Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Nicaragua: A Review (finale)

So I am from Mesa, Arizona. We boast the second highest concentration of Mormons in the world (following Salt Lake City of course). All through high school, everyone complained of the Mesa "bubble" . Too many Mormons, too many good people, too little drama. Why would you complain of that? I do not know, but people did. Older generations, mainly teachers, talked of preparing the high school seniors for life outside the "bubble", when we all moved on to different colleges in different locations.

While Mesa has its own problems and is not a perfect bubble, Nicaragua was definitely an out of bubble experience for me. I lived with a non-member, single parent family surrounded by very few other Mormons. Drinking, theft, immorality, abuse,  poverty, and depression were rampant. I personally witnessed all of those issues in many different forms. However, I came to the very strong conclusion that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the answer.

Salt Lake Mormon TempleThe restored gospel of Jesus Christ gives people the hope we need, the community we seek, the resolve to be better that is necessary, and the support and strength we want. It allows  us to be a little better every single day; it gives us an eternal perspective; it helps us live eternally with our families.

As I walked along the Nicaraguan streets, I constantly thought how the restored gospel of Jesus Christ would change the entire nation. Even at times when I was not contemplating the church, it would pop into my head as the solution to some situation I was looking at.

I remember one weekend when I was sitting in an old school bus in , a small tourist-y town, waiting to head back to Managua. As the bus drove around the city looking for last minute passengers to board, I sat glancing out the window. In one instance I saw this young boy, probably no older than three sitting on the ground in nothing but a pair of underwear that were too big. His mother and sisters sat a few yards away vending plates of food. I watched as he climbed a small pole and sat there begging for money. After a few moments of no success, he went to bother his mother for food. She gave him a few fried plantain chips and swatted him away. He then walked a few feet away and planted himself and his food on the ground and began to eat the now dust covered chips. Every few seconds he would put his hand out to strangers, never saying a word but looking for anything. Later he went over to a ledge on a wall and began to play with a little toy truck. My heart broke as I watched him wander around aimlessly and bored and alone. I wondered what his future looked like, what expectations would be required of him. I realized that probably neither of the answers would come close to the potential he has a human being.  But then the resounding sentence came into my head, the gospel is the answer.

 In many situations, that powerful statement leapt into my thoughts, and I realized that it was true.

 D&C 123:12-13 states "For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations... who are only kept from the truth because they now not where to find it- Therefore  we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness..."

I look up to all of the missionaries currently "wasting and wearing out their lives" to bring truth to the world. I have seen how much it is needed, and I look forward to the day when I can join the ranks and spread the truth.


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