Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bring Us Natchos

If I want a diet coke, I go buy a diet coke. I'm blessed with the good fortune to be able to afford a diet coke when I want it.

On my mission a hundred years ago, back before Hillery was president, I was teaching people who didn't have refrigeration or plumbing. There were times when I felt guilty trying to teach people about the gospel by candle-light, knowing they were using a weeks worth of wax on us. First things first, I thought.

We would finish a lesson, leave and they would extinguish the light. I wondered how many nights they would be dark because of our lesson, or what else they might have to go without because the gringos had asked to visit. We would sing while working our way back to the part of town that had light because everyone knows that bandit's don't attack anyone who sings. Buenas noches everyone.

My Spanish was horrible. My singing was better. My companions joked that I could say anything in Spanish and locals would nod their heads and ignore me out of kindness.

"Winter Snow Shoes," I would articulate to test the theory.

"Buenas Noches" they responded respectfully, nodding. Poor singing-non-spanish-speaking Elder Thompson.

Every so often I sit in my van sipping on a diet coke and I am grateful for the basics. A van. A house. A family. Diet coke. Many times in the gospel I get as caught up in the little things as I do with everything else and I forget about the basic principals that make everything else possible. Is the choice of hymn best, was the lesson prepared well, was the handout really necessary, does the shirt need to be white?

I forget why I am here. I forget where I want to be. I forget to take the people I love with me. Or maybe it's a big distraction ploy - get everyone so caught up with labels and shirts and hymns that we forget to remember the real stuff.

This blog, for example seems superfluous if I don't put first things first. Father is first. His son is first. My belief in everything else that matters is contingent on my belief that we are sons and daughters of our heavenly father. And that the Savior has claimed us as his own. For some reason, reasons I cannot comprehend, there was a price to be paid. The savior paid that price. Everything is based on that. That because we are his, we can move forward. We can be with him.

And while we argue on terms or preferences or interpretations and other important distractions we forget to remember. We are all His. And he loves us. And we are all eligible for blessings and guidance - regardless of prefference or placement.

I look forward to the day when I can be at home with those I love. If I recall correctly I loved everyone. First things firs

Bring Us Nachos.


  1. Everything is such a disdraction tha pots us far froa where we want to go!

  2. I am sure my Spanish is worse than yours. I only know cuss words from my Mexican employees. :) Thanks for the post dude. :)

  3. I agree, but I'm not sure how nachos come into this? Are you saying that nachos are symbolic of things we don't need, the "extras" beyond the meat and potatoes of life?

  4. buenos notches=bring us nachos

  5. its hard to not feel bad when we use poor people's resources, but most of the time its a gift from them to us. I felt that way on my mission as well - people with so little feeding us all the time! If they didn't want to give it to you, they wouldn't.

  6. I think that, when we think of our hosts as "poor", or question their ability to be generous, we take something away from them. It's really not an issue of how much, materially, you have, but of how much dignity you have. To question someone's ability to give is to question their judgment and, in so doing, to question their dignity as a host. We're all poor in some ways, and rich in some ways.

  7. I understand this blog. I have been there and done most of it.