We had our changes this week, and I'm still staying here in Zacapa. I've now lived out here in Guatemala 7 months. Everyone I knew when I arrived here in Guatemala is now gone. Everyone is a new face except for Elder Flores, Elder Carter, and Elder Cortes. What happened to the time? I'm still living in August of 2015.
After 7 months (almost a third of the time I'm going to be out here in Guatemala) I've seen a lot of the world. I've known pains beyond pains. It's very different to be a missionary. I've lived in a country seven months. Every day, I think, I read, and speak in another language, and the people see us. Some hate us for the message we share, others love us. Some reject us, others listen. I've found myself talking with people and helping people solve problems worse than I could ever imagine 7 months ago. I've seen people grow in faith, and I've seen others reject faith and become harder and colder than ever.
As I think back on the time I’ve spent out here in Zacapa, I realize that being a missionary is so much more than walking around with a tie and a Book of Mormon. It means helping everyone at every corner you turn. It means mourning with those who mourn, and comforting those who need comfort. It means being a leader. People look to us to help them find peace, to bless their lives. This mission isn't about me. No matter what I thought before, it NEVER was about me. It's about Guillermo, Erick, Rosa, Leandro, Indira, Silvia, Jose, and every other person I meet here.
This week has made me think very hard because we've met a ton of people who have problems with their lives: Destroyed families, drugs, addictions of every kind, fear of other people, you name it. And I learned something: Every person suffers. Everyone has hidden pains and sorrows that they don't show us. But there is someone who sees all of those. There is someone who personally took upon Himself all the pains, all the sicknesses, and all the hurt. This person was Jesus Christ. we can't imagine what he felt. There have been times this week when I've wondered how a person can carry so much weight and pain in their life. Jesus Christ personally suffered for every single human being. He saw you all, in every moment of your life. When He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, He saw you. He saw me. He saw every single one of these people that I've met. And he loves them. The pain he endured, and the things he suffered are unimaginable. But there's not one pain in your life, one hurt that you've felt, that He didn't see. He knows when a sparrow falls, and are ye not much greater than a sparrow.
You are not alone.
You are never alone.
I love you all! Keep writing!
Elder Jeffrey Reed