We had a service project this week where we got to harvest bamboo to build a house for an especially impoverished member. I didn't realize though, that bamboo plants are covered in thorns, similar to rose bushes. But it was fun anyway to chop down bamboo plants with a machete and feel like a ninja! Filipino service projects really are the best! After breaking out the Neosporin and band-aids, we admired the fruits, or rather trees, of our labor. Harvesting the bamboo made me think of missionary work. Sometimes we meet people who are surrounded by bamboo thorns, meaning hard problems and weaknesses. But through a lot of work and patience the person, or bamboo stalk, itself is made free and clean. As missionaries we don't teach people the restored gospel just to pass along a nice message about God. Rather, our message has the power to change lives and help people feel perfectly clean. Even if I need some band-aids along the way, this work is the best and I'm so grateful to be a part of it!