This past week has had many ups and downs but we are always pressing forward. Something that has really stood out to me is that there are always people to find who are interested in hearing about the incredible Gospel that has been restored to the earth. Elder Vazquez and I were going by many potentials on Tuesday and decided to go by a young man I had met on exchanges several weeks prior.
Last transfer, Elder Franks and I were given names of people who had just moved in. We went by one of the families but it turned out that they didn’t live there. However, the man inside was interested in our message. While on exchanges I went with another Elder to teach this man. As we were leaving, this Elder greeted the tenant downstairs. This individual was 22 or so and he told us to come back in a couple days. We did so and he wasn’t there but we shared a message with his mom. Fast forward to Tuesday. Elder Vazquez and I went to see if we could find the young man at home. We accidentally went to their next door neighbor thinking it was their address. She answered and we discussed the nature of God. She invited us to come back. We then went to the right address. The young man and his mom both weren’t home but we did meet his younger brother who was also interested and invited us to come back that weekend.
Later that day we went to a street called Nightjar to see if we could set an appointment with a potential. This lady lives next door to the man and his girlfriend who came to the Christmas performance. As we turned onto the street, the man was there trying to fix his car. After almost two months of not being able to get into contact with him, we were finally able to talk to him. He welcomed us and shared with us that he had married his girlfriend since we last saw him. He explained that he is noticing God more in his life and then asked what is the curriculum for what we teach. I explained it to him and he told us we could stop by and share with him and his new family. This is the first circle that I have seen completed in this area.
On Thursday we went to see a woman whom we have taught a few times in the past. She had set an appointment but when we went by she wasn’t there. However, her grandson and her son invited us in. Her son hadn’t spoken with missionaries before. We discussed the Restoration with him and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We invited him to be baptized and he accepted. When asked if he would attend church with us, he told us that he has been playing basketball at the church building for the past six years. That was incredible to hear.
Last night, Elder Vazquez and I went to visit a less-active family who hasn’t been home whenever we come by. However, when we arrived the father was there and he welcomed us in. This brother told us how much he appreciated what we do and that he has a desire to start attending church again. His daughter has been going by herself for a few weeks now and she asked him to start going again with her. Elder Vazquez has been sick for a few days so we called someone to give us a ride after that visit. For some reason (the Spirit) I decided we should meet them at the far east of our area. As we biked over there I remembered that there was a less-active member who lived on Dowling Cove, just a block from where we would be picked up.
Weeks ago, Elder Franks was praying for inspiration on where we should go and who to visit. After his prayer, he started searching through the member roster. He told me that the street name Dowlinghill came into his mind. We searched the map and couldn’t find a Dowlinghill. Finally, we found Dowling Cove, just a small dead-end street at the far side of our area. That day we went to visit the less-active member who lived on that street. No one answered. I was confused. We followed a prompting, why would no one answer? Elder Franks told me that sometimes it’s to keep us safe or maybe the Lord was just seeing if we were listening.
Fast forward to last night. Usually, we don’t knock on random doors at 8:40 at night but we did so anyway. After we knocked we waited for five minutes or so (that’s a really long time to be standing on a doorstep). Finally, the door flew open and a Scottish man, who was very happy to see us, invited us in. As we spoke, he told us that he had been praying that we would come. He said that we came before but he just wasn’t ready. This time, he was. Circle complete.
Prayers are heard. Prayers are answered. The Lord gives us promptings and if we answer them, miracles will happen.
Here are some lyrics to a song I wrote at the beginning of this week:
Father the waves they are shifting
Turning my face from thee.
My faith, once strong, is now fleeting.
Return Thou my gaze to thee.
Out on thy sea I am fishing
Searching to bring souls unto Thee.
I return once more to the harbor
Fearing I have brought none but me.
With the sunset come I see there
Some stranger beckoning to me:
“Brother be not lost in fearing.
Come, toil once more now with me.
“From sorrows’ depths and days long past
I have waited and rescued thee.
Come, let us go forth, our nets cast
Help return the lost ones to me.”
With hands calloused, worn hard we work
‘Top the stormy and changing sea.
I will work by thy side forever;
Striving, I’ll bring all unto Thee.
I wrote this as I was pondering the apostle Peter. This man of giant faith walked on water. He saw miracles performed firsthand by the Master. Yet even he had doubts and troubling times. As he walked on water the Bible notes “he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid;” (Matthew 14:30). Peter was not without faith. If he had none he could not walk on the water. Nevertheless, he shifted his gaze from Christ and instead was distracted by the wind. If we keep our eyes on Christ and serving Him, we can accomplish all things. We will be able to cross the raging seas of life without faltering.
Hurrah for Israel