Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Hermana M's Incredibly Very Sad Day

Hermana M left her beloved Belize today, spending more than half her mission there.  She will spend the last 5 months of her mission in El Salvador.

Here is her email from 3/16/15:

So... I have changes. I have spent half of my mission in this beautiful town by the Corozal Bay and the Lord is finally taking me out. WHAT. TO. DO. NOW...... :/

Because it's been a crazy day and my time is running short, I'm going to copy and paste one of the experiences I shared with President Hintze this week:

"We had a couple of crazy experiences this week. I now understand why I have still been here this long. I thought that I had figured it out (maybe)--that it was for a recent convert from El Salvador named K____ or maybe it was for the sister missionaries in the house or maybe it was just to strengthen E____ and prepare her to be baptized or it could have been for J______--to be there to support her when her mother denied her the permission to be baptized AGAIN. President, all of those things were true, buuuuut I wasn't here for that. I was here for E____ and I_____. E____ and ____ got baptized about five months ago. They were being taught by Sister Jensen and Sister Patterson as well as Sister Hunter. E____'s challenge has been the Word of Wisdom. He has been battling for months now, trying to get over this addiction. Well the past change was really difficult. He says that when changes come, "all hope is lost" because us missionaries (his friends), leave. He was going so well, too. He was improving--when he did slip up, he would drink less and less. HE didn't see his improvement, but we did. And then on Saturday, I woke up to a fabulous day! I was washing dishes at the sink and began thinking of E____ and in that exact moment, he texted me to tell me that he was happy because he woke up thinking of me. He told me later that he felt as if he had overcome it. He had gone almost three weeks without drinking. We went over later that morning and visited with Ingrid--shared a scripture about Alma's advice to Shiblon and we left, super happy that their family was progressing.

Well.....later that evening at around four, the phone buzzed with a text. I went immediately to read it for whatever reason and saw that it was Ingrid asking me to call her. I called her right in that moment and she told me that E____ had been drinking and that he brought two really drunk men to her house. She wanted them gone and asked us to come and talk to E____. So we biked to the other side of town as fast as we could on our "rescue mission."

He HAD been drinking. He kept saying how much he loved me and tried to give me several hugs. I was filled with so much compassion for this man. I love him, President. I know Christ loves him, too. I just wished that he could see that! He mentioned how he had to drink because that's all he had. That he had gained nothing, only lost everything, from being a member of the Church. I testified to him with all of my heart that he had not lost everything. Sure, he sold his car, he got a lower-paying job, he lost some of his so-called "friends," and has had to make many other changes, but he gained the knowledge of how to have an eternal family. He had a beautiful wife and a beautiful son and daughter who wanted to live with him for eternity. They wanted the best for him and were waiting back home for him with open arms. He had everything he ever needed!

Sister Mims bore her testimony, too, as well as Sister Lindstrom, and we tried everything to make him stay. With no such luck. His two "friends" were so wasted that they couldn't even walk straight and kept falling down. They made a lot of crude, degrading comments to us, but we paid no mind. We knew why we were there. We knew who it was for.

Well E____ left with I_____'s bike and his two friends were walking with him and we stayed right there in the road, down the street from Ingrid's house (who was waiting ever faithfully on their porch), and I offered a prayer. I asked Heavenly Father that those two men would just....leave E____ and that he could come home safely. We went back to I_____ (who had seen us pray and offered a prayer of her own in her room), and she told us where he might be--in a nasty bar a few blocks away. She didn't want us to go, but I told her that we were bombalies and that's what bombalies do--they take care of each other. I know I probably shouldn't have down this President, but we went to merely drive by the bar and bring Ingrid's bike back. Well we started on our way and in the distant we saw those two men coming back, without E____. So we took a detour and ended up finding the bar on our own. No bike. We thought E____ was somewhere else. I had come up to the perimeters and saw nothing, but right in that moment, E____ came out with his bike. He saw us, but said nothing, hopped on his bike and then started biking down the road. We followed him, but I told the sisters that we weren't going to get too close. And we just followed him, hoping and praying that he'd get home. And sure enough, he did. He rode right back to his house, pulled up to the front porch and walked inside. We rode on past and stopped a little ways down the road and then said a prayer of gratitude that our earlier prayer had been answered exactly as we had asked.

We went by later to check on I_____ after E____ had fallen asleep and she said, "Sisters, I had never doubted, buuut.....you just....you strengthened my faith today. That all of this is true."

I was here for THAT, President. I was here for E____.

Just so you know, he came to church the next morning and he's doing a lot better now. He remembers everything that happened. He even told I_____ when he got home, "The sisters came for me. They came for me." The whole way home, I felt like I was fulfilling the Lord's promise in D&C 84:88-- "and mine angels [will be] round about you, to bear you up." The Lord loves E____. I know He does. Because He allowed me to be here long enough to teach him that at this time."

Oh, how I have loved my time in Corozal. Oh, how I love these people. And oh, how I will miss them....
I feel very much like the people who were baptized at the waters of Mormon in Mosiah 18 as it says in verse 30, "...the place of Mormon, the water of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever." Here in this beautiful town, up by the border of Mexico, I have come to the knowledge that my Redeemer lives! I know that families can and will be forever! I know that God loves and knows each of His children personally. The Savior is here for us, even in our darkest moments and has His arms outstretched in every moment. To feel His love and mercy, we must simply make the effort and reach out to Him.
My heart will always stay here in Corozal (and the places throughout the rest of my mission), but I will forever remember how my testimony has grown because of the people I've met, the places I've been, and the trials I've had in this beautiful and blessed place. Find that place in your life! Seek out your Savior and learn to love the circumstances you now find yourselves in!
I still pray for each of you.... :) Thanks for your love and support!

Love Always,
Sistah M.

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