It's, "Hamma time!" The first time I heard that I thought the person was just being funny or quoting a song, but no, "Hamma time," is an actual time of the year haha. I thought it was hilarious when I first found this out. It 's basically the summer (during the U.S. winter). So there is very little/no rain, which means MUCH fewer clouds, which means I'm cooking over here. But thank-goodness this means less humidity! Although, when Elder Ulu and I are walking down the street, the dust from the cars is a bit overwhelming.
Something that has confused me since day 1 is that in the market I see people selling winter gloves. And on top of that I see people walking around in winter vests... and hoodies!! You know, I still don't really understand why they wear them in the middle of the day, that's a mystery, but apparently part of, "Hamma time," is having cold nights and cold mornings. Needless to say, I'M PUMPED!
The other day we were passing by this old man whose job is to sit on a little wooden stool and shuck/remove the kernels from dried corn. He sits outside to work, and behind him is a room filled with corn. So Elder Ulu and I convinced him to let us sit and work with him. At first he didn't want us to because he didn't want our clothes to get dirty, but eventually we convinced him to let us help. We removed the dried kernels until we filled a big black tub. I began wondering how anybody can be happy doing this day in and day out, and I wondered if I would be able to do it if I were in his position? I also wondered what was keeping him going, what could motivate somebody to do something so monotonous, all day every day? Then I looked up from my corn and saw him smiling at something behind me. I turned to look and saw little children playing and laughing with each other. I asked him if they were his children? He said, "yes." Then I realized what it was that kept him going, what gave him hope in a life that seems so bleak, Family!
I'm sure I could have written this all much more eloquently, but it's really is as simple as that. The most important thing in this life, and what we should all be striving for is family. Not just to "have" a family. We should strive for family. I think that removing the word "have" makes the sentence much more meaningful and profound. I encourage everyone to think about what that means to them? What can you do better?
The family is one of God's greatest gifts to us, His children. Through the priesthood and temple marriage He has provided a way for us, that our families can be Eternal, Families can be together Forever! I'm thankful for my parents for their amazing examples in following the commandments of God and making it possible for our family to be eternal. And I'm thankful to them for always teaching me and showing me the right way since I was a child.
"None of us were pre-destined to receive anything less than all The Father hath." I like this quote. It reminds us that, "decisions determine destiny." Let's all make choices that will benefit us in an eternal perspective. Not choices that bring us momentary and counterfeit pleasures.
I love and miss you all!
Make good choices!
Elder Storm Speakman