T-shirts of the week: First one: "RO SE, woule you say yES!" (That was their spelling error, not mine, by the way.) The second one confused me so much at first, because all it said was, "Rookie Dolphin." Yeah. Like they just became a dolphin, so right now they're not very good at it or something? But then I thought maybe it was talking about the football team? Which would make more sense. But it was still incredibly vague, and the person wearing it probably didn't know what it said anyways.
So one of the members in our ward, Sarah, is a miracle. She's 18 years old, and for most of her life has been in and out of the hospital because of various health problems. But her testimony is so powerful, so strong, and with each trial it just gets stronger! Her latest trial: she has to be on dialysis (I don't know what that is, but it's what she's on), and that has caused her to gain some weight. We've visited her a few times in the hospital, and her mom told us how hard the weight gain has been for Sarah. And what a blessing to be able to understand her trial. Really, it's weird, but it makes me kind of grateful to have this experience, because I can understand a little better how she feels. I can empathize with her a little better. And wow, to think that Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, also knows how we feel. Through his Atonement, he knows how it feels to gain weight, to feel bad about how you look. He's experienced that pain so that I don't have to! And it seems so trivial. At least I'm not starving or dying or alone. But he wanted to help me, so he took upon himself that experience so that he could know how I feel. So that he could know me perfectly.
So Elder Parry and Elder Goodrich (the elders in our ward) showed us the results of a particularly productive companion study: March Madness, Prophet edition. Basically, they listed a bunch of prophets and ranked them based on how awesome they are. Each one was given a different number of points, based on their rank, and then they played each other. So for example, Moses got 9 points, so 9 coins, and they'd flip each coin and count how many landed flower-side up. That's how many points he'd get for that round. And so they played all the prophets and Joseph Smith won! But there were some pretty crazy upsets, and John the Baptist got way further than expected! It was hilarious.
I've had O Holy Night stuck in my head all week (Sister Chan and I hum it whenever we're walking anywhere), and these lyrics have been on my mind: "Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother." I love that. Each person I meet is my brother or sister, and Christ has suffered and died for them, so that they can be freed from the chains of sin and death. But so many people here don't know that; in fact, they don't even know who Jesus Christ is. And that's where we come in! We have to share what we know to anyone who will listen, because they are our family members! They are our brothers and sisters! And we may not remember, but we lived with them before this life with our Heavenly Father, and we'll see them again after this life. My time here is so short, and I'm starting to really feel how short it is. I only have a year left! Time is flying. And Gandalf's line from Lord of the Rings keeps going through my head: "All that we can do is decide what to do with the time that is given us." I don't want to waste time being half-hearted, thinking about things that I've lost or that I'm missing out on. I'm all here!
I am so happy! I love you all so much!