Monday, May 27, 2013

Dearest family and friends,
The scriptures mention in a few places ¨a voice from the dust¨ making reference to the writings of peoples and civilizations long gone. After so long a time without writing I imagine this will feel very much like one of those dusty voices.
How are all of you doing? I hope and pray wonderfully. I hope all those great goals and expectations that you had for this past (school) year have been realized. I hope everyone has high expectations for a wonderful summer.
I am doing quite well. Today we had transfers, but no worries. I remain here in Auditorio. The 13th of June I will reach the year mark... with one area. What a blessing to be able to work so long and so closely with the good people here.
With no hope of any congrous thoughts, I wanted to share some impressions I have had as we have visited various homes over the past couple months.
I think one of the strongest lessons I will take from my time here is the importance of the role of a father. We visited a kind woman suffering several health challenges, the most prevalent the injuries from being hit by a car. She talked about how important it is for a father to express his love. She clearly saw in us the future we would have and seemed to plead for the sake of our future families that we never forget to express love and talk with our children. I have seen throughout my life that my Heavenly Father really wants for me to learn and understand this lesson. So many experiences, examples, reminders, and warnings. I really do intend to put that calling and role as the primary priority of my life. What a responsibility and privilege.
It has been a hot couple of months, really intensifying these last couple of weeks. But we are now entering the rainy season. Friday it rained for the first time. This coming week or perhaps the next it should start to rain every day. With the rain it cools off, so that will be nice.
Funny how there can sometime be a disconnect between our beliefs and our actions. How easy it is to say that we believe something, and how seemingly hard it is to then live according to that belief. I think sometimes we excuse ourself, saying it is hard and we are not perfect. But in truth, every thing we do is a decision. We either choose to do that which we believe is right, or choose to do that which is wrong. I think that is really what Moroni wanted to express in Moroni 7. Why should we, knowing and believing in that which is right, make the decision to do otherwise. We truly have been given the power to make choices. What a supernal heavenly gift!
I do occasionally wonder in what ways I have changed in this time. One Saturday morning we were working with a good brother to help build his house before the rain comes. We were working to haul dirt, cement, and other building materials down a hill made of trash and contruction waste. As I carried the things on my back a great feeling of gratitude came that I have the strength and ability to serve in that capacity. I love this body that I have been given that has power and energy to do hard things. For someone like me that has always struggled to express verbally the love I have for people. I am so grateful to be able to work hard and express my love in that way. The thought also came as I scrambled down the mountainous pile how very different a situation I was in in that moment in comparison to my friends and family. Looking out over a small valley of small brick homes and dirt streets, being careful not to lose footing and tumble down to the stream of black and polluted water, I had one of those rare flashes that brought to rememberence how very different things are in other places.
But what a blessing to learn and grow here.
I ask for your prayers on my behalf and that of my family. I am doing great and learning lots. I am grateful for each simple communication I have from each of you, reminding me of the love and support I have always enjoyed.
with love,
Elder Brighton