It was so great to hear from you all this week! I'm grateful you are all doing well! As always, I am doing better than always! My testimony has strengthened times 2 this week, and so I guess you could say it has been a good week! ;)
This past week I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my mission - looking back on the past year and asking myself if I have given everything I have to the work. Well, to give y'all some background information on me, I think I have some serious memory loss issues! Haha, I can't remember what life was like before my mission nor can I even remembered what happened this past week. And so it's been pretty hard to reflect and to think back on all the cool experiences and miracles I have seen. The biggest thing that comes back to my mind time and time again is the wonderful people I have been able to meet and to teach in the past year. I've thought a lot about good old Rigoberto, and so many of the people that have changed my life in a way that I can't even describe! I met another one of those people this week! His name is Gulpertino and his wife's name his Luz. Gulpertino is a drunk man. He drinks 20 cans of beer per day and sits out on a curb next to his one room apartment basically all day long. And he has been like that for almost 4 years. 4 years ago his life was good, I would even say great! He had 3 kids, a wife, a great job and a nice home. Things were going pretty well for him. And then his wife had an aneurysm. To be honest, I didn't, and still don't have any idea what an aneurysm is, but basically she was paralyzed, couldn't move, talk or do anything, and since that day she has been in the same hospital bed with nothing to do. After this incident, Gulpertino kind of took a fall. Not having a wife to be at his side, he fell in with the wrong crowd and began to drink a lot. Due to his new drinking problem he lost his job, his home and even his kids, who didn't want to see him or their mother. Things just took a turn for the bad. So, it's been like that for the past 4 years with little change. Well, the other day we found Gulpertino sitting on his curb wasted as could be. Not thinking too much of it, we began to talk with him. Given that most people on the streets of Newburgh are normally drunk, we just thought we would see if there was anything we could do for him. We gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet with our number on the back saying, "When you need help call." And that was it. Obviously, we didn't think much of it because that happens a thousand times a day here. 2 weeks pass by without seeing him or hearing from him and then he gives us a call telling us to come to his house to meet with him and that he really needed our help. So we show up and the address didn't exist. The next day we see him on the street and he is on the phone with somebody, immediately he stands up and hands us the phone. We begin speaking to this lady who turns out to be his wife. She explains how she really wants him to overcome his addictions and that she knows we can help. She also explained to us that in her 4 years in the hospital the only person that has ever visited her has been her husband and that was only on special occasions. Immediately after the phone call we took Gulpertino and walked to the hospital to visit his wife. Now Luz is just the sweetest old lady!! She went from not being able to do anything to being able to speak perfectly fine and being able to shake our hands. We then have one of the most tender lessons I have ever had in my whole entire life. The Spirit that testified to us of eternal families and of the ability to change was unreal. The next day we go to pick Gulpertino up to go see his wife, and he was completely sober and was equipped with a great attitude. Now I know I said the Spirit was strong in that first lesson, but man, when he said that last prayer and asked God to take his addictions away and that he was willing to do whatever to stop, the Spirit just hit me like a brick and I thought to myself... “This is why I am on my mission” - to see people find hope in our Savior Jesus Christ. It is seriously so incredible and cool how much hope and joy that this Gospel and the message of the Plan of Salvation brings. Now who knows if Gulpertino will ever get baptized, or if he will even continue to have the desire to meet with us more, but he has already changed me and my mission. No matter what kind of hole we are in, no matter how far gone we are there is always a way back! And it's through our Savior.
That was kind of a long story and I didn't even scratch the surface on the details, but I hope you felt the gratitude that I have for the amazing people I have met on my mission. From super prepared people like Justino, to a little bit lost like Gulpertino. The New York New York mission is the best one there is!
Thanks for all you do! I love you all so much! You mean the world to me! I'll talk to you next week!
|This is one of those 3 generation missionary photos, Caiden is training Elder Molina on the right, and Caiden was trained by Elder Hinckley in the middle.|