She hadn't cleaned her kitchen in MONTHS.
There were dishes of molding decaying cat food cemented onto the counters.....
And that's when it happened.
The moment I've been waiting for for the past almost year.
It was like a big neon sign was flashing at me "Congratulations! You did it! You are a MISSIONARY!"
As I was scrubbing at plates of rotten fish and trying to hold my breath so that the awful stench wouldn't trigger my gag reflex, I smiled. because I am a missionary.
That day in the kitchen I thought about what it means to be a missionary.
It means doing things you don't necessarily want to do!
It means being selfless, and sacrificing your own desires to help others.
It means making other people's problems your own problems, and solving them together.
It means enduring and not giving up, even though it can be HARD.
Even though it smelled bad, it felt so good to lift someone's burden. It always feels so good to serve.
Lucky for us, we found several other service opportunities all throughout the week! We spent one afternoon cleaning up trash in a park. We spent one evening making dinner for a lady in our ward. And we spent 5 hours on Saturday sorting 2,000 genealogy films into number order and then filing them at the new Family History center that was just relocated to our church building. We were about halfway through that project when one of the filing cabinets got completely stuck and we had NO idea how to fix it. We couldn't get the drawer we needed to open for the life of us! We fussed with it for half an hour with noooo luck. So my comp and I said a prayer. And I knew without a shadow of a doubt that after we said Amen the drawer would open. Because if faith can move mountains it can definitely move a jammed drawer, right? Well to my dismay it still wouldn't budge.
But not even 3 minutes later, we heard someone walking down the hall. We asked the man for help, and he knew exactly how to make that temperamental filing cabinet work. He opened the drawer with ease.
I never found out why that random man randomly came into the church building that day, and I have no idea why he randomly came down to the basement where we were working.
But it was an answer to our little prayer.
I think its so wonderful. That God loves us so much that He is willing to help us with seemingly silly little things like filing cabinets! It was a testimony to me that the Lord really does hear our prayers and he really does answer them. Just not always in the time or the way we expect!
Service projects and answered prayers make for a really good week! And on top of that, my companion and I have had a lot of success with our investigators and teaching lessons this week. One day we had planned to take our Chinese investigator to a member's home for dinner and a lesson. But that turned into us all being invited to a different member's home- the member's home where our African investigator just happens to live! Well if teaching 2 different investigators at once wasn't already enough to make a missionary's wildest dreams come true, one of the members decided to bring another in-active friend along as well. It was like a missionaryworkfirework! What a great night.
Then on Saturday night our relief society president called us up and asked us if we could teach Relief Society the next day. She must have heard the talk by Elder Russel M Nielson's talk "Ask the Missionaries!"
I guess I should go add that to my list of what it means to be a missionary- It means being able to whip out gospel lessons on a moments notice! Haha I was really nervous to teach relief society though... Especially with so little time to prepare. But the lesson went really well! The gift of tongues rocks and the Spirit rocks and so do sweet relief society sisters :)
Well the sky is blue and the sun is shining and I'm going to go ride my bike to the park.
Hope you all have a beautiful day and a great week!
Remember to clean your kitchen more than once a month.
And if you need to sort through thousands of genealogy films or need someone to teach a lesson at church on Sunday or need help with anything at all, Ask the missionaries!
Here's a nice little poem for your reading enjoyment:
I know not by what methods rare
But this I know, God answers prayer.
I know that He has given His word,
Which tells me prayer is always heard
and will be answered soon or late
And so I pray and calmly wait.
I know not if the blessing sought
will come in just the way I thought
But leave my prayers with Him alone
Who's will is wiser than my own
Assured that He will grant my quest,
or send some answer far more blessed.
-Eliza M. Hickok