Monday, November 10, 2014

To Feel and See God's Love


So let me tell you about this week. Sometimes the mission is hard. You can go for days with every appointment falling through and end the week with no investigators at church. . . again. You can put your whole heart and soul into a lesson and somehow, it doesn't seem to matter. After a while it's hard not to feel worn down, and wonder how much longer, how much more you're going to have to give, for something to happen. And, sometimes, it's hard not to wonder why you're in the WVCM and not in Mexico, where every time a door is knocked here in West Virginia, ten people are baptized in Mexico. Sometimes it's hard, and not to say that there isn't something fabulous and beautiful and necessary in that hardship, but it's hard all the same. And it makes you wonder what's wrong, why you're not good enough, why these people can't see past the world to see the truth we have. And sometimes. . . God answers all your questions.

Sometimes, miracles happen. The first part of this week we weren't able to get a hold of A-------. We were worried that her less-active friend had anti'ed her and that she wasn't interested anymore or something bad like that had happened. Until Thursday. We texted A------- and invited her to lunch with us and a member in our ward, who goes to Marshall as well, named F------. She finally texts back and says she wants to come! So we're pumped and the next day we pick her and her roommate up and go to this sweet little cafe place called "The Black Sheep" right off of campus. The day was cold and gray. . . and so was A--------. She wasn't her bubbly usual self. It was kind of heartbreaking to go from the day she came to church, and her face, and our connection when she told us that we had to stay in Huntington and couldn't get transferred because "she needed us,"  to this closed off girl I barely even knew.

We got our food and her roommate, N-----,  was happy and conversational while A------- was much more quiet. After a bit, N----- had to leave, but A-------- stayed with us. When N---- left, A------- started asking a few more questions. She asked things about the nature of God and such, and then she asked something that caught us off guard. She looks at us and asks, "Do you all ever have. . . dreams?" We look at each other and we're like, "Well yeah, we have dreams." She proceeds to say, "Like, dream dreams. Or like visions sort of, you know?" We all kind of look at each other and sort of start to say no, but then she continues. She says, "I had this dream. I was talking to a woman who I admire very much and she's very educated and devoted to religion. I was telling her that I wished there was something as pure as Christ and his doctrine on earth today. And when I said that, she just says to me, "There is." And the dream ended.

For a moment, the music in the little restaurant was gone. All the people at the tables around us didn't exist. All I could feel was the spirit like a blanket over us. Chills ran up and down my spine. Yes A------! There is!!! Before we could really say anything, she continued, "I don't know if you all could tell, but I haven't been my usual self lately." She went on to tell us how things have been so hard recently. She's been struggling with depression and just felt so unlike herself. Her eyes got misty as she related her stories to us, and so did mine. My heart has never gone out to someone as mine did to her that day. I'm understanding more and more what Christ meant when he asked us to "mourn with those that mourn".

She told us how just as things got hard, she began getting texts and calls from Mormon missionaries. And she realized this wasn't a coincidence. She told us she felt like God really wanted her right now. Like he was calling to her. She told us she wanted to meet with us more, but she didn't want to impose herself upon us. We almost laughed as we told her that we would give anything to do that, that that was exactly what WE wanted. We bore testimony, we comforted her, we loved her, but really, we didn't do that much. We were just there. God did all the work. I wish you could have been there to feel the spirit that was there--to be a part of this miracle. To listen and see how much God loved this 18-year-old girl from Charleston, West Virginia. How he placed everyone so perfectly in order for her to be able to hear his word. To FEEL and SEE his love.

God loves A-------. And he loves me. And he loves you. And miracles happen. The whole time I felt a little like a missionary in one of those missionary stories. You know, the ones that General Authorities tell. The ones that never happen in YOUR life. I felt like miracles like this were too big to fit into my little life, but it turns out, that there are no miracles too big for ANYONE'S life. We're children of God, remember? Miracles happen. But you have to be at the right place at the right time doing the right thing. And I know that I am. I am exactly where I'm supposed to be. A------- was meant to be part of my life, and I a part of hers.

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