Monday, April 11, 2016

Candy, confessions and el fin

Candy: a sweet food made by sugar or syrup and combined with chocolate, fruit, or nuts. Hermana Een hoards it, 72 hour kit style. You never know when you'll need it and you always want a good supply.
Confession: a formal statement admitting that one is guilty of a crime
Fin: in Spanish, "the end."

Francis and his family including "Panchito"
Intercambio and a million street contacts. I went on an intercambio with Hermana Tamayo in Granollers. She's a four-foot-something happy Ecuadorian so we made quite the pair. She's a little afraid of contacting and wanted to work on that so when all of the citas fallad [appointments failed] we took it as a "go ahead" from God and went from work. We talked to SO MANY people and walked all of Granollers.

Kamal (que mal, means "how bad" in Spanish. Funny little coincidence.) was not baptized this week. He's been hard to meet with and still has to gain a testimony on some important things before he takes that step. That, and he is convinced that he has to have a serious girlfriend before he can be baptized so that he can have someone to support him. An interesting theory.

We had a couple very humbling "Badly done, Emma" moments this week (British literature, my friends). We had done some good things and are always, always trying to keep everything together and not leave anyone behind or let anyone down. But in two cases we really failed. It's hard to take that in stride.

It's starting to really sink in that I'll be going home soon. We're planning to extend those faithful "two week" fechas... Inviting them to a service I won't be in. So that's a little strange. A famous/favorite gospel principle is "perseverar hasta el fin" (endure to the end). I'm "perseverando hasta el EEN." (Agenda pic... Next week)
Open market, every Tuesday and Saturday. As seen from our window.
This week I've been doing an "English fast." It's something I've always wanted to do and now seemed like the best time. So for seven days (ending tomorrow) I've been in a 24/7 Spanish mode. (Only speaking in English when necessary, like to the Africans we teach.)  My mom sent me a package with American Easter candy, and as motivation to stay strong with my "fast" every time I slip and say an English word, I put a piece of that treasured Easter candy into a box. At the end of my fast, I will give that box to the Elders. It's been an interesting experience. At the end of the day I dutifully drop the treasured candy -more or less, chocolate or jellybean, depending on the gravity of the transgression- into the box. And there it sits, a physical manifestation of all my mistakes. Some of them were pure accidents -a small English word in an unguarded moment, a full phrase when I'd just forgotten- some (the bigger ones) were conscious decisions- fully aware of the consequence from when I just needed to express myself and communicate with my companion, and English was the only way to do it.  I don't like looking at it. And although it's "good candy".... I'm excited to give it away, to get rid of the reminder of my mistakes and remember instead the success of speaking only Spanish for a full week.

And that's what Christ is like. He takes our box of sins. We don't have to be burdened by or reminded of them. And though they're hard to give up sometimes, we have the promise that the Lord will "remember them no more."
Sinning is part of learning. But you know something else I discovered?
Every day I got better, remembered more, and "sinned" less. That's the process of becoming perfect. As Bednar said, "increasingly spotless."
And all that is possible through Jesus Christ.

Mathew 11:28
28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light

D&C 58:42
42 Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.
43 By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins--behold, he will confess them and forsake them.

Companion fact: says she can't sing, but rocks the one-handed piano for church every week.
Terrified of pigeons.
Doesn't like eating breakfast

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