It's been a long, crazy week. After a jam-packed, Satan-attacked day on Saturday, Amber and Victor got married! So many events transpired that kept it from being a day of smooth sailing, but when it all worked out, it was marvelous, and they looked so happy, and they invited about 30-40 of their non-member family members and friends, so the church was full! It was a blast. I'll attach some pictures. Their kiddos were freaking out, so they all look incredibly unhappy, but usually they're little beams of sunlight.
After their wedding, literally that night, somebody came to their house, beat up Victor with a hammer, and he had to get some staples in his head... Eeesh. Sometimes I remember what a sad world we live in; how many people need the Gospel. But he's healing. They let us come over yesterday and have a lesson with them on the Family Proclamation. We talked about how true happiness is founded upon the principles that Jesus Christ taught, and that we cannot find it in any other way, at least not lasting happiness. They both agreed that they felt that was true, and that they wanted to eliminate bad from their lives. Even Victor who, before we met him, didn't even think Jesus Christ was real, nor did he believe in God. They vowed to come to church every week. We let it slide this week because he was in the Emergency Room... Lllll.
The biggest turning point for Victor was when Bishop Gillespie had Amber and Victor in his office at the beginning of the week. Bishop wanted to interview them before he married them, and he let us sit in. Before this, we hadn't really been able to get Victor to sit down and talk to us. He would usually get in the shower when we came, or go outside in the garage to work on things. But Bishop Gillespie really helped them feel the spirit and set goals for themselves. He invited them to pray with each other every night, he told them how to find happiness in marriage. And when he was done, he said, "Victor, have the Sisters told you that the Book of Mormon is a record of your ancestors?" He perked up and we sat in awe as Bishop recounted the entire Restoration of the Gospel to Victor. He promised Bishop that he would listen to us and step up to be a better husband and father. Woah.
This has been glaringly evident to me. There is such a dramatically stark contrast between those who keep the commandments of God and those who do not. Sister Garner put it really clearly while we were talking about this the other day. She said, "God's not going to punish you if you don't keep the commandments, but if you're not being obedient, he can't protect you." I thought that was a pretty good answer to the question I have heard so many countless times. "Why do bad things happen to good people?" It's not to say that bad things don't happen to commandment-keeping people, but I know that we are infinitely more protected physically, spiritually, and mentally if we if we are obedient. I wish I were perfect, it would make life incredibly easy, I feel like I fall down every fifteen seconds, but the Lord is pleased with improvement. He's pleased when we stand up for our beliefs.
And sometimes we still have bad days. But we are working towards eternal happiness. This scripture really helped me this week. (Read the whole thing, the first part sounds like a soft rebuke, but it gets encouraging.)
"Remember and always retain in remembrance the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come! If you do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God... and grow in the knowledge of that which is just and true."
Sometimes I think these emails are for me. :) I just write down my feelings and hope that they're coherent.
I love you all very much!
Love, Sister Best
Oh, PS, last night Sister Garner and I found out that we're staying together for my last transfer, which really wasn't a surprise. But I'm excited! Another 6 weeks with my partner in crime in our area that is on fire! :)