This week was full of experiences and memories! Those 8 new investigators are taking off, we are working hard and there was some wild cards of experiences thrown in there.
Tuesday was a day to remember. We had our day planned and ready to go, until things were flipped upside down due to a couple investigators. We were called by the girl who brought those African exchange students to an English church service, we will call her B. Well, B's family met with the missionaries when she was a little girl about 15 years ago and she had never really taken interest. On this day, she invited all 4 of us Elders over for lunch and to help her with an English assignment. We had such a fun lunch of Italian spaghetti and laughter, then one of the Elders started working on her paper. She then invited us remaining 3 to play a game of Jenga. We started playing and then after 5 minutes, our game of Jenga turned into an hour long gospel discussion. after 15 years, this girl started to understand why we were there and her questions started flowing. It may seem like a small miracle, but the smile on her face at the end made it a big one in my eyes.
After that, we taught some lessons, then headed to the branch house to teach English class and meet with one of the most amazing investigators I have ever met with. She is a 17 year old girl who has had to go through a lot in her few short years. The lesson went great with her and our member present was such a great support. We hadn't eaten for hours, so we invited the member and her to stay for some pizza with the other Elders and us. We talked, laughed and had so much fun. I haven't seen her smile so much until that day.
As we were walking home to get home by curfew, I recognized a man laying next to a lamp post on the side of the road. My memory was triggered and I remember this smiling 70 year old man in the staircase of a building we tracted the previous week. I ran over to discover he wasn't sick, just VERY drunk. I called the other Elders over and scooped him off the ground and with the help of the other Elders, I walked him back to his nearby apartment. As Elder Brown and I helped him through the door I discovered his wife and family sad that we brought him up. They said that we should have left him on the street.
My eyes were opened with this experience. I don't know what it is like for his family, but it made me realize how grateful I am for my family. I am grateful for a family that will support me when I need it and lift me when I stand in need to be lifted. We all make mistakes, even as missionaries, but as people, we always stand in need of a loving hand. Whether it be a friend, a family member, alcohol or God, we seek out that hand in which will give us the love we desire. This is why I am so grateful for the gospel, to have discovered the hand in which will never fail me or those I love. This is why I am so grateful for my family, a hand of love and support that God gave me here on this earth, a little piece of Heaven.
We served many people this week and were able to be that hand for many people. Miracles happened and now someone will be baptized in less than two weeks and we were privileged to have 5 investigators at church.
Looking back, things didn't happen in an instant, but through small and simple steps. These miracles came through praying my heart out with every spare moment, serving Elder Brown, being out for every available second and learning to smile in the moment.
We taught, we found and we worked ourselves to the best of our abilities. This was the best week of my mission numbers wise, but what matters most to me is that I was a loving hand to someone this week. How can I not smile? I have another week to help someone here. I better make the most of it!
Never forget to love each and every moment! SMILE : )
Elder Jake Nelson