April: Easter

And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

Luke 24:15-16

Glorianna Willow Tillemann-Dick, the youngest daughter of the Tillemann-Dick family, served a mission in Mongolia. She sent this letter home on Easter. Annette wanted to share it. See Glorianna on the podcast in March.

They don’t really do Easter here — they’ve heard of it, but mostly in the colored eggs and bunny rabbits sense. At church, the Easter songs sat in the back of our little hymnbook remained untouched, and testimonies were borne on things like tithing and strange experiences with drunks — like most other Fast Sundays here. When I arrived home after a long day of meetings and visiting people, I made my own little observance by reading the last chapters of the gospels.

As I read about Christ coming back, I thought about the road he traveled and the friends with whom he went; they loved him, but they couldn’t recognize his face as he walked beside him. When have I done that? I thought. Has Christ appeared to me? Have I recognized him? I started to reflect on the day. It had been a bit dull and cold and exhausting. There were no froofy dresses and no hymns. No greek feast and no flower crowns. But there was a little bishop’s office packed-beyond-capacity (I shared a seat with our Ward Mission Leader)  with people tending with great effort and care to the flock which had been left to their charge by our Heavenly Father. There was staying late after church to help a granny into her wheelchair and impromptu visits to the sick and afflicted and the down-on-their-luck. 

I know Christ lives because he drew near and went with me this Easter. We sat together in Ward Council as he asked questions like ‘What can we do to get Tsetsegsvren new glasses?’. I saw him stop into a convenience store to buy a loaf of bread and a carton of milk for a sick sister in the ward, then ford through ger district mud lakes in 4-inch heels to deliver them. He sat quietly beside me and laughed when the 5-day old sleep-smiled in his mommy’s arms.

Resurrection wasn’t a onetime deal. Jesus lives, and he lives in the lives of people doing Jesus things. When we do the hard work of True Christianity — whether we be Christian or not — we again can sing with all the joy and wonder of that first Easter morning that He is risen! He is risen! Glory hallelujah! What a lovely truth it is to sing.

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