Friday, November 18, 2011

45: Independencia 12

Good news. Today I'm going to the temple! Woot! We've waited forever for this, and now we're going to be able to go after I finish writing.

This has been a hard week. I'm not gonna lie. Saturday afternoon we encountered a man named Mauricio. He's an alcoholic and has a lot of problems. He encountered us on the street and told us that he'd been looking for us because he really wanted to change his life. I'm just going to tell you right now—this is not a happy story, and it doesn't end well. So we went with him. He spoke perfect English because he lived in the states most of his life and preferred speaking in English. He took us to his house, and it was there we began to talk. He started talking about all his problems. It was sad because he wanted to change, but he was a total slave to his addictions.

That was the hardest lesson I've ever taught. It really put Christ and His Atonement to practice. As we explained to him how he could change, you could really see how the atonement really does apply to each one of us, personally. But man, it was a hard lesson. He really wanted to stop drinking. The lesson lasted 4 hours. When we left, we were completely exhausted, totally—physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Mauricio went to bed determined not to drink. He told us he would start shaking, but that he'd do it. Sunday morning we took him to church. He was sober, but shaking the whole time. He lasted through sacrament meeting, but then went home after. Well, he didn't make it. We went back after church, and he had left his house. It was hard. We had done all we could to help him, but he honestly didn't have enough faith and determination to do it. He didn't make it, and after all that we just had to leave him, but I learned an important lesson. Maybe more than one.

First of all, I never really understood how much of a protection the commandments are for us. Our president explained it to us in this way. For some people, the commandments are a fence, something that keeps us from doing what we want. But this is wrong. In reality, commandments are guardrails. Like the guardrails on a speedway, they keep us from rolling off the road, from losing our lives, our families, and everything we love. They keep us happy and in control. The people who want to play around with this and see if they kind drive with one wheel off the freeway can easily get pulled off. It's not worth it. It's really not worth it to see how far to the edge you can go.

So it was a hard weekend. It felt like forever. When Monday finally came around, it felt like a lifetime since I had last been there.

The office was busy this week. I had a ton to do. It was good stuff. We've been finding some new investigators who seem positive. We don't have a date for November, but we have a sweet family set for the first week of December, and a couple of other investigators who we're going to try to set dates with this week.

Well, I've got to take off to the temple now.

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