Happy Thanksgivin' Y'all!!
This week, I got to study leprosy. How often do you get to say that...? It's really nasty and awful.... I'll come back to that in a minute.
The first of this week felt like weird. There's just no other way to explain it. I felt homeless. Nowhere felt like home, not even Santa Barbara when I pictured it. I felt like a ghost, wandering around Justin, shouting pleas into a vacuum. I talked to Sister Napper about it and all she had to say in consolation was "I feel like that too. Have this whole week." We both sat there and looked at each other and tried and tried to figure this out. We thought "Maybe we're getting transferred?" and "Maybe the world is ending?" But eventually, we figured it out.
The Devil is the single biggest hater in this world and world to come. Like... DOOD.
We figured out that Satan knows the epic miracles and awesome work we have here to do in Justin. He tried to stop it by (trying to) drive wedges between me and my comp. That didn't work-- we're too awesome for that. So now he's trying to separate us from the ward and the area. We were having none of that. So instead of perpetuating our weirdy feelings.... we went tracting. Naturally, the night we decide to tract all day, it's a whopping 31 degrees. AND remember when I said you can't measure heat by thermometer in Texas? Gotta go by Heat Index? Yeah, well, same goes for the cold. Gotta measure wind chill. Dang you, humidity, you fun-sucker. But you know what, in spite of all that, we found an entire family to teach. BOOYAH
So, back to leprosy.... Bishop asked me to give a talk about giving the Savior my thanks through my mission service. Pretty sure I could have taken the entire sacrament meeting on that. But I talked about the 10 lepers Christ healed and the one that turned back around and gave thanks. That's when I decided to pull out Jesus the Christ and read up on leprosy.
Dude, it's death incarnate. But more important than how gross leprosy is is the quote that went along with it: "What happens here in figure must happen in the reality to our souls because of the death of sin." However disgusting the body is when leprosy is eating away at it... that's what's happening to the soul when you decide to place yourself outside of the circle of light that is the gospel. Fortunately, we are all able to be cleansed from such abysmal spiritual maladies. Having experienced that phenomenal joy of being released from that agony... giving my 18 months is like a piece of cake. It's so small, yet so uniquely mine to give. This Thanksgiving, I love being away from friends, family, school, work, everything that the holiday is "supposed to be" about because I'm discovering what it's really centered on and what we're thankful for. It's not to celebrate the inevitable annihilation of an indigenous culture with gluttony... but to praise God-- from whom all blessings flow.
I miss you all... but I kind of don't. ;)
PS: We saved a dog this week. We were rewarded by not getting tagged by fleas. God is good.