Today was the first time I have fasted since going to Africa. I spent the day thinking about what I learned from Fagness. She and Boxan care for the grounds and cook the food at the orphanage set up by Mothers Without Borders. They are now members of the church and were able to go to the temple this year. They are happy and have a good life.
There was a time in Fagness's life where she didn't have as much. At this time she was caring for and living with 15 other people in a very small home. There was never enough food for everyone. They would take turns eating which meant when it wasn't their turn, they went without. When asked what she would do on the days that she didn't eat, Fagness said she would turn to the Lord and that He would help her feel full with His spirit. She then said she missed those times when she was so completely dependent on Him. My fasting pales in comparison to the hunger they must have felt, and so many that continue to fell that way. However, I too was grateful for the opportunity I had to rely on the Lord. Before going to Africa I never realized that Christ suffered not only temptations to help us in our sins, but that hunger and thirst were also part of His atonement for us. It is because of this that Fagness was able to feel full on her days without food. Regardless of our ailment, we can feel full and at peace as we use the power of the atonement.
One more cute story about Boxan and Fagness. On their 30th anniversary, the American volunteers had come and were playing games with the kids. One of the games was a fishing booth where you throw the line over the sheet and get a prize in return. Boxan was having fun with the kids and volunteers and decided he needed a turn as well. All that was left were some small teddy bears, so they hooked it up and tugged on the line. Boxan was thrilled with his catch. He ran over to his wife of 30 years and gave her one of the few anniversary presents she ever received. Fagness was even more thrilled and keeps the teddy bear on her bed as a reminder of that special celebration. I love the simplicity of it all and want to be just as pleased with the simple things in life.