Sisters from America, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Spain, Chile, Mexico, Ecuador, Columbia, and Guatemala! I got everyone to sign my flag. (Jared has an Argentine flag for companions and missionaries to sign. It was a great idea from brother Taylor.)