Wait, back up. Let me tell you about the heat first. Actually, I need to tell you about mychurch marathon.
Well... truly though, the story starts with Gilda.
Gilda is a member of this less-active family we're teaching. She is so cool. And her family is so cool. They are all so cool. :) And their favorite thing in the whole world is soccer. :) They are from Argentina, so they are die-hard Argentina soccer fans. When we met them a few weeks ago they all left no doubt in our minds about how much they loved their soccer! They become animated anytime they speak about it. They LOVE soccer, and we LOVE them.
Now I guess yesterday was the world soccer cup or something like that...?? It was a big soccer game, anyway. And Gilda and her sister came to church dressed in vibrant blue and yellow (her teams colors) and we sat with them. At this point in time, Sister Ball and I had been to two wards already AND early morning meetings. (We were at the church from 8-5 yesterday. No joke.) Our brains were a little fried.
Turns out, Gilda had been watching the big game but it went into overtime because no one was scoring! D: And instead of staying to watch the game, her favorite game in the world, the biggest event of the YEAR for her and her family... Gilda and her sister came to church. :O I was so amazed at her dedication.
Now, you're probably wondering what this has to do with rain. ;) Well, Arizona rain is to me what soccer is to Gilda's family. I LOVE IT. I live for it! I crave it with every ounce of my soul. And I hadn't had a chance to see it yet. :( Well, in Relief Society - the last hour of our nine-hour church marathon - we heard thunder. And I got so excited. Sister Ball and I excused ourselves to go peek outside the window. And guess what? The sky was GRAY! There were storm clouds, like I've never seen here in Arizona! It was bound to rain any moment.
I was so tempted at that moment to skip the last hour of church and wait outside for the rain. But I just couldn't do it. I realized that if Gilda could skip the greatest soccer game of all time, then I could skip this Arizona storm. So I did. It came and went in that single hour of Relief Society.
So I've been thinking about this little lesson. It's kind of silly that we would sacrifice such rare, great events just to go to a meeting that happens every single week, right? Truthfully, I don't think our salvation hinges on that single hour of church that we both sacrificed so much to go to. I don't think anything was said during that hour of Relief Society that really touched me, that I NEEDED to be there for. That single church meeting wasn't that big of a deal, truly.
So why did we miss things that meant so much to us?
Because it IS the little things that matter so much. It wasn't really the meetings that mattered so much as it was our dedication to serve God. It showed humility, trust, a desire to obey. And it strengthened our humility, trust, and desire to obey. :) Like I said in my last letter, sometimes obedience doesn't make sense. Would we have been condemned for missing that hour of church? Probably not. But because we sacrificed what mattered so much to us, something inside of us changed. We changed, for the better. God's commandments are not here to dictate what we do - they are here to help us become better. :) But that's something you have to experience to see. Only when you keep God's commandments do you start to see the changes in yourself. <3 Keeping the commandments makes you happier. That's what they're there to do.
Oh, and on a side note... Sometimes God intentionally pours blessings upon you for your obedience. ;) Later that night, before we went to bed, it started pouring rain again. So we went out and we danced in the rain. <3
And that is my happy tale. The end.