Week 30 – Long
There were some interesting miracles this past week. Some were miracles that were as plain as a lightning bolt, while some were as clear as mud yet still perceivable.
I went on an exchange with one of my Zone Leaders on Tuesday and I got to work in his area with him for the day. My Zone Leaders work in the YSA (Young Single Adult) area and ward. I had some interesting conversations with him about a lot of different things while driving between our appointments for the day, and yet when it came time to work, putting aside our current conversation was as easy as picking them back up immediately after returning back to the car. It was nice to have my mind so preoccupied that day just with stuff. Everything just went great. It was simple, productive, and fun. I got to put someone on date for Baptism in his area and participate in teaching a solid an crystal clear lesson on the Doctrine Of Jesus Christ. I was able to teach and answer all of the questions of a Less-Active YSA member who primarily loves the church for the amount of clarity and knowledge that it brings, both spiritual and temporal. We went door knocking for about an hour and only knocked 4 doors in that time, spoke to 3 people, taught 2 door step lessons, and found 1 new investigator. It made me feel like I was back in Longview again with how perfectly it went. And to finish off that day, I was able to attend Institute since that is a place where YSA members usually gather.
While at Institute I got to have a meeting with my old Bishop from the Gresham Spanish area that I had served in 2 transfers ago and was able to discuss the Spanish work between our 2 stakes since his Jurisdiction as a Bishop is adjacent to my area. This meeting which lasted an hour was well needed and unexpected, and a definite blessing to have had since, in normal circumstances, I never would have been able to arrange something like this. It was just a good day and left me pretty happy at the end.
One of the miracles that I witnessed this week took place on Thursday. My companion and I had just finished doing service at a Lutheran Church food bank here in Portland and saw a woman walking down the side of the road across the street from the church as we were getting ready to drive off. Her left leg was badly injured with massive cuts going down her leg from the knee to the ankle and blood flowing down the leg as well. She was limping from the pain, and also sobbing about something else that probably related to the source or cause of the cuts. Elder Flynn got out of the car and asked her if she wanted or needed any help. She declined and told us she was fine. Obvious Lie. And she continued to limp and cry onward. Elder Flynn asked me what we could or should do since she wouldn’t accept our help, and I responded by saying that all we could do for her is Pray and have faith that she will be taken care of. We said a prayer and just asked for her to be taken care of, then we drove off 5 minutes later. As we drove down the road, we saw the injured woman again in the distance. Another woman in her car had abruptly pulled over in front of the injured woman and stopped her from walking any farther, and had opened her trunk to grab a 1st Aid Kit that she conveniently had in the car. And although we didn’t see anything else since we drove around the corner, it was obvious what was going to happen next and that the injured woman was going to be taken care of. My companion and I were immediately happy since our prayer for this woman had been answered so quickly and since we had even gotten to witness it be answered. We both inferred that she had not excepted our help originally, only based on the fact that we were both males and that she was not exactly looking for male support at the moment since what ever had happened to her had probably been done by a man. We assumed this because she was wearing a very nice dress and heels meaning she had possibly just been on a date of some kind. Either way though, we were satisfied with the experience. We got to say a prayer for a random person and see it be answered within 5 minutes which we though was very cool. This was one of the obvious miracles.
One of the other miracles which was clear as mud and not made clearer until Saturday was in regards to a package that my family sent me for my Birthday. The package was sent to me almost 2 weeks ago, arrived at my Mission Office last P-Day, was forwarded to me from there, and was stolen somewhere between the Post Office and my doorstep before I could receive and open it. It wouldn’t have been a very big deal to me had my new suit not been inside of it which I know was expensive and not something easy to replace. At first this seemed like an annoying trial to just get over and move on from since there wasn’t really anything that anyone could have done after it was stolen, probably by a homeless person. But later in the week, I received a call from one of the Senior Missionaries in my Mission Office named Sister Burgoyne who told me she and her Husband would be taking me out on Saturday to purchase a new Suit from Men’s Wearhouse to compensate for the loss of the previous one even though none of it was their fault, which they were fully aware of. Now already after having been told this by them I have become a little confused with excitement. But up until the Saturday I was still frustrated with the fact that someone had stolen that package and that it was now causing someone to spend originally unneeded resources and time on me. But on the Saturday when they took my companion and I out, on their P-Day as well, to purchase a new suit, we were able to duplicate the previous order with the same deal and coupon benefits of the last deal that my parents had originally orchestrated. And we came to find that the suit’s measurements were actually off and that it wouldn’t have fit me had I received the on the my parents had sent me in the package. By this point, I am already starting to realize that Heavenly Father may have actually just been looking out for me since a suit that wouldn’t have fit would have been completely useless to me. And over the 2 hours that my companion and I got to spend with the Burgoynes both at the Men’s Wearhouse and eventually Red Robins for dinner, since they wanted to take us out too, I just realized that this whole experience with them had been far more of a blessing than an irritation all trial. I already know that they are going to be seriously blessed for this act of kindness towards, and I got to spend 2 hours of my mission getting to know these 2 which I definitely think was worth it. Elder Flynn and I just felt a sense of pure goodness after the Burgoynes dropped us off back at our car as though we had just taken a 2 hour break from mission life and had gone out with our grandparents or something. This miracle was hidden in the trial that was so frustratingly obvious at the beginning and gave me a better perception and understanding of how trials can sometimes be mistaken in our lives on the Earth. A trial at first, may be a blessing in the end. And sometimes this is more obvious than we would have expected had we not gone through the trial that we were given. It was an interesting moment of spiritual clarity for me since I hadn’t thought about it that way at a deeper level.
Yesterday on Sunday was also probably one of the best days that I have every experienced on the Mission so far. Some backstory on the week was that in my District meeting back on Tuesday, my district had set the goal for finding 18 new investigators this week and introduce ourselves as Missionaries of the Church to a minimum of 240 new people by Sunday evening. There are 6 Elders meaning 3 companionships in my District meaning each of us would at least need to find 6 people and talk to 80 people. Not only were Elder Flynn and I able to accomplish our end of the goal but we were even able to find 3 of the New Investigators yesterday all in 1 lesson while out street contacting. When we started the day yesterday, both of us knew that it was going to be hectic. We had received a call the evening before after we had already turned in for the night and were asked to teach the Gospel Doctrine class at church. We had a Ward Counsel meeting the next morning at 8:30. And we needed to find rides for some Less-Active members, wanting to become active, to get to church. And we needed to do some street contacting before church would start in order to accomplish the goal for 80 new people spoken to. We were at 64 for the week so far needing at least 16 more. So the day starts and we make it through all of those things but only talk to +5 people and teach 1 before church, while also having only spent a little time preparing our lesson in Spanish for Gospel Doctrine. The class goes well even though my companion and I sweat through the whole class because of how unprepared we were. It was only hard because it was all in Spanish. Then before church gets out we are asked by are Group Leader to drive over to the hospital to give a Blessing to someone who had just been hit by a Semi Truck. He was not a member of the church but had friends who were and he knew a little bit about the church and had asked with the little strength he still had for a Blessing from someone in our Church. We went there, gave the blessing, invited the spirit into the room full of this man’s family and left them all feeling comforted (+1). Then we went to another lesson that we had had to move back due to the hospital incident that came up, taught an awesome lesson on the differences between Samson from the book of Judges in the Bible, and Ruth from the book of Ruth in the Bible and how the one of them became immensely blessed for her Discipline while the other, Samson, lost all of the blessings he had been endowed with for his lack of Discipline and how to be carnally minded is dead while to be spiritually minded is life eternal. That’s another great lesson. We went to dinner with the man who we had put on dTe for baptism the previous Sunday. Found out he had downgraded to a vaporizer to help himself slowly work his way off the smoking. We were excited for this and so was his wife. We taught them a phenomenal lesson on the Gospel Of Jesus Christ and left them both spiritually uplifted and edified. We went to street contact again. Taught 2 separate people at a bus stop and spoke to +8 more people. Now we are at a loss for what to do. It’s about 7:45 and we have another appointment the will be the end of our evening and we still to talk with 3 more people, and find 2 more investigators before the day is over. We pray. We decide to go to a park on the other end of our area called Columbia Park. We begin walking and both feel impressed to walk in the other direction since every time we have come to is park we have always walked in the same direction started at around the same spot. We see 3 young men sitting on the top of a table in the park and walk straight at them without even trying to seem inconspicuous. We talk with them and teach them an amazing but shortened lesson the the Restoration of the Gospel and ask them some mind bending questions that force them to think about the things that really matter in life. We get their phone numbers and make a return appointment for their home on the next Saturday for the English Elders since we have to refer them since they are not Hispanic or Spanish speaking. That’s +3 people spoken to and 3 new investigators. 2 goals accomplished in 1 situation. We walk away both with our testimonies strengthen since we had gone directly to where the spirit had taken us. We go to our final appointment for the evening, are given a ton of food at 8:40 at night. We work on a 1000 piece puzzle while we eat and teach a lesson on the principle of Enduring to the End. It is now 9:33. We drive home knowing that it is past our curfew and send in our numbers for the week. For the day, we taught 8 lessons, found 3 New Investigators, blessed the life of an injured man who we are confident will be alright, talked to 17 new people, and had the spirit by our side possibly more powerfully than either of us have had it on the mission so far. Our leaders called us after we turned in our numbers and told us that we were the best Spanish missionaries that they had worked with before and that this area had ever had. We told them that it was because of how strong the unity in our companionship had been throughout this entire transfer and because we had been doing our best to go off of the spirit all week and had but our trust in the Lord. When they hung up, we pretended to reenact Alma 26:7-12 since that is basically how we felt when Aaron thought that Ammon had become arrogant in his success even though Ammon had just been boasting of the glory of God and not of himself. We laughed, and we went to bed.
Now the reason that this day was so amazing is not just because we had just amazing numbers, or accomplished our goals for the week all on the last day but was because of how week everything just feel into place when we put our Trust in the Lord. Literally everything worked out. It was evening storming here in Portland yesterday, for the first time since I’ve been here finally, to the point where our hands would be soaked if we took them out of our pockets for more than 2 seconds, and that didn’t stop anything! But the most outstanding miracle was the 3 young men we found. First off, they were brothers, second, they were biracial black-white with the same skin tone as my own brothers and I, and third, they were just as close in age as my brothers and I are and about the same ages as us. When I saw them I just felt assured that they are going to be baptized and that they are going to even serve missions. The 3 of them were so receptive to our message and so uncorrupted by this city still that with the Gospel being introduced to them now at their age, the adversary will not be able to stop them from what ever their spiritual potential is. Yesterday was amazing and a day full of experiences that have been engraved into my memories.
I hope everyone else has an amazing week or at least one that will be better than the last one.
Elder Adam R. F. Scoville