I'm in Summerland, where the climate never changes and our duties revolve around the Youth. Some are preparing for baptism in two weeks, and each one is willing to believe in every doctrine and keep every commandment. They describe the Spirit working in them the best they can in their own words, yet it mirrors so many other experiences that true converts share.
One particularly powerful lesson this week was with a man with a severe form of anxiety that leads to violent thoughts. The meekness and lowliness it takes to say to two youth, more or less, "I need help and I scare myself when I'm alone, but I think God can heal me," is too powerful to lead to nowhere. I shared Christ's words in 3 Nephi 9:13-14, "Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?...Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me." My companion promised him if he began to turn regularly to the scriptures when he was alone, the harrowing thoughts would disappear.
The real problem in the jungle is the Law of Chastity. In my last area, this law was fairly easy to keep. It was so cold that everyone had ten coats on, and if anyone got any ideas, they changed their mind after taking off half their layers and put the others back on again to keep warm. Here, no one wears hardly any clothes at all, and one practically breaks the law of chastity by shaking someone's hand. Ah, well, the youth are well meaning and trying to change.
I hope all is well back on the homefront and I miss you all! The church is true!