Tuesday, June 18, 2013

June 17th, 2013

Hey family!
So to answer a few questions first: The mission president's wife has a meeting tomorrow Tuesday (18th) with the doctor to schedule the surgery. I actually think you'll know before I will haha. I'd love to do a skype afterwards if President will let us. I think the begging will have to come from you, Mum, rather than me haha. I'm not nervous now--i might be the night before though--but thanks for all the reasurring words. I also know that the Lord will be watching over it all. Interesting to find out that it really was genetics. Of course it was the first thing the doctor asked me, but I had never heard of anyone in our family that had that. Bummer. But it will for sure make for a good story ;) Mum, refrain from buying a plane ticket to Chile...haha.
All your fun pictures make it  look like you had a great trip to New York! I'm so jealous. Other announcement: We have transfers tomorrow, but all four of us (Elder Kohler, Rabanales, París, and I) are staying together here in Curanilahue for another 6 weeks! Granted, I'll be in Conce for about a week, but same idea.
My time is short, but I wanted to tell you about a cool guy I met this weekend. José and his wife showed up at our ward activity because they were visiting from Concepción and noticed that our chapel was open (they got baptized last August). They are a young married couple, and José is deaf. I felt sooooo frustrated that I couldn't remember the least bit of sign language that I had learned as a kid, but I was still able to communicate with him a bit. Sunday morning there he was in the chapel, ready for church. I marveled for three hours as he quietly and patiently sat in all the classes, obviously not being able to participate. I gave him my manual to read and he appreciated that. I kept trying to figure out why he was there. It obviously wasn't for the inspiring classes. Nor did he have any friends there. When sacrament meeting started (for us it's the 3rd hour), I watched him carefully still trying to figure out why he had come if he didn't hear a single word. Maybe he at least felt the Holy Ghost?I was so glad  he was there, but I was just bewildered as to why he would do that each week. I was humbled as I realized why.
He reverently and humbly partook of the bread and water that represented the body and blood of Christ--the Sacrament. Despite probably being bored for 3 hours, he knew that he had the opportunity to renew his baptismal covenants and receive forgiveness for his sins (Moroni 4). I was reminded of the sanctity of such a simple act, and I'm so grateful I got to meet and converse with him. He taught me some sign language (which actually is different from ASL) and I felt such a strong gratitude towards him for teaching me so much about the importance of church attendance and partaking of the sacrament. It's an opportunity to set all worries aside and focus solely on Christ and His great atoning sacrifice. What a wonderful blessing.

Have a wonderful week! Love you :)
Elder Long :)

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