Monday, January 7, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Wanted to share a few experiences that I have had here in the last little bit. Yesterday was testimony meeting in the church, an opportunity once a month for the members to share their beliefs in Jesus Christ and what they have come to know to be true for themselves. There were two in particular that really struck me. One was from a member that had been less active for over 20 years. We have had the blessing to play a role in his coming back to church. After visiting him a few times, giving him a priesthood blessing, and encouraging him to come in and have an interview with the Bishop, the course, it seems, of his faith has changed immensely. Our first visit he seemed very depressed and without a lot of hope for what was to come. Though his situations have not changed tremendously, his attitude and outlook have. He has not missed a Sunday in over a month, and yesterday he stood up and shared a powerful testimony of the reality of Christ and his testimony of His restored church. It was a very special moment. 

Then a little later a young man that goes with us to visit families every now and again got up to share his testimony. In it he included a brief comment about an experience we had together. These last weeks it has been raining some and has been relatively cold. Within a while of leaving the house, with raincoat and umbrella, we ended up pretty soaked anyways. In his testimony he briefly said he knows of the truthfulness of the missionary effort. He shared that although sometimes we suffer in the cold and wet, having one brief moment together with a family sharing a message of Christ and seeing them accept it and begin to change their life for the better makes every effort and discomfort worth the effort. It certainly gave me a lot of encourgement to hear him share that thought. I also know it is true. 

Let me also share some fun or interesting experiences. I have learned a few new skills in the various service activities we have done here. Included in those are:
Enjarar- not really sure what that translates to, but it is mixing a sort of cement paste that you then throw on a brick wall to later paint. It took some time getting used to flinging it just right to get it to stick to the wall without falling offç

mixing cement and building walls out of bricks- one of my preferred activities

Standing on top of a roof and catching bricks that are thrown from ground level up to you- very fun and there is something graceful (as odd as that might sound) about heavy bricks being hefted up and caught in momentum. I enjoy this one a lot too.

Making piñatas- not as complicated as I might have thought

Cutting grass with a machete- sure makes me grateful for lawnmowers, even the old push one I used for all those years to be able to pay for this mission I am on now.

Painting walls- did not really learn that here, but I am perfecting the skill 

I sure do love all the different opportunities we get here to serve. We find that while people almost always say no the first two or three times, if you keep asking they do have projects they could use help for. And once we have served a person in this way, the doors open, hearts soften, and people will give us a chance to share this message so important with them. And from there, the Spirit takes over and any person willing to open their heart comes to find out and feel for themselves that the message of Jesus Christ and the restoration is true. 

I love you all and hope you have started the year with good goals and are excited to work hard to reach them. 

Wishing you the very best, 
Elder Brighton

1 comment:

  1. Hey Eric, hope all is well! I'm glad to be hearing from you on this blog. I have been thinking about you lately and pray that you are safe and doing well. Sports News: The Texans are making a push in the playoffs but are playing the Patriots in a couple days. I don't know if you have been following. Just giving you the heads up on that. I'll be on here periodically and will be reading your progression! What you put into this situation is what you will be getting out of it.
    The very best,