Such faith I have never seen in my whole life! If you were to see what I have seen you would probably cry. I did…
In Nicaragua the people are very poor. They don’t have anything. If they have food they are happy. Even without it they are happy. It is heartbreaking. Moises Gutierrez is the first counselor in the Branch Presidency and his wife is the Primary President. They just completed 2 years as members. They are sealed in the temple. They help us out a lot. Let´s just say that they are willing to drop all they have and to help us out at whatever hour. They visit with us, walking approximately 2 km in the heat up hill to visit other poor families. That is humility. They do all of this not having work. He has months without a job. He has even worked 20 hours shifts overnight as a security guard to provide for his family. He frequently goes without food so that his family can eat.
Yesterday it seems the stress of all of their difficulties and trials despite their devoted service wore down on his wife. She didn´t wanted to come to church because she felt bad. So Moises went alone and was there for 12 hours and didn´t eat Breakfast, lunch, Dinner. When he called us at 8pm to ask if we could lend him a phone call so he could stay in the church building over night at the request of the President without prospects to eat, we found him in the street and we asked him how he was. He said fine but we inquired further. Then he explained to us how hard it had been for him to continue in the faith without murmuring and fighting with his wife, he being ex military. We all cried. Then he went off in the night. The visit impacted me. I have never seen such faith. He is a living and breathing pioneer here in Nicaragua, one of the many. Never a murmur…never even a tear, until last night. I feel honored to even know him.
I thought about all the things that have happened in my mission and how many times I might have complained about something. My thoughts shifted from me to others on the way home. As we sat down to eat we offered a sincere prayer for what we had in front of us. I didn´t feel like eating. How many times I had eaten with ungratefulness in my heart. I think I will always remember this experience.
Appreciate all that you have. We are so blessed. When the greatest challenge in your life is to eat every day it kind of puts things in perspective. These types of experiences are only experienced in the mission. I feel so grateful to the Lord for blessing me with examples of faith and love all around me. I will try to have that kind of faith. In moments like these you can’t help but feel the love of Christ pour out of your soul. It emanates.
Please pray for Arecely and Kelvin, a pair that is having troubles. She is preparing for baptism this week. Also keep in your prayers the members here in Nicaragua. Thanks for everything. I love you all. It makes me so happy to hear about the success that everyone is having. Let your hearts be full of gratitude and may you have the desires to serve God until the end!
Elder Grant Russell