Family: A Group of Best Friends
Siblings may sometimes feel like assigned roommates; parents like bosses from work, but when you get down to it, we are all just best friends.
I have been blessed with the greatest family on earth. My mom, Sondra, is the biggest go getter I have ever seen. She always seems to have a "to do" list a mile long, but much like the Savior, never seems to be in such a hurry that she forgets what is really important. She's the glue that keeps the rest of us together. Dad, he's handyman...in more ways than one. Working hard all day and night, he pays for the expenses, fixes the leaks and repairs the car, does that 'daddy stuff', but also works as a tool in the hands of our Heavenly Father to watch over his little 'sheep'. Courtney is the best little sister you'll find. Though faced with some pretty hard circumstances, she keeps her faith planted on good ground, her chin up, and her eyes firmly set on the Lord. Derek, what a champ. The world better watch out for this future missionary! He's a spiritual giant. Dillon, the perfect combo of playful energy and a tender heart. When his gentle side is shown, it's hard not to have your heart melt. Nathan, now there's a handsome young man. Nathan knows what is right and will always walk in the footsteps of the Savoir. All put together, you might not recognize it at first glance, but this is what family is. Heaven on earth.
How lucky are we, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to have the knowledge of how to have a successful family? We have all of the tools to have harmony in the home and build lasting relationships. It's the gospel!
I have had the opportunity to reflect on the blessing of having an eternal, and eternally happy, family this week as I have seen many of my other brothers and sisters struggle with theirs.
Eddie, our investigator from Puerto Rico, has been struggling with his family that is trying to move over to the United States. Things have been pretty fishy on his girlfriend's end and things aren't working out between them. Eddie has struggled for the past 2-3 weeks at the thought of his family leaving him. On Monday, his girlfriend called him and told him that she was leaving. She no longer wanted to come to the United States or be with him. He was heartbroken. Because we love him, we too were heartbroken.
We felt impressed to call him before a dinner appointment last Monday. He answered the phone in tears. My heart was wrenched for him. We bought him dinner, but couldn't stay to talk with him because we had other compromisos. When we dropped off the dinner we looked him straight in the eyes and said, "We love you, Hermano". He affirmatively said, "I know" with a small smile. We assured him not to worry, that everything is in God's time and in God's way, that he'd see the blessings soon enough.
I couldn't stop thinking about him all night. We've called him several times just to make sure that he is doing alright. Not until Saturday, did we see him start to recover. Between the sessions of General Conference we taught him the lesson of The Restoration. We put our trust in Heavenly Father that The Restoration was what he needed to hear. We started the lesson by asking about God's love; when he had felt it the most, how it felt to him, and how he thinks that he can continue to feel it. In response to where he had felt it the most, he pointed to church building and said, "in there". He said that there is a peace there that he's never felt before. We were comforted to hear that. By the end of the lesson, it seemed as though his wounds were healed, at least from the outside. It was a beautiful lesson.
We also met with Juan Castillo and his family this week. Juan continues to progress. Oh how I love him! Our lesson this week was on baptism. He's pretty stubborn about baptism. When we asked him about being baptized he told us, "Yes. I'll be baptized in 2 years." Pleased to hear a yes, but startled to hear the date that he had chosen, we asked him why he thought it would be a good idea to be baptized in 2 years. He said that he wanted to wait for his daughter, Roxy to be baptized with him. hahaha It was cute. I see a lot of potential in him. He's awesome. A "yes" is something we can work with. I see so much in him.......I think he'll be a member of God's kingdom very soon.
We also taught a member family this week. They are active members, but they have very serious marital problems. The lesson we had with them was very inspired. We taught them about covenants. We went through each covenant that we make with God, until we got to "The NEW AND EVERLASTING Covenant of Marriage". Wow. What a beautiful phrase. That lesson brought the spirit in it's full abundance into their home. It was amazing.
I love the people here. I love being a missionary. My heart has grown and now I have a very much bigger family.
|La Familia De Aquino. I love them. They are wonderful.|