Pues, we started the new year eating torrejas, my FAVORITE Guatemalan food in the whole world, and watching Mormon Messages in bed with Hermana Woodward. The next day, the streets were completely empty, because everyone was at home resting from all the calamities of the 31st. We went running on the 1st at 6:30 in the morning, and all of Progreso was eerily quiet, except for a group of old cowboys sitting on the corner, still drinking from the night before. Priceless.
Last night we found ourselves in on the highway from Jutiapa to Progreso at about 7 PM, completely alone and waiting for a bus. The buses kept ignoring our signals and passing us by. In desperation, I said to Hermana Woodward, 'should we pray together?' because we had both been praying silently. Just as I said it, a young lad walked by and said 'here comes a bus!' and flagged it down for us, then walked away into the night. It was a new years' miracle.
Last week, we tried to focus on the power of the Atonement to erase our mistakes and to give us hope for the future, to help people put goals for the new year. We shared the story of the wife of Lot (Genesis 19) to demonstrate the principle of looking to the future and not dwelling on the past. I love this Mormon Message , which we shared with everyone who had a DVD player (about one person), and it reminded me of the true power of the Atonement. Even though maybe last year I failed on many of my goals (reading all four of the standard works, giving up bread and chocobananos), this year is a new opportunity to start over (although I know myself well enough to realize I'll never give up chocobananos). What we've done in the past can be erased, if we've truly repented, and today is a new day. Like Isaiah says, 'though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool' (Isaiah 1:18).
Look not behind thee, and keep on keepin' on!