Dude, family. What's up?
Pretty much, my life is complete. You want to know why? Because I spent a full week of not being a huge butt and I opened my eyes and realized how much the Lord's hand has been and always will be in my life and I am just pure blown away. Tooooo maaaaannnyy bleeeesssiiiinnggss! Nah, but forreal, life is sooo good.
Pretty much (whoops said that twice..) I can't really explain how miraculous this week was. I just cannot believe the power of the Atonement and what the knowledge of the gospel and the hope and pure joy that it brings can do to change a person's life. I am so thankful and blessed to know that I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. And that thanks to our Savior's grace there is nothing that can stop me or anyone from changing for the better.
I think I am going to tell one story:
So I don't know if I have ever mentioned the old man, Frere Marchand that we have been visiting a few times a month ever since I have been here. Well, turns out that a little while before I got here his wife got Alzheimers, or she had already had it but it just got to the point where she had to go live in a home because he was no longer able to take care of her. They are in their 70's or something and it has been super hard for him. He was so active in missionary work before all of this and they always did so much for the missionaries and were always super strong and loving members who were willing to befriend anyone and everyone. After his wife started getting sick though his world just fell apart. He lost a ton of weight and just had no more joy in his life. Towards the beginning of my time here he had picked up again his hobby for painting, and he is actually really good. But that didn't keep him happy for long. He sort of would flip flop from being really happy and joking around when we'd come and visit, then two weeks later he would be so sad and just doubt everything and never talk. We always tried to bring messages that would encourage him, and members that would show him love. And he started doing better, but it was still really hard for him. He would come to church from time to time, but not too often. After one lesson we had with him, the member that we brought said, "he just needs to accept his trial, then he will stop doubting. Then he will recognizee the help he has recevied for this trial and he will be able to get through it." I thought that was true, but just didn't really know how to tell him that. This poor old man whose wife calls him 7-15 times everday asking him when he will come to see her again when he really had just been there to visit. During lessons with him she would call and he'd let the call go to voice mail and we'd just sit and listen to her sweet voice asking him where he was and why he wasn't coming to get her. It is so so heartbreaking! The last lesson we had with him he just poured out all of his questions and all of the doubts he had. he said he didn't think Heavenly Father could hear him because there are too many people on the earth. But I knew he didn't really believe that. He just kind of broke down. The member with us (she's incredible. holy cow these people) just told him he needed to accept his trial and ask for help to get through it. It was a really powerful lesson. Then Yesterday, which was fast Sunday, and everyone had the opportunity to share their testimony, Frere Marchand came to church and got up to share what he knew. So remember, he's a little old bald man. he stands up in front of the pulpit and says something like, "I am really blessed today. And I have to thank Heavely Father for that. I walked into the bathroom this morning at the church, and I found this!" Then he pulled out from his pocket a little pink comb and started to pretend to brush the hair he doesn't have. He went on to say, "whatever man left this in this in the bathroom is very blessed. I know that I am so blessed despite the trials that I have. You all know my sweet wife. She has a sickness called Alzheimers. That means she is still very intelligent, but sometimes she just forgets." He then started to cry and express how hard it had been for her and him. Then he explained how hard it was for him because she called all of the time. I then he asked them members to call her, to say hellp and see how she is doing. He said, "Just remind her who you are, Frere so and so or Soeur what have you,"and then he went on to say her number, and everyone scrambled to make sure they got it done. It was so moving. I can't even explain the feeling that was there. Then he finished by thanking everyone and saying, "I know Heavenly Father is there for me, sometimes I just forget."
Family and friends, this is what I am talking about. This is the Atonement. This knowledge is what changes people. I am a first hand witness. I saw this man overcome one of the most challenging things life can bring. The knowledge of who we are, where we are going, and who we can be come is life changing. The Atonement is real. It's power to heal is real. Please accept it. Let it take you to a higher plane. I know you, like Frere Marchand, will realize just how blessed you are, and that Heavenly Father never forgets you, and that he has never left you alone. I know it's hard, but our Savior knows that sometimes we just forget.
I hope you all have a wonderful week. I love you so much.