The LDS (Mormon) faith has a long history of those who have sacrificed money, time and huge effort to be able to practice what they believe---whether it is to travel to a temple that is thousands of miles away once in their life or on a weekly basis to just go to worship with other Saints at a chapel.
may i add my story to the many?
We arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico early to see the island---anticipating boarding our ship Sunday late afternoon for our Caribbean cruise. How cool would it be to find a chapel and attend church Sunday morning! My sisters, Eden & Pyper, were in charge of this reunion (dont worry---you will figure out who is who during my cruise posts.....they had found the address of the chapel on lds.org.....there were 11 of us going to a 9 a.m. sacrament meeting---so we got into 2 taxis at 8:30...we were 12 miles from church....gave the drivers the address and we were off.
now begins the sacrifice....
it became very clear very early that we were lost---the cab drivers were all over the place---they were stopping other drivers to ask about the address....the 9 o'clock hour was quickly approaching. The drivers were obviously lost....so we were lost. We were all looking for something that resembled an LDS church---so imagine our JOY when we saw a spire with no cross (90% of the churches are Catholic---so no cross on the spire was the first hint)---and a sign! YAY!----wait----no cars---maybe one or two----rats! both taxis pulled into the small parking lot---we got out and knocked on doors---nothing---knock! knock! knock!---and YAY! 4 cute missionaries (you know---white shirts and dark pants) answered the door---we were at the mission office! RATS! We asked them to lead our taxis to the church---it was 9 by now---but they assured us we were no more than 10-15 minutes---some discussion about was it worth it---but we headed off on our journey---and, as with other Saints---we sacrificed one of our "wagons" (taxis)---my brothers Marc & Ace and their good wives, Pat & Judy---their taxi got lost in traffic---and headed back to the hotel----$66 poorer (see---we sacrificed time and money to be able to attend church.)
The other wagon (taxi) pushed on---following our scouts (missionaries) as they traversed the narrow roads of San Juan---finally (9:20 a.m.) arriving at a lovely 2 story building WITH A STEEPLE! yay! we had arrived just in time for the sacrament portion of the meeting---we scooted into empty pews near the back---but not before thanking the missionaries profusely!
The missionaries in the chapel saw us---our blonde-blue-eyed-ness easily marked us as visitors---one young man came and sat between David & I and interpreted the meeting. After two lovely young ladies had spoken, the young missionary looked at me and said "I play the piano for the congregation, but I dont know the middle song---so we'll just sing it without a piano"....i volunteered to play the piano---so i played the song IN SPANISH!
after the meeting we were greeted by many of the members---most spoke some English---one sister volunteered her mini-van and another family's to take the 7 of us back to our hotel---we thanked them and got a wonderful tour and history of the church in San Juan. We offered to pay their gas---of course they refused---so mom gave the brother some money to go towards his son's mission fund.
we sacrificed to get to church...time, money...effort.....we understood.
flash forward a week---cruise is over---family is all at the airport---except david & i---we check into our hotel (well--into the lobby---room isnt ready for 2 hours---so we sit in the lobby---which consists of 2 chairs)---so we understand----we call a cab to take us to a chapel---which, this time we asked the hotel to help us find---we mapped it out---we were ready.....yeah. Church starts at 1 p.m.....we got into the taxi at 12:25---
and got lost----lds.org is WRONG---WRONG PHONE NUMBER WRONG ADDRESS WRONG WRONG WRONG....we are listening to our cabdriver yelling in the phone to his dispatcher--- we have our mapquest directions---yeah----wrong----we pull into a church parking lot at 12:55----HALLELUJAH---wait---this all looks familiar----IT IS THE SAME BUILDING WE FOUND LAST WEEK! we go in----yep---there are the same missionaries who led us to this building---our cab driver promises to pick us up at 2:10---we will pay then.... so we find some lovely couple missionaries from Emmett, Idaho that sit with us.....i see the cd player up on the piano and volunteer to play for the congregation----IN SPANISH AGAIN! the Bishop speaks lovely english and tells us that he was converted by people he met ON A CRUISE!
SO---after a lovely testimony meeting---understanding about 1 of every 20 words----PLAYING THE PIANO IN SPANISH----we go outside and see our cabdriver waiting for us---whew---relief----he gets us back to the hotel in quick order----no getting lost this time...and announces we owe him $95 STINKIN DOLLARS! (we were told it would be about $15 each way)----OH MY STINKIN GOSH----HOW WE SACRIFICE FOR OUR FAITH....we argue that it is too much---he says he got us where we wanted---we argue he should have told us the address was wrong---he says we should be happy he finally found a church for us----the hotel clerk is interpreting it all---and trying to not be involved.....
if we give him all our cash---we have none for the ride to the airport in the morning----WE WILL BE STRANDED IN SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO FORSTINKINEVER!
no compromise looks to be happening---til he offers that if we pay him today---he will pick us up and drive us to the airport ($15 fee normally) tomorrow----HMMMMM.....so david counters that we will give him $80 STINKIN DOLLARS today---and pay him the $15 (plus bag fee etc) tomorrow (afraid he wont show up)......we all say "bueno"---shake hands....and go our separate ways.
we call it a day---no site-seeing for us-----we walk to Subway and then lay in exhaustion the rest of the evening......
we get up at 5:30 a.m. (again----MORE SACRIFICE) for a 6 a.m. taxi----HE IS THERE----and we arrive at the airport and successfully travel over land and sea to arrive at the promised land.
oh yes....we have sacrificed for our faith----we have untold miles in foreign lands....paid hard-earned cash....i now understand....
do you think they'll print my story in the Church News?