Saturday, July 2, 2016

Thank You for Remembering Us

[30 June 2016]

In anticipation of our returning home early, in July of this year, we wanted to go and see Hna. Elva Lopez one more time. Her sweet, gentle influence on me as a young missionary literally changed my life. She is and was such an example of strength and faithfulness. Life in Bolivia hasn't been easy for her, raising her family as a single mother, but she has never wavered.

Molly and I with our sweet friend, Elva Lopez.
As we visited with her, she told me simply and quietly, "Thank you for remembering us." From my perspective, I thought, "How could I possibly have forgotten about you." The us, I feel, being more than just her and her family, but Bolivia, and the church here, too. In many ways, it is still a young and somewhat fledgling group, even with so many stakes and wards. Many of the first generation of members here are still alive, and they remember "their" missionaries fondly.

But, the growing leadership of the church here in Bolivia are second and third generation, more and more. Returned missionaries, young men and women who have grown up in the Church. Brothers and Sisters who have seen the rich and deep blessings of the gospel, of covenants and ordinances, of the temple in their midst.

It has been such a blessing to us to have been able to come here now. Some people talk of the sacrifices of a mission, of being away from home and family, of missing important birthdays and anniversaries. We, though, have seen many rich blessings come to our children and our parents, in spite of illnesses and trials.

So, as I heard Hna. Lopez issue that quiet, sweet, humble statement of gratitude, I felt a debt of gratitude as well. Thank you, Hna. Lopez, for remembering me. And thank you, Heavenly Father, for remembering all of us.

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