My favorite family here is Familia Gonzalez. The dad is the 2nd counselor is in District Presidency (like a stake presidency, but smaller because we dont have enough members for a stake here) and the mom is the District Relief Society President (like the a stake RS pres.). They have 3 sons, one on a mission in Paraguay, the next is 12 (Gaston), and the next is 7 (Lucho). We eat lunch at their house every Wednesday. They are converts of 14 years and have been feeding the missionaries every week for 12 years. She said she continues to feed them because in the beginning she only had a little bit of flour, with which she would mix with water to make little mounds of bread, and she would pray that somehow they wouldn´t run out and that she would have enough flour to be able to feed the missionaries, and miraculously, she always did.
Yesterday was the primary program, and it was so funny! There are about 12 kids, they sang, some gave a talk, and others bore their testimony. Like every other primary program, it was great and super fun to watch. But what stuck out to me the most was watching Little Lucho during the Sacrament.
I just want you to picture this. Lucho is the cutest, and the sweetest little boy ever. Yesterday he had his little suit on, his hair was combed, and he looks like the prime mini missionary. Anyway. So he is sitting up in the front in the middle of a bunch of rowdy kids. The deacon came around with the tray of bread and Lucho carefully took his piece. Then he closed in eyes and tried ever so hard to sit reverently while the other kids squirmed around, sometimes bumping him, reaching over him, some tried to talk to him. But what really struck me was that the whole time, he kept his eyes closed, and was concentrating so diligently on whatever his little 7 year old mind was trying to focus on. The same thing happened when the water came around. He took his cup, and then sat, "pondering" I guess (if 7 year olds can really ponder), but kept his eyes closed as if in fervent prayer the entire duration of the sacrament portion of the meeting.
This little boy is seriously MY FAVORITE. He has been from the beginning. I help him every week with his English homework and he honestly has one of the sweetest souls. Watching him made me reevaluate the sacrament, what it means, and how I need to act during sacrament meeting.
Today I was studying a talk from Cheryl A. Splin from this past General Conference. In her talk she said "The Sacrament gives us the opportunity to turn our hears and our will to God."
And with the Sacrament we need to "Remember Christs enabling power. It is part of the Atonement too."
I feel like I have always struggled with realizing just how much the Atonement can do for us. I´d known that through the Atonement we can be forgiven of our sins, but its taken time for me to realize that there is an enabling power that comes from it as well.
I really love the scripture in D&C 24:8 that says "Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for lo, I am with thee, even to the end of thy days."
Man, how important is it that we remember our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Remember his sacrifice, and realize that the atonement is a never ending gift for us to use, in every aspect, so we can improve our life and draw closer to him.
I want to try to be like Lucho. Focus on the words of the sacrament prayers and apply them to my life. I want to remember His sacrifice and utilize the atonement. I have a testimony that the Atonement is real, it works, and through it we can be forgiven, healed, and edified in every aspect of our lives.
I am seriously so happy to have the opportunity to share this message with the people here in Argentina. I am having fun and seeing success which continually makes me ever more grateful for the love and support I get from back home. Thanks again, LOVE YOU ALL!