This week started off somber. Monday, after our quick weekly meeting, my ListReports co-workers and I headed up to the Ronald McDonald House to serve lunch there. It’s something that I truly love to do. No matter how big your problems seem at the time, they all disappear during your time there. You are serving selflessly, not worried about yourself. We were tearing up a bit even before cutting up the onions for the chili. I wish we had more chances to meet and talk with those patients there, but one could only imagine what they were going through. Kids wondering if they would see their next birthday, and parents wondering Why. We served a potato bar and chili, along with lots of desserts. I hope we made their day just a little bit easier, and I left with renewed focus, being reminded how precious life is, and the influence one person can have on so many others.
Monday was also Veteran’s Day. How I am thankful for their sacrifices! Millions have served, hundreds upon hundreds of thousands have died serving the United States of America. For “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Again, one marvels at the efforts they have made to protect our country, and shape the world into a better place abroad. Looking back historically, it is easy to criticize the politics and question the motives and the efficacy. For that matter, it is easy now. Yet, one cannot question the valor and the service of the everyday soldier who put their life in harms way and followed orders, marching behind the banner of the United States. They are the ones who know, “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” I think especially of my grandpa and my great-uncle David.
On a lighter note, that night for home evening, our group played “superfight” a cool new game to which I was introduced. Two decks, one of nouns, the other of “superpowers” are drawn randomly and the participants have to describe why their superhero is good and could win a battle. For instance, the first card I had was “fainting goat.” Others included Bigfoot, a boy scout, and a leprechaun. Their abilities ranged from having a fighter jet, a sadness ray, and a pogo stick. Regardless, you have to think creatively.
Wednesday was a rollercoaster. C——-, one of the quorum members, has been watching his dad battle cancer. Things have been going downhill and Wednesday, his father suffered another stroke. There was bleeding in the brain, and the doctors said that nothing more could be done. The question of death was not anymore if, but when, with the fateful alert that it could be hours, days, or perhaps a few weeks. How can you help in a situation like this? It’s a question thats been burning on my mind. I have no definite answers, but we’re trying to do what we can.
That night, one of my roommate’s had his girlfriend over. Background: They’ve been dating for about a month. Living in BYU approved housing, the curfew is midnight. At first, I complimented him on keeping curfew (having had struggles with other roommates, I was trying to encourage the good behavior.) Later, I was up past midnight and she was still over so I walked out and they got the message it was time to go. I texted him the next day letting him know how important it was to me that they keep curfew. There was probably two good weeks, and then on Monday she was over past midnight, and again I walked out, sending the silent message it was time to go. Now, on Wednesday, I lay in my bed at 12:15 unable to sleep, wondering what to do. There was a really heavy, dark spirit and I finally got up and went and talked to both of them, with them lying on the couch, saying in no uncertain terms that this was unacceptable and needed to change right now, while still expressing support for them, and saying until 11:59 she is welcome here. It’s never pleasant being the messenger, but the rule is something I do feel strongly about. It’s now Sunday, and to put it mildly, our relationship has deteriorated significantly. This wasn’t the outcome I anticipated or wanted. It’s another situation where I don’t know what the best thing to do is. How do you help without compromising? I know love is the answer, but nothing has worked so far.
My car woes continue. I left work Friday and had almost made it home, getting ready to pull off on my exit when a plastic container from a few cars in front fell off. The cars all around swerved and braked, and the container slammed into my front right side. I didn’t think twice (a car going 70 was no match for it,) and as no other cars (including whoever had dropped it) had pulled over, I continued home. When home, I went to inspect, and the contained knocked completely out the fog light and split the front bumper. Oy vey. I am thankful to be safe. And I am definitely hoping for a week of no car troubles.
Saturday was packed, with the standard 3 1/2 hour lsat practice test, followed by lunch, some errands, the City Center temple, and then a brazilian meal at Ethan’s house. He served in Sao Paulo and made a classic rice, beans, chicken, salad, and limeade meal. It was delicious and we went the whole time without speaking a word of english. Then, I walked with William G. and we went and listened to Teryl Givens speak on apologetics and discipleship. He talked a lot about how the atonement had much more to do with healing in early christianity before its meaning was somewhat obscured. I know that the Savior is the Master Healer. I quickly stopped by Tanmarie’s and left feeling much better with my law school application, a borrowed crockpot and an unexpected haul of hand-me-downs. Including the leather jacket I’ve long pined for. Made my day.
To celebrate a great day, I watched two episodes of “Shark Tank” and ate some ice cream. One of the companies was a farm company in Missouri and I unexpectedly found myself tearing up. I lie not. The farm was so beautiful. And it calls me still.
Church today was wonderful. There was ward council, then I completed my ecclesiastical endorsement before doing 4 ministering interviews. It all felt productive and meaningful, which is a fantastic feeling. The work moves forward.
After church, the gang all came over: Tanmarie, Nora, Porter, his friend Jake, Cooper, and William G. Dinner was a pot roast, salad, rolls, and key lime pie. We had the usual good time catching up on everyone’s week and sharing what we’ve learned in our gospel study recently, but Nora stole the show. She was a hoot, putting pepper shakers in random cabinets, dancing, snuggling with Cooper and even feeding me some her cheerios one by one.
At 8, we had 30(!) people convene at my place for ward prayer, and then a contingency that stayed to watch the newest Book of Mormon video, about the separation of the Nephites and Lamanites. This was my favorite one yet. I asked someone out after ward prayer, but alas, she had plans to go out of town, so i’m still looking for a date for this coming Friday.
Sunday School covered Hebrews today. One of the scriptures that we talked about was Hebrews 2:14-18 and how that helps give us hope. I especially liked verse 18:
For in that he [Christ] himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
On my mission I gained new insight into the the word “succor.” Its not one that we use often anymore. In Portuguese, the word is “socorrer” and as those familiar with a latin language can see, the root is correr, or to run. Socorrer literally means, to run to the aid of. When I see succor, that image of running to the aid of another is what I see in my mind.
When we are beset by difficulties, and especially by temptation, we can cry out for help, and Christ will run to us. He is eager and ready to help. He will heal our woundedness and cure our brokenness. He is the Savior. He is our Savior, and He is the way, the truth and the life.