Monday, April 28, 2014

No Manchas

OK, so here in Downingtown, I have limited computer access, so my blog will be switching up a bit. I have started doing a weekly email again, so I will be posting that on here. Basically going back to what I was previously doing, some stories, pictures, and things I learned.

This week was something else. I still haven't decided if it was amazing or awful, when it was over I wasn't sure whether I should laugh or cry. Probably best to just do both.

Some fun highlights from the week though:

Weirdness. I filled my photo album. My big one that holds 216 pictures (that seems like such a random number, but thats what I got after doing the math). That's not even much compared to my 554 photos on my camera, which has filled my SD card. In almost one year, I was able to fill both! Now on to photo album #2 and SD card #2.

So I've never served in an area where there has been a soup kitchen or food bank or something we could volunteer at on a regular basis, but we have one here! We go to a local church on Tuesdays and feed people lunch! Most of them are homeless, but some people just here about it on the streets and come in as well. It's so great, I love doing service. This week I manned the juice station. It's a pretty big deal I know. I made 8 gallons of Kool-Aid and then I filled and refilled people's cups. So I was basically everyone's favorite person, because I had the Kool-Aid.

Speaking of Kool-Aid... I am usually pretty good at taking care of my things, especially my clothes. For some reason this week, I seemed to get stuff on everything! I got Kool-Aid (red) all over my shirt for starters...

Look I was even wearing an apron



Then it just kept going from there... I was eating a salad and got balsamic vinaigrette on another shirt, and then I was eating some blackberries and one of them popped and sprayed blackberry juice all over another shirt. Then I got chocolate on my suit. I think I should just go out with a poncho every day. That probably won't be enough either, maybe like an astronaut suit. That could do it. Thankfully I got everything out though! No manchas.

Funny story. So we were eating with a member family. Now, the entire time we are there, these two kids were both just talking to me at full speed. They said some hilarious things (as kids do) but I think this was my favorite. We were about to have dessert, which was ice cream, and the oldest kid turns to me and asks, "do you know why my favorite ice cream is vanilla?" In which I replied, "no, why?" To which he so proudly stated: "because it's white." All I could think was, "man, I hope he doesn't say that about his favorite people!" Yikes.

On a more spiritual note though, here are some things that I learned from my studies this week! I am currently studying in the war chapters of the Book of Mormon, which I love, only because they make me put more work into my studies. I have to draw parallels, rather than just have it all laid in front of me.

My studies seemed to revolve around the trials, and being led by The Lord in times of darkness and difficulty. Which is somewhat a cause for alarm because everything is going just dandy right now. Anyway, I was looking at the examples of the Nephites, and how despite all the hardship that they were going through, they still managed to find happiness (see Alma 50:23). True, lasting happiness comes from the inside, and shines out. It comes from righteousness, faith, hope, and charity. It isn't created, or even sustained, by temporal things that try to make us believe that pleasure is, or leads to, happiness. This inner joy that can be felt only by "pure hearts and clean hands" can lead us in the darkest of times (2 Nephi 25:16). We will all sail through storms and sunshine. When we travel through the storms, as Dumbledore once stated, "happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times." We cannot determine the winds, but we can adjust our sails. We can't control the weather, but we can the rudder. We can keep our course, with the help of The Lord; as worded in a favorite hymn,

"Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life's tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treach'rous shoal.
Chart and compass came from thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me."

Love you guys, have a great week!

PS Just for kicks and giggles, this is something that I saw in the library.