It was a sad week over here.
Karina passed away. It was depressing and very surprising news. Everyone was sure things would have turned out well, but I guess the Lord knows best. She passed away on Friday morning but we didn’t know until that afternoon. But before I get into those details I’ll let you guys know what happened earlier on in the week.
Tuesday we went to Comitan and had interviews with President and it went really well. I always love talking with him. He’s the best! After the interviews, we headed back to Comalapa and like 10 minutes before we arrived, we got a call from president’s secretary, Elder Florez, he told us we had to go to Tuxtla that day for fingerprints for my Green Card. So we went home real quick, packed some clothes and headed back to Comitan to sleep with the Zone leaders. But on our way to Comitan, there was a blockade. Sometimes they do this in Mexico when they protest the government. They’ll put like a million heavy loader trucks in the middle of the road and hope the government caves into their demands. Luckily Chiapas is pretty chill and things don’t get to violent, if I was more north, things would be more dangerous. So don’t worry mom no one does anything too crazy in Chiapas. Anyway so the combi took us to the blockade and then let us out and we walked through it to the other side where there were other combis waiting for us to take us to Comitan. We spent the night with the zone leaders and then took a bus to Tuxtla. It was a long 2 days of traveling just for finger prints but it had to be done.
Friday was when we heard the news about Karina, so we went to the church to help our branch president set everything up for the funeral. It took a while but we had a ton of help from everyone, members and non-members. Karina’s body got there at about 10 pm. We had to be in our house at 9:00. so we helped them as much as we could and went home.
Saturday we had the funeral. The branch president asked me to talk so I shared my testimony about the gospel and how it ties families together even if families are separated by death and that this is all made possible by the atonement. After the funeral we took the body to the graveyard. It was really interesting because here they have a tradition (pretty sure it’s a catholic thing), they put the casket in the back of a pickup and then slowly walk behind it to the graveyard. So we all walked the body to the graveyard while one of the brothers slowly drove and we followed behind the truck.
I felt so bad for the family, new converts, their daughter was investigating but hadn’t been baptized. We prayed and fasted, but the Lord had different plans. Prayers and fasting cannot change the will of the Lord. It was a very hard thing for the family to go through, but they are humble and seem to accept the will of the Lord. They never blamed God for anything, but as Gilberto, their father said, "When the doctors told me she passed away, I couldn’t believe them. Once it hit me what had happened, the only thing I could do was offer a prayer and say thank you Lord for giving me 23 amazing years with my beautiful daughter".
They all came to church on Sunday and there was a very special spirit present in the meeting. There were a lot of people there too. 40! That’s a record! We haven’t hit that number for about a year!
Family, I know the church is true. I’m so thankful that I was born into it and blessed with the kind of family I have. I know I have a year left in the field and I think of you often and am so happy that we get to spend all of eternity together. I know that even though we have to pass many storms here in life, that there is always a rainbow afterward. We have the assurance that the gospel unites families forever.
Love you all and miss you very much!
PS: Happy late birthday to the best twin brother and sister ever!!!