Monday, September 30, 2013

Dearest family and friends,

As I sit and somewhat struggle and think of how to express some of the things I have been blessed to experience the thought came to do it in a less formal and choppier sort of way. Please do not read it as any sort of boasting or bragging, I share it in the most humble of attitudes hoping that in many cases you can respond likewise, yes! This is my attempt to communicate myself a little better.

Have you ever....

-waited in an hour of traffic to travel a couple hundred feet because it rained so much that the water erroded the dirt streets away and left them nearly impassable.

- stood in the back of a truck of a stranger as they drive down a small highway feeling the warm air rush through your gel-plasted hair, looking around you and seeing the small mountains encircle a beautifully green and thriving valley

-Knelt alongside a family as they gathered for the first time to pray togther and listened as a strong and well-reputed father expresses his love and concern for his children as he speaks with his God and Father. Witnessing a tender moment when the hearts of the children begin to soften towards their father and all feel a sense of purpose and newfound hope.

-Listened to a 40 year old man explain why he was sentenced to federal prison for over 15 years and then listen to that same man express how he has begun to feel healed from the inside out. How the torture he received, physically, mentally, and emotionally, is beginning to be erased from his mind. Hear him express hope for the first time since he left. Be a witness to his commitment to completely leave his alcoholic life behind, never more to turn. And looking him in the eyes, feel an immense love for him like I have never felt for anyone, a love that flows through me, from a loving Heavenly Father. Seeing the potential in the tired, worn, and tatooed body of a man wanting to start again. And listening as he expresses profoundly simple ideas. I am feeling a change. There really is hope even after all I have seen and felt.

-Been woken up each night at 4 in the morning by fireworks from some sort of weeklong celebration
- Gone to prayer to make a decision you thought you already knew and risen from your knees with a completely different answer

-Made all the possesions and furniture of a small house fit into the back of a largeish truck, loading and unloading everything with a handful of other guys. 

-Woken up the next day sore all over, but smiling and full of all the thanks they gave and continue give.

I have, last week.

There is another style of living that can be had. There is a happiness that can come from human interaction that need not depend on the concrete outcome of any one event. 

Keep up the happy life,
Elder Brighton

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