We passed by this week to say hello to Rodolfo, a recent convert. During the conversation I happened to ask him how old he was. He pondered for a moment, and then asked me what day it was. We responded well it’s the 22nd of February! Shocked, having had forgotten the date, told us it was his birthday, he was turning 71! So his grandchildren, my companion and I all sang him happy birthday which he enjoyed very much!
One of the members brothers passed away rather suddenly and it’s been pretty hard for him. I feel grateful though to know that he knows the Plan of Salvation and that this isn't the end. We have spent time with him and we try to teach but really all he wants right now is just someone to listen, so we listened and he seems to be doing better. Another members father passed away and she got sick at the same time. Things get tough sometimes, people go through so many things and it just amazes me how people can handle situations, however difficult they may be. I know the gospel surely helps.
Someone from the stake came to visit the branch and he shared a talk about afflictions, relating a story of a swordsmith. Someone asked the swordsmith how he made such marvelous, strong swords that never broke. He said the secret is knowing exactly how many times to hit the sword while making it to end up with the strongest, most refined sword possible. And so it is in our lives in comparison to swords, The Lord knows exactly how many hits we need to become the most refined people we can become, each hit has a purpose. As we turn to the Lord he will strengthen us spiritually and we will progress here on earth. He doesn’t promise we won’t have afflictions, but he does allow us to learn from them, if we so choose.
Love you all!
Rodolfo and his grandkids