The HAPPYness PROJECT
This week we went and visited a member who has been going through a lot of
trials lately. She needed someone to listen and we happily obliged. She
started in, and somewhere in the middle she began asking questions.
She wasn't really expecting an answer. She just needed to get some stuff off her chest, but one of her questions really hit me hard. It got me thinking. "How is it that other people around me are happy and I'm not? How are they happy? What are they doing/not doing? How can I be happy?"
It got me thinking. Normally when the question is asked, "What do I need to
do to be happy?" or "What brings happiness?" the general and easy answer is
the gospel. But that is so very general. This member goes to the temple
every week. She shares the gospel with her neighbors. She attends church
every Sunday. She keeps her covenants. She gives service. As far as my
human eyes see, she is living the gospel.
It had me stumped. How is it that she's doing these "gospel" things and is still unhappy? It is a choice? Is it her circumstances? Is it a trail that God is putting her through to test her faith?
Then at one point she turned to me, "YOU!" she pointed at me, "YOU are
happy! YOU make people happy. I've seen it. How do you do it? How are you happy?"
And you know what happened?
I had no idea what to answer her. I had no idea what to say. I have no idea how I'm happy. That's just how I wake up in the morning.
Now I'd be lying if I said I'm happy all the time. I am a human being. I get grouchy. And tired. And hungry. And disanimated. But somehow I always make it out alive (and smiling). But the thing is, I'm not entirely sure how.
I've begun studying the word HAPPY in my personal study time. I have officially found and marked every single dingle scripture in the Bible that says the word happy. It says things like "Happy is that man that..." and then puts something.
There was many different answers and solutions, but the two most common were: HAPPY are the people who repent, or in other words, CHANGE and become a better self.
HAPPY are those that believe, trust, and love God.
I'm still on my search for the answers. And maybe I'll never find the perfect one, but I'd like to ask all the people out there who are reading this to take 5 minutes and let me know your opinion. What makes you happy? What do you think someone needs to do to be happy? What is the magic answer for you? Or do you think the answer doesn't exist? Let me know. Can't wait to hear your thoughts.
THE PARROT CHILD
Went to go eat with a member this week and met Diego. Diego is her parrot.
But don't tell her that. She thinks it is her child. He has his own seat at
the table and drinks out of a glass. He also eats tostadas with salsa and
quesillo. He also got a dessert.
It was all very hilarious. The member was very serious about the whole thing, and it was all I could do the whole time not to burst out laughing. Oh the people you meet on the mission.
Ran across my best buddy Franklin this week in divisions. I took a picture with him and thanked him for how much he has taught me and how wonderful he is. He teared up. If a tiny itty bitty Mexican man of 97 years, wearing a beanie with a marijuana leaf on it, and walking around with a
crutch taller than he is, tearing up doesn't get to you... then I don't know what will. I love Franklin. I will never forget this tiny man who kneels for every prayer. Every one. He is 97 for crying out loud. And he kneels.
Next time you feel too lazy to kneel for a prayer, think of tiny Franklin. It helps me.
Someone once told me that it is never cold in Oaxaca. That person was a liar.
*Franklin and his wife:
This is Franklin. He is 97 years old. He showed me his birth certificate to prove it to me and everything. He is probably the most faithful and knowledgable member of the church living. His little beanie that he wears ALL DAY EVERYDAY has a shotgun and a marijuana leaf on it. And I'm pretty sure he has no idea.
The picture doesn't even do them justice. They are TINY. I am bending over in the photo and I still tower over them. They are from one of my old areas and I ran into them when I was in divisiones this week. I asked for a picture because I never want to forget these darling tiny people.
*Not my friend
Don’t be fooled by the photo. This bird is not my friend.
Noche de Hogar
Forgot how to say that in English. Family home night? Something like that...