My jaw hurts. Apparently, I have some sort of disease in the joint. I've been taking stacks of ibuprofen, which makes driving more complicated. Just kidding. I haven't been driving under the influence of ibuprofen.
But things be jiggy. I've been blessed by these past three weeks. These past three weeks will be the ones that will make me miss my mission the most when I go home.
Yesterday, during church, Elder Taylor and I received the privilege of teaching about the priesthood in Sunday school. One of the class members asked an interesting question about women and the priesthood. The Spirit was present as our very own sister missionaries testified of the divine roles that God has given us.
During the fast-and-testimony sacrament meeting, testimonies were borne so powerfully that I could only compare the experience to the day of Pentecost described in the Bible, when the ancient Apostles awaited to be endowed with power. The brother that I described last week, whose career in the NFL ended after a severe stroke bore his testimony and the Holy Spirit rushed into the room like a wind.
He asked me to help him walk for the first time in church after four years, as his whole left side did not function. As I grabbed him by his left elbow and left shoulder to lift him, I was reminded of when Peter caused the lame man to walk through his faith in Jesus Christ. We walked to the front of the chapel and I held the mic for him. He recited to the congregation the first paraphrased scripture that he proudly memorized after his stroke. He said, "Never give up. Faith is never giving up. The scriptures say that we have to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. Then we can stand before God at the last day. It says to stand, not sit in a wheelchair."
The bishop of the congregation bore his testimony about how it was this brother's faith that caused him to walk. As I wheeled him out of the chapel after church, I saw the eyes of everyone still wet with tears. Many of them thanked the brother for his testimony.
At the end of the day, we taught Jayden with his parents. His dad, who attended the church meetings, commented on how he only wanted to be active in the Church again because it is a good social club for his son. He said that when he came to church again yesterday, he fell back into the habit that he was in when he was on his mission. He said that for the first time in years, his faith had been rekindled by the testimonies of that brother and others. He bore his testimony to Jayden and us that he knew that the gospel is true. He and his family will be active again!
The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored through this Church, and I am excited to experience more things like this after my mission is over. This is what Brazilians call saudade.
( saudade: nostalgia )
And I just read this, in honour of the Apostle Elder L. Tom Perry, who passed away. He said this when he visited our mission:
“I promise you by the power of the Holy Priesthood I hold and the Holy Apostleship, that the Lord will be there to help you, instruct you, comfort you, give you words and expressions, give you peace and give you experiences that will give you everlasting joy throughout your life.”
That promise was just fulfilled (: Man, I sound like a fruit, but it feels alright.