Hey friends! I apologize to my faithful readers who've emailed me this week because it looks like I won't have time to reply to most of you as I had a really really really really really really really really long letter to my mission president this week. Short summary: Kayo came to part of General Conference!!!!!!!! Her two young boys got sick this week so we weren't sure if she could, but she did, and we were quite please:D And M also came to a different part of Conference, there was much joy abounding for sure.
But what I really wanted to talk about/record was a miracle that happened this week. It was the birthday of one of our three young men this week, and we wanted to heart attack their house because they are a truly wonderful family. However, I've never been to their house, and things went long and we set out when it was cold and dark outside. We were tired, it having been a long day, or rather, a long three days, but we wanted to serve this family with the short time we had before curfew (missionaries are supposed to be in their apartments by 9:00). We were exhausted physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, all of the -ally-s. I knew how to get to the first landmark, and had a general idea for the second. While we were stopped by the side of the road discussing which way to go next, Elders G and T (zone leader and a first transfer bean) walked past us on the way home from a split. Being a ZL and a bean, neither could help us, so they wished us luck and we bid them good night before setting out once more. Sister T's map skills got us to where we knew we were close, but none of the four apartment buildings in the same area were labelled with the name of the complex, which they usually are. We walked around for a bit, trying to find signs to lead us to the right building among those strewn along the street (strewn is the wrong word, someone help my English!) when we decided to pray. We stood together in the shadow of a building on a dark night and offered a simple prayer to our Heavenly Father: we want to serve this family. If it be Thy will, please help us find their apartment. We stood for a moment in the stillness. I thought, we'll find it, but the car that was turning into the parking lot was not the boy's mother, and neither was the car that passed by moments after. At the same time, Sister T wondered, would God answer the prayers of two imperfect missionaries like us? We stood for a moment, then slowly walked towards our bicycles, thinking maybe we had come too far. We reached our bicycles, and as we stood on the corner of the street, we saw a light. I glanced in that direction, and what I saw in the darkness was beautiful indeed. Two bicycle lights, two white helmets, and the white triangles of the shirts of two young men in suitcoats and ties. My brothers, I thought, and our Japanese elders pulled up besides us and said, (approximately,) "Lost, are we?"
Cue scripture: Alma 26:27: "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give thee success."
Elders O and T showed us where the apartment was--literally about twenty steps away from where we stopped to pray. Although they didn't know it, the words they spoke to us that night were exactly what we needed to hear to be comforted.
The Lord surely works in mysterious ways, but I swear to you He answers prayers. It might not be the way we expect or the time we expect, but He will answer you. When your heart feels depressed and you feel like you just can't do it any more, two skinny, well-intended young men in dorky helmets might come around the corner and be the answer to your prayer. I can honestly say those brothers of mine helped my testimony of God's love for each of us grow in ways they will never know. The two of us cried on the way home, not out of sadness, but of joy. What a beautiful miracle it is, that eternal love of God.
Pictures: White helmets are a missionary classic. And, it's a terrible picture but today (tomorrow?) the 13th is my momma's birthday!!! おたんじょびおめでとう、お母さん！大好きだよう！！！