I don’t have too much to share with you this week, but I would like to share this experience I had that really changed the way I look at things.
I have been struggling over the past couple weeks with morale, which was hasn’t been a huge problem for me since I came out here, but as I get closer to going home it has gotten kinda bad at times. Monday was probably the worst yet, and then to make things worse we had our car taken away, leaving us slightly handicapped. All of these things happening at once were more than I thought I could handle, and I pretty much broke down into depression. To add onto my stress, we got asked by two people to immediately go give blessings to people with critical health during the middle of our P-Day activities. I didn’t think I could take it anymore. I am ashamed to say that in these people’s moments of need, I selfishly complained to myself about how it wasn’t fair that I was having to deal with other people’s problems when I was struggling to deal with my own. Nonetheless, my companion and I ended our P-Day early and went to go give these people a blessing.
It was a very old lady and her daughter that we were asked to go give a blessing to. The mother was in very bad condition, was not mentally functioning and wasn’t going to live for much longer. They were basically making her comfortable before she passed away. The daughter was what really moved me. As a child, she had been abused in every horrible way imaginable by her father, and her mother knowingly allowed it to happen. She grew up thinking that this abuse was the way parents showed love to their children, and was addicted to drugs and alcohol at a very young age. As a result of this lifestyle, she became slightly mentally handicapped. It wasn’t until at the age of 11, she became pregnant with her father’s child and was taken from the home by the government, and put into the foster care of a member of our church for a few years. Eventually she forgave her mother for all the things she had allowed happen to her, and moved back in. Because she was mentally handicapped, she spent most of life sitting inside being sustained by her mother. She was so overweight that she had to use a wheelchair, and had her voice box removed
Aside from her mother, the only other friend she had was this member who had asked us to go give her a blessing, and at this point the member was not very involved with her life. Now she was losing the only person that had taken care of her for the last 40 years, and really the only person she had a genuine relationship with in her life. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, trying to tell this lady who -mind you- was losing her only caretaker, and was in horrible health, that everything would be ok in the end. I was appalled at myself for feeling so sorry for myself, and for focusing on how bad I had things currently, when in reality they were nothing compared to her trials.
It really made me appreciate the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I cannot comprehend how he suffered for all of our sins and pain, when an individual person’s pain is greater than I can imagine having myself. As soon as I realized this, I decided to give up my sense of self pity, and really wanted to help this lady. In that moment all of my personal pain went away. I walked out of the hospital, after having what some people may consider a very shocking and depressing experience, and I felt happy. My problems certainly weren’t gone, and neither were the poor lady’s we had just given a blessing to, but through the service of others, I had forgotten myself. The Gospel of Jesus Christ works in amazing ways. While it may have been us administering the blessing, we were blessed in turn.
Anyways, aside from that this week was really slow and we spent a good chunk of the week figuring out logistics and arguing with the AP’s over what we were going to do with the area because it is most definitely not a bike area. Finally they decided to temporarily rearrange the boundaries and made us into the Gaffney bike elders, covering the small abandoned inner city of Gaffney. I won’t give you my personal opinion of this change, but lets just say I want the AP’s to try biking here before they make other people do it.
On Thursday we did some of the nastiest service I have done for this less active family. They moved into this house that was sold as is, and the previous owners literally just threw their garbage out the kitchen window into their backyard in a pile. We had to clean up some of the most horrifying things. I will attach some pictures.
We haven’t done much biking yet, due to my bike not currently functioning. So yeah.
Anyways, that was about all that happened this week. I will talk more next week!
Elder Jeremiah Brown
Me in front of trash
Me at Brother M.’s warehouse last week.
The Gaffney District trying to take a cool picture and failing miserably.
Yes that is a fluorescent light bulb cross with a sign saying “Jesus Saves” above it.