It truly is incredible to think about the power and authority of the Priesthood. The force that holds everything together in place, that power of God, delegated down to His servants who use it worthily for the service of others is remarkable to say the least.
Still, This week:
Ain't no mountain high enough, a comprehensive-yet-confident voice, the sauerkraut grenade, and goodbye Elder Allen!
For starters, it's pretty crazy to hear that guys like Jose and Bridger are leaving in July and August. The hilarious thing is that that'll be after my year mark, which is only in 3 months, and I'll find myself on that end of the spectrum. I remember when I was in Vegas mission thinking about Brad Boice, Brigham and Mario and seeing that they all had a good amount of time left. And now that I've hit 9 months, I realize that they'll be home very soon.
Nevertheless, we ran into a lot a verbal adversity this week. I won't go into detail for the sake of respect towards the persons, but safe to say that a lot of questions and accusations were rather rudely shoved into our face. Whenever that comes along, we don't argue, we answer. And usually...that doesn't stop the onslaught. But sometimes I just take a step back and recognize that these are good people who have different opinions and just lack the courtesy to express them in a genuine, productive way. It seems as if the world believes the only way to climb the staircase to heaven is to use their luggage to smash other people back down. Meh. Still, I know that the Lord puts us through those challenges in order to see if we break under anger or simply be patient about it. It's hard to do the latter, but the blessings that follow are as rewarding and as repairing as the damage done!
(But like my friends the Black Eyed Peas once said: Where is the Love?)
And reward and repair He did! We had two miracles (yeah they were) happen this week! For the sake of time, on Friday we were going to tract this one street. Recently Dad and The Captain's teachings about approaching with solutions have re-surfaced, so we said a brief prayer at said street, asking our Father if it was the right place to be. What followed was a feeling of "nothing," so we settled on walking around for a bit.
In due time, it was time to head back home, and we traveled the blocks back to our apartment. We could've went so many different routes because of the grid system, but followed a path that seemed normal and conventional.
After talking to a lady in Army fatigues, thanking her for her service, we traveled down the main street back to home, when all of a sudden a black truck pulled up. The driver and his wife asked us if we had pamphlets about our faith they could read. At first we were like "these guys are totally members," but it became evident that these were a couple who wanted to learn more. We talked for a little, they said they had a daughter-in-law who was LDS, and that we could come back anytime to teach them what we believe. And then after that, they went and bought us water and powerade at the concession store along our route back. OOOOHHHHHH SNAP!
Another instance occurred the next day. We stopped at the Stake Center for a quick bathroom break before we headed out, and I had thought of a place we could tract before hand. En-route I got a feeling that was best described as a comprehensive-yet-confident back-seat navigator. Kind of like, "travel the next block, wait no, two more blocks and then turn left." We did, and while driving down F street, that's what it was, I got a good feeling of tracting there. Stopped, and said a prayer if this was the place. We got a good feeling about it, so we did. Well, one tracted side and a nagging "go to heck!" later, we ran into this one lady named Elizabeth, an elderly lady who invited us in to teach her. She is so prepared to hear the Gospel. OOOOOOHHHHH DOUBLE SNAP!
It's truly incredible to see how the Lord really does put people in our path when we are willing to follow Him and His spirit. We've definitely seen the fruits of that labor, and it's given me a new perspective of street-contacting.
On a more fun note, we were helping this elderly guy clean out his basement that, kid you not, hadn't been cleaned out in 20 years. Yeah, it was gnarly. I was tossing old, obviously expired canned food into a trash box when I noticed one can bulging so bad it would've blown up given a few more years. It was labeled sauerkraut. You know those scenes in movies where people have the bomb and they handle it very, very carefully? Yeah, I didn't chuck that one straight into the box. That experience taught me a lesson about house-keeping.
Oh, and Elder Allen is getting transferred to the rock bottom of the mission. I will be receiving a certain Elder Painter from Springville, Utah. Yeah, I know, perhaps Daniel knows him.
Well, that's all I got to say. Thanks for all your spiritual insight Mom! I am ever so proud to call you my Mother, because I truly believe I got the best of 'em all!