This week was on the heavier end of the normal-week spectrum. On Monday, we went to visit one of the “mothers” of the ward. Her daughter-in-law was present and she had a bunch of interesting questions about doctrine. For a second, I thought maybe she was already baptized but had become less-active in church. As we talked, I realized that she is Baptist, but that didn’t stop us from having a deep conversation. Her husband, as it turns, has fallen victim to a strong cocaine addiction. The problem is serious enough that it has destroyed his family and to a certain point his relationship with his wife. The husband sells everything he has to get money for drugs. He sold the bathroom mirror, the fan that keeps them cool at night, he has sold clothes and furniture – anything that will put enough change in his pocket to buy one more hit. The wife and I sat for more than an hour, and she expressed how she loves him dearly and sees so much potential in him, but the addiction is holding him back from her. All of her friends and family tell her she’s crazy to stay with him, that she should look for someone else. But she has a vision not of how her husband is, but how he was and how he can be. She has Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that her husband can change, and so she keeps fighting. She asked me at one point if I thought she was wrong for continuing the fight. I told her that the love and vision she has of her husband is similar to the love and vision that God, our Eternal Father, has of his children. And that God, and her, and I all know that her husband can change. And that it is worth her time to continue the fight. She cried a good cry, and we went back home to continue the race.
Hope is a gift and a treasure that I think we often overlook. It is the fruit and blessing of a strong belief in Jesus Christ and his power to save.
The next day, we were informed that the father of the unborn baby of one of our recent converts was shot and killed because he didn’t have enough money to pay for the drugs he bought. We went to talk to our recent convert that night. She was more than a little shaken and terrified at the prospect of facing motherhood alone. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and the promise that the Holy Ghost would always be by her side guiding her due to the commitment she had made to follow Christ. We could almost see her spirits lift by the second as we taught her. We are but messengers, but I’m grateful the message has such power.
The week was mostly finding – most of the people we have been teaching we either have baptized or left to progress on their own because they didn’t show interest or commitment. It’s been a hard couple of days. Our area is full of large hills and big stairs that are enough to make even the lightning-est of quads tremble with fear. But, my little missionary shoes are staying true and faithful, even if the shoelaces rip every once in a while. At the end of the week, Sunday night, I almost felt like I was going through growing pains again. But the growth is different this time around.
We had one awesome experience when we decided to look for an ex-investigator in the rain at 8:15 at night after getting a handful of closed doors in our faces. It was a miracle of a contact who shows great potential for the upcoming weeks.