Wow what an amazing week!! I was seriously the busiest I have ever been in my entire mission. I was traveling pretty much every day. I was getting to know new areas and was able to have many experiences that touched my heart. This week’s email is one that is going to be special for me. I want to tell everyone of a little story that happened to me this week. So here in my sector we have really rich people and then also really poor, poor people. So on Saturday, we scheduled to have lunch in the poor sector. This lady is a very poor lady. When I heard that we were going to eat there, being a really selfish man, I went in with a bad attitude. I was just expecting the worst of the worst. Well that is exactly what I found. I have never actually seen someone live in these type of conditions. I felt so bad for the lady. Her house was literally a shack in the back of a house. She, her daughter and her grandson lived in this house. The walls and floor boards were beginning to break. The floor was being torn up and it was just not a good looking place. This little shack could not protect them from the wind, not even the rain. When I walked in there I had a terrible attitude. When I saw this I started to think about what type of food we were going to eat. I was not very excited. As this little old lady stumbled over to a rickety old pot and pulled out a piece of old, rock hard meat, and a scoop of mashed potatoes. I looked at the food and it did not look appetizing at all. I knew I was going to have to force it down. As lunch went on I could see that her house was worse than what I saw at first glance. Animals began to fill the house. Cats were jumping window to window, hair was flying everywhere, and her floor was covered in feces and old rotten food. I was just not in a very comfortable situation. While we were eating we were trying to make a good relationship with this little old lady and her grandson. This little old lady did not have very good social skills either. It was so hard to get her to talk to us. As I sat there, I was only thinking of myself. All I could think about was getting out of the door. This is where I had one of the most spiritual experiences I have had. We thanked the sister for her food and for her time. She then went on to explain with tear filled eyes why she gave food to the missionaries. MY HEART BROKE!!! She went on to explain that she has been a member for more than 40 years and that she had always wanted to give food to the missionaries but was always embarrassed to have the missionaries over. In her own words she said "I don’t have much to eat, so it would not be a benefit for the missionaries." I then realized that what she gave us… was all that she had. She had been saving up money and time so that she could give us this meal. My mindset changed in that moment. My eyes began to fill with tears as I realized this lady had more Christ like love than I have ever seen. How great it is to give something to others, but how much greater is it to give something that you don’t have to others? I saw that this lady had so much love for the missionaries and what we were doing. My heart definitely broke and I became very humble. I began to see things as they were and not with my prideful view I had at first. I instantly was able to love that lady and see her as she was and not how she lived. It was definitely one of the most humbling experiences I have had in my time here.
This brings me to my spiritual thought this week. I want to talk to everyone about Love.
Love is the first principle of this Gospel.
LOVE ONE ANOTHER.... AS I HAVE LOVED YOU… LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
This week has been an amazing week. As I have been focusing on loving everyone... even in moments where it was hard to love, or people who are hard to love, I have seen the blessing from God. I see people as God sees them and not how they are in that moment but more how they can become. I know that God sees us with eyes of love and not mortal eyes. We as humans are so easily distracted by the weaknesses or faults of others, and often times we can’t see the great things about people. I know as we try and love each and every person we will see people with the same eyes as God does, and we will become closer to our heavenly father.
I want to end with this…”AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, LOVE ONE ANOTHER” 1 John 4:19
|Elder Smith's Birthday celebration today...|