Friday, January 13, 2012
Everything That Matters
A few more photos from Izalco, El Salvador. I had to take a deep breath and tell myself, "I can do this," when I saw the conditions of this little village. Before entering Danny had informed me that he'd been attacked by a dog there as a missionary. As I surveyed our surroundings I quickly noticed the dog napping on top of that beat up car. Nervously, I snapped some pictures--hoping he didn't wake up, but wanting the pictures nevertheless.
Although this was one of the more humble areas we visited, I found the people to be so kind and faithful. We sat out on lawn chairs discussing the gospel and having a lovely time...all the while with chickens scurrying about, flea-bitten dogs scavenging for food, and the smell of the community outhouse filling the air.
When we arrived I noticed an elderly man sitting under the palm trees reading from a worn copy of The Miracle of Forgiveness, by President Spencer W. Kimball. He quickly went inside and returned with two cups of soda for Danny and I. You can't help but feel a sense of sincere gratitude when someone who has so very little gives so willingly. Their home was completely bare, yet like so many others, he gave us all they had. He returned to his spot under the palm trees, all the while clutching his book closely to his chest. His granddaughter introduced her infant daughter to us as Marjorie, named after the late Marjorie Hinckley, the wife of President Gordon B. Hinckley. I told her (Danny translated) that I had met Sister Hinckley when I was a younger, and that she had been a dear friend of my grandparents. What a wonderful namesake she had chosen. I thought to myself what an influence for good one righteous woman can be!
Here I sat, in such humble circumstances, knowing that Spencer W. Kimball and Gordon B. Hinckley were indeed Prophets of God, and that testimony had bonded me to these faithful saints in a remote village in western El Salvador. We had nothing and yet everything in common. I was so impressed with the faith of these good saints. Although this family had never met a prophet, or had personal experiences with the brethren, their testimonies were strong. That little village that initially seemed so sad to me, actually holds such happy memories. This is the gospel in action. They had very little, but gave so much... and really, they had everything.