Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Thoughts

"Kind words not only lift our spirits in the moment they are given, but they can linger with us over the years. . . .Kindness is the essence of greatness and the fundamental characteristic of the noblest men and women I have known. Kindness is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends. It softens hearts and molds relationships that can last lifetimes. . . Kindness is the essence of a celestial life. Kindness is how a Christlike person treats others. Kindness should permeate all of our words and actions at work, at school, at church, and especially in our homes."
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
As I have contemplated establishing a blog, I thought I wanted to write about everyday occurrences and my thoughts about them. However, all that seems to come into my mind to post about has to do with the experiences we had on our mission to Brazil. So, I decided that that will be the point of my blog—at least for now. Also, because it is my blog, if I happen to want to vent about discuss current affairs or pertinent happenings in my life, I’ll do that too.
I remember flying out of Salt Lake City, Utah, feeling a little sad to be leaving home. But my dear husband was by my side and we were having this adventure together, so the sadness left and excitement took its place.

We had packed half of the vitamin supplements and medication that we would need for the 18 months that we would be gone. I was a little concerned that we would have our suitcases checked by customs upon our entry into Brazil, but we needed those supplements for our well being. So we pressed on with much faith that our needs would be taken care of (more about this later).

I can’t remember much about the stopover in Atlanta, Georgia, so it must have been pretty ordinary. Ordinary, that is, until we boarded the flight for Brazil. By then, it was evening. Our seat assignments were very strange in that we were separated by about 8 rows; I was concerned about that but not overly concerned as it looked like there were going to be plenty of extra seats on the plane. I just figured that when we got on our way, my husband could come back to where I was sitting.

That is, I thought that until the last minute, when the plane was taken over boarded by a large group of Brazilian teenagers—my estimate would be about 30-35 of high-energy kids. The empty seats were filling up fast and I was filled with dismay bordering on terror at the thought of a 13-hour noisy, nighttime flight without my husband by my side. There was one empty seat to the side of me and I began praying in earnest that it would remain empty. My prayers were answered, for as we prepared to lift off the seat was still empty. I staggered walked forward until I caught my husband’s eye, and motioned him to come back to me. It was the beginning of 18 months of the Lord’s tender mercies for His children.
I'm feeling good about deciding to chronicle our experiences and adventures in Brazil. It was certainly a life-altering time for us and the growth that we experienced continues to ripple forward. It is one of those cases of not knowing where the alternate road would have taken us had we made different choices. We only know that our lives have been greatly enriched through our mission to Brazil and we are forever grateful.

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