It hasn’t been long since I wrote last but I decided to write a quick update because I’ve been feeling much better. Earlier this week my name was on the mail list in our unit, which was exciting for me because I’ve been waiting for Dublin to forward my mail from Mother’s Day!   While I was in the SHU at Dublin, Chad and the kids wrote me several letters, and Chad sent books to help me get through the difficult time.  Dublin held all of my mail and books, despite it being illegal for them to do so. My counselor here has contacted Dublin and made them aware of BOP policy requiring them to forward my mail, but as of this week it still hadn’t come. When I went to pick up my mail, instead of the package from Dublin, it was a church magazine. I’m sorry to say, I was pretty disappointed. On Sunday I usually read my scriptures all day, today I was fortunate to also have an LDS publication called the Ensign to read.

I was sitting on my bed reading the magazine this morning, and became deeply moved by some of the articles. One article in particular talked about the indignities suffered by our Savior.  It said, “He had every power of self control. His emotions and feelings were perfect, as were his thoughts. His understanding was unlimited.”  When I read those words I felt a very powerful spirit, a feeling that I have been so blessed and protected, that I am infinitely loved, and all of this will be for my good. That I too can have my thoughts, and emotions, made perfect through the healing power of Jesus Christ.  Right then my room mate Sonia walked into our room, but I turned away from her because I was quite emotional. Sonia said, “Portia, could I say something to you?” I told her, “Sure Sonia.” I wiped the tears from my eyes and turned toward her, and she said, “Portia, I wish I could speak better English, because I have so many words I want to say to you.” She told me, “I can see that you are hurting, and wish I could do something to help you. I watch you, and know what a good person you are.  I look up to you and admire you, and I’m glad you’re my roommate.” My eyes filled with tears, and I told Sonia her words were perfect, that I really appreciate her reaching out to me today.

After my conversation with Sonia I laid in my bed and thought of all the things I’ve been through. How our Heavenly Father has blessed me over and over again in tough situations with exactly what I needed. How blessed I was at Dublin to work for a woman who was so kind, and thoughtful, and treated inmates, even me,  with dignity. How blessed I was to have Alondra as a roommate, who I grew to love, and many other good friends. How lucky I am to have Sonia as a roommate now.  She is quiet, observant, kind, and generous. How blessed I am to live in a room with 3 other women who honor God, and treat each other with respect; That even though we all belong to different religions we support and respect each others differences. How blessed I am to have the support of so many good people, who pray for me, and our family, and read along as we struggle, and celebrate our victories. Truly, I am a blessed woman! I am so grateful for the example of a Savior who suffered and bore his grief’s and indignities in a perfect way, who knows my pain, and made it possible for me to be free from my suffering. I’m grateful for this Sabbath day, and just wanted to share my feelings with all of you. Thank you for following along, you are all a part of our story, and give me strength to keep going. Thank you!