Oh how Max and I want to go back and visit Portugal.
I want to meet the people he taught, see he places he lived, eat the food he ate, and walk the streets he walked! I want to be in the place that built within my husband all the love and knowledge he has of the church.
Someday... a girl can dream right? Who knows... maybe much later in life we will be sent as a couple to serve? Wouldn't that be amazing!
If I had to choose one of the best things my Dad ever gave me, it would be sharing with us his kids his love for the country he served in and showing us just what that meant to be 100% in the service of others and the amazing feeling that overcomes you.
To serve a mission... now that would take hard work and sacrifice. Unconditional Love, and a steadfast testimony. I can't imagine 2 years! 2YEARS! The first time I went to Peru, we were there for 2 Weeks, and I was still sobbing at the end! I remember Immediately arriving home and getting a big bucket to place out in the family room that had the writing "Amy's Peru Fund, accepting donations :)". I wanted to be back there RIGHT THEN!
Taking us down to Peru on humanitarian trips was no "Vacation" as they say.
My parents could have used the money to take us anywhere else, Disneyland, Mexico, California... any hot spot vacation... but instead they took us to the middle of the Swampy, bug infested, no ice, always super hott with like 98% humidity, nobody speaking English, not a car in sight, no t.v. no heated water, only carbonated water, most awesome, amazing , humble, grateful, and fun place I have ever been. They gave us one of the greatest gifts a parent can give, a lesson and shared love for service. Something I never will forget.
And the memory I will keep always with me, after building the k-12 school bathrooms for the school for the first time ever, the school threw a thank you ceremony for us involving cultural dancing, food, speeches and thank you's. After all was said and done the people of this little town were allowed to come and thank us and give us hugs, and I
will never forget... this little girl about 7 or 8 came to me with open arms, greeted me with a kiss on each cheek and in barely understandable English with a tear in her Eye said "Thank you" and then she handed me two things... a scrunchie hair tie, and an old beat up worn out stuffed animal with a pull string that no longer worked. I tried to give them back to her and she refused. She was so sincere. I had never seen that look in someoned eyes. I had never been a part of something that impacted someone so completely. With another hug and a goodbye she walked away. I cant even explain the feelings I had, This little girl who had NOTHING, was giving me all she had. I was completely stunned. Why cant I do that? Why cant I give all I have! I have a long way to go in life and many lessons to learn. No way am I even close, but I hope to always keep that little girl in my heart and remember to give whenever I can and pass it along to my children.
Someday I hope we can have the same experiences with our kids. There is so much love in service. You cant help but feel it anytime you help someone. Who even needs to go far away? There is enough tradgedy going on right here!
Max and I will make it over to Portugal! Hope its sooner than later, but either will be fine.
"Blessed are they who can Give without Remembering, and Receive without Forgetting"