I have been blessed to grow up in a family with a rich legacy of missionaries. My father served as a young man, my parents have served together. My father-in-law served as a young man and then my in-laws together served a mission. Uncles, aunts, cousins, and all my siblings served full time missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in various parts of the world and in all sorts of languages. I could probably write a blog post about how each person has affected my life and added to my testimony of the gospel, but today I'm going to focus on my Guelitos.
I see Guelita's memory failing and I find that I want to treasure the last remaining time she has here on the earth. She misses Guelito so much and just wants to be with him. They served their first mission to the Dominican Republic during my teenage years. I loved reading their letters and hearing about their adventures. They lived in conditions that made me wonder how I could ever serve a mission. However I only remember them talking about the positive things and the love they felt for the Dominicans.
Their second mission took them to Barcelona, Spain. My mission. I had just gotten married and was expecting Whitney when they left. They were sad to think they would not meet their first great-grandchild and the other milestones their children and grandchildren would experience, but they had a testimony of and great faith in Christ so they packed their bags and flew across the world.
Thankfully Guelita was able to make tortillas and beans during both missions, that might have been a deal breaker for Guelito.
They shared their testimony of the Savior. They served in every way they could to help people and help bring them unto Christ. They devoted all they were and sacrificed all they had. It's a legacy I will never forget and I hope will not take for granted.
I can't wait to be able to serve a mission with John. I know I will miss the children and grandchildren (when we have grandchildren) terribly, but the faith and example we leave behind will hopefully be of greater value as we serve the Lord. I hope that they will know that our love the Lord is the reason we do the things we do.
Like my Guelitos I can say with strength and power that He lives. Our Savior, Jesus Christ is our redeemer and advocate. He is the Great Comforter. I know that He has restored His Gospel on the earth again. This is my witness. He lives.
We had a wonderful holiday weekend and I even took the camera have actual documentation of the festivities, but as with the hundreds of other pictures I have in my sorting folder it will have to wait.
Life as a way of taking over and throwing a curve here and there.
This week's curve came in the form of another broken ankle. Thankfully not mine, although if I could take his pain and immobility I would. Despite his pain he loved the wheel chair and would roll out into the hall hoping to go exploring.
He wanted to document the entire process. The x-rays were not his favorite experience, but he held so very still.
He was so fascinated by the skeleton pictures and all the bones that were beneath is skin.
The doctor also performed an ultrasound to check his growth plates. I told Dash that last time I had an ultrasound was when I was pregnant. He looked at me funny and said, "You had a baby in your ankle?" He made us both laugh.
Guelita came to check up on Dash later that afternoon. They are quite a pair great-grandmother and her great-grandson. She broke her wrist on Saturday. It's a dangerous street to live on this week, but they are both smiling.
"As you start to write, you could ask yourself, 'How did God bless me and those I love today?' If you do that often enough and with faith, you will find yourself remembering blessings. And sometimes you will have gifts brought to your mind that you failed to notice during the day but that you will then know were a touch of God’s hand in your life." (President Henry B. Eyring, "Recognize, Remember, and Give Thanks", August 2013 Ensign)
"Our children today are growing up surrounded by voices urging them to abandon that which is right and to pursue, instead, the pleasures of the world. Unless they have a firm foundation in the gospel of Jesus Christ, a testimony of the truth, and a determination to live righteously, they are susceptible to these influences. It is our responsibility to fortify and protect them." (President Thomas S. Monson, "Three Goals to Guide You", Ensign, Nov. 2007)
I was looking for some photos today and I ran across this gem my aunt shared with me a few years back. It's my wonderful cousin and my Guelito (grandfather). I don't remember what the occasion was, but the love in both their expressions is evident.
Years later the roles were reversed and the same cousin helped Guelito get ready for a wedding reception. The photos were not intentional, but were a treasure to find. The love was still there many years later. The gentleness and appreciation make my hear swell. How I love these two men!
I am so blessed to have a family that loves and supports one another. I have 30+ first cousins just on this one side. We are all so different and yet, we have a bond that pulls us together. I love them dearly. I am a better woman because of their lives, examples, but especially because of their love.
I was looking for a photo the other day when I came upon these old photos of Whitney and Guelito. When Whitney was little we lived around the block from the Guelitos (in reality we have always lived close to them) and Whitney would ask everyday to go see her Guelitos. Our daily trek involved singing along the way and tortillas on the return trip.
I can still hear her little high pitched voice singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little star" and I remember her little unbalanced walk, trying to keep her safe from crashing into things. We didn't know at this age that one of her eyes does not work very well. I had forgotten how her little curls started to form and how much she loved her princess hair as it started getting longer, but this is a tangent.
They were always just as happy to see her as she was to see them.
She would always climb up and sit right next to Guelito. She would ask him questions, he would give her kisses with his answers, and they would spent time together helping Guelita with her current project, this particular day was tamales.
They were best buddies. She loved him. He loved her. Today I am missing them both. Thankfully I will get to talk to Whitney on pday and I know that I will see my Guelito again someday. I'm so thankful for the gospel and the assurance of eternal families.
I am going to finish the week with the goodbye photos of Munch. We didn't get everyone, mainly the children, but Munch did want one with Guelita. A couple of weeks before she left we were able to have lunch at Guelitas and walking out Munch started to cry with the realization that Guelita could die before she returns. Guelita is in good health, but at 91 time is against her.
Our first home was 1/2 a block from the Guelitos. We would walk over everyday to visit. Munch has had a wonderfully close relationship with her great-grandparents her whole life. Having lived next door the last 3 years has been an added blessing. Not to mention all the wonderful food. Guelita made fresh tortillas for the drive to the MTC. Munch ate one in the car!
This is cousin "Z". They have been friends since Z was born (6 months after Munch's birth). They made horrible ramen meals and Z taught Munch all about blowing up barbies. Even if weeks or months passed talking to one another they could pick up right where they left off, laughing and having fun. Z has bless Munch's life in so many ways. It was fun that he was able to come and say goodbye.
I know I've posted this before, but I wanted to add it here again. This photo was taken at the airport when the Guelito's were getting home from one of their missions. It seemed appropriate share it again. I need to go get the old albums and start scanning photos from when the big kids were little.