Tuesday, February 23, 2010

San Bartolo

Recently my wife and I purchased an HP Photosmart C8180 All-in-One printer, scanner, and copier. As it turns out, this thing is able to copy old negatives, like the kind we used to get from 35mm film. After scanning the negative, the program inverts the colors and creates a positive image. Suddenly all my forgotten photographs are finding new life! There's no need to even pay money to get the negatives developed; I can process them right here in my living room.

I found these old negatives from my mission, some of which have not been seen in almost 20 years.

The photograph on the top of this post was taken in 1991 in a small town called San Bartolo Aguascalientes, famous for his thermal waters. In the picture, I'm kneeling near a small structure called a "tuj," which is basically a sweat lodge used by the Mayan peoples of Central America.

The second photograph shows women washing clothes in the river near San Bartolo. It's a little difficult to see any detail in this picture, but if you click on the image, you can see a slightly larger version.

This photograph was taken in 1991 in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Elders Gudiel and Nicholl are standing beside me. We chose this location because of the storefront window which reads, "Licuados Super Moises." Notice my head is carefully placed over the letters to make it look like "Moses."

My companion Elder Ricardo Monroy is sitting near an adobe house with a Guatemalan family. This picture was also taken in 1991 in San Bartolo.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Fathers and Visions

Fathers are powerful. Like all the moods of the sky, they bring both warmth and desolation, one after another, and sometimes with barely a glance. In their sun-filled brilliance, fathers inspire confidence in their sons. But when thunder and hurricanes fly from a father's mouth, the son may bear the wound of a lifetime.

My father did both.

Sometimes I rebelled, but deep down I believed everything he ever told me. Right or wrong, his words became the gospel truth. When he praised me, I believed myself a king, and when he scolded me, his words became a standard of judgment that would drive my self-doubts for years to come.

I saw both faces of my father, and many shades in between. I saw his shadow as it emerged from the bottle, but I also saw his greatness.

Just before he left this world, he wrote a letter that may well represent the culmination of his life wisdom. I re-worked some of the grammar and awkward phrasing, but most of the language is the same. Certainly all the concepts belong to him.

Visions are sacred.

The spirits tell us what to do and give us visions that determine our journey in life. Nowadays, people are not taught to listen to spirit. Thus, our visions are often wasted and we fail to hear the songs in our hearts.

It has been said that songs made from dreams hold their power forever. Any power given in a dream is a gift from the spirit to help the people.

Indians forever lived in a land of mystery, seeing the un-seeable and hearing the voices that only they could understand. The spiritual world of the Indians included both humans and animals. The animals are holy messengers lighting a pathway to power and wisdom.

Nowadays, the people of this land live so far from spirit that all spiritual reality has been lost. The full power of spirit is now only a ghost, much of which we will never see.

Our quest in life could be so simple, with the help and guidance of spirit. The spirit within us will someday be called to follow the sacred circle to the spirit world, which is the true world. When that time comes, will we be ready, or will our attachments to the material world hold us back?

We must put down our possessions, our fears, and all the wrongs this world has taught us. They did not come from spirit. They came from all our wants and fears.

The Indian path is a true path. It was taught by spirit, so let us lead it in spirit.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Wizard Auditions

I am remiss to have waited so long...

Several weeks ago, my children auditioned for "The Wizard of Oz" at Christian Youth Theater in Spokane. More than 120 kids auditioned for about 60 roles, and I'm happy to report that Dakota, McKenna, and Whitney all got parts. Dakota was cast as Uncle Henry and the Ozian Guard. McKenna and Whitney were cast as Munchkins.

This is a big step for Dakota. He gets to sing, but he also gets a speaking role for the first time in his brief acting career.

For show times or to order tickets online, visit the weblink below and fill out the form. Please remember to write "Moses Kids" in the box that says "Student's Name."

Wizard of Oz Tickets


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