This week can be summed up in a sentence and a story.
The sentence: The view is worth the climb.
The story: So, basically, every time we were feeling pretty down in the dumps from being punted or teaching people with hard heads, the Lord saw fit to bless us, and that gave us strength to press forward. Run-on sentence. Yesterday (Sunday) morning, we left the apartment early to go pick up a less active sister and her non-member husband. They had requested that we help them get to Church for the first time in a while. Wait.. background first: we have been teaching the less active family for a while now, and each week is another excuse forged to rationalize. We got to their house on time, and sister was gone! She had gone to her family's house (she lives with her husband about a three minute walk away), so we followed to the family's house. The sight we found was just sad.. All the kids (now old and with their own families) were sitting on the porch and had their excuses prepared. "Elders.. next week na lang... pasensya na.."(we'll just come next week.. sorry.) And it felt like my heart was being wrung out like a towel. It hurt! You just find a deep love for people you work with.. and to find them like that was just depressing after a beautiful Sunday morning walk to their house. We left the invitation and reassured them that we loved them and were excited for them to come, with slight hopes that they might get dressed real quick and walk up for sacrament.
That was the climb. It happens. We have done all we can to help this big, temple-sealed family repent and regain that eternal promise of a forever family.
So, we went back up the road to go to Church. I saw a lady standing on the side of the road in front of the Church. I thought, "Man, it would sure be great if I could just invite her and she came to Church this morning." To my surprise she motioned to me like she was stopping a jeep and asked, "Is there Church there today?" pointing at our building. "Oh, yes!" I replied in awe. Turns out she had seen the Church every day for six years and only now found the courage to stand on the side of the road instead of continuing for work. She is an inactive member from Negros (southern philippines). Now, I don't know if she would have come inside on her own power, but I do know that my Father was aware of her needs. He was aware of my disappointment of just a few moments before and saw fit to bless us immensely that beautiful Sunday morning. There is a God in Heaven and He knows us, each one, personally. I cherish that knowledge and seek to serve Him every day.
That is the view.
We've been so busy.. I've only got two days worth of journals, and will work better on that next week. Elder Packer shared his thoughts on President Monson's sunday morning talk, and pointed out the prophet's subtle prompting to write in our journals. President Monson said, "My daily journal, kept over all these years, has helped provide some specifics which I most likely would not otherwise be able to recount." I am grateful for a living prophet!
The work continues. The office has more blessing than challenges.. KFC, yellowcab, and burger king to name a few :)
1. Me talking to Jelly-Anne and Jojie. They are getting baptized next week. Daughters of Carina Berto, a recent convert in this area. I walked over to them because Jelly-Anne (the one in the green top) was kneeling in the middle of the grass with her head up. I wish I had a picture of that, it was great!
Elder Trevor Todd Brown