Sunday, November 8, 2015
Lead Me, Guide Me. Walk Beside Me. (November 9, 2015)
The thing about serving in Japan at the same time as three of your best friends is that sometimes, they pop up in pictures on the bulletin board at the church. (Shoutout to WILLIAMSON 姉妹, I'm working in 田中長老's (Elder Tanaka) home ward. No idea when the picture was from but looks like a fun district;)
Today, I'd just like to share a moment from my week.
Saturday was awful. I just felt like I was failing so hard at being a missionary; I juat felt off my game and I couldn't connect to anyone, and I felt discouraged and a little down, especially since my companion is still learning Japanese (well, I mean, I am too), so I felt like I needed to be on point more and just generally being more than I was. It waspretty frustrating. Sister O wasn't aware of the Luke-Shimai's-in-a-box-right-now situation, but she realized we hadn't planned our English lesson, so we sat down in a park and planned it out really quickly. At the end of our planning, we said a prayer to bless the few minutes of finding time we had left. (One really nice thing about being a foreign language missionary with a new missionary is that you can pray completely honestly like, "we can't do this on our own, lend us your strength because I am so weak right now" and not push your uncertainty on your companion. Just another perk.)
And that's when the miracle began.
We both felt inspired to go a certain direction, so we headed out. We walked past a girl I had noticed before, and a few yards later I stopped Sister O and we turned back and talked to her. She was really nice, but turned us away. Still carrying a degree of hopelessness in my heart, we kept walking, this time in the opposite direction that we'd felt to go initially. And then there was no one on the street, and I just felt incapable and inadequate (this is kind of unusual, but rough days still happen on occasion, because missionary me is still human). There was one high school girl walking towards us, earphones in and everything, and I thought, okay, it's gotta be her.
We pulled a, "Do you speak English?" and proceeded to have this whole conversation in English where we invited her to our free English Conversation Class, gave her a Book of Mormon, and briefly explained it, and invited her to read it from the beginning, and the whole time she was smiling and thrilled to be talking to us.
We walked away ("SHE WAS SO CUTE!!!") and we'd only gone a little bit when Sister O pointed out to me that if we hadn't gone the other way first, we probably wouldn't have run into her at that point in time, and that was when I realized how special that was.
Sometimes, it's rainy and cold, and we feel hopeless. Yes, as illogical and seemingly pointless as hopeless is, it can sneak through the cracks because we are human and we can only see as far as the next corner.
When we feel like we are walking on the wrong road to nowhere in particular, when the distance is faint and the lights seem faded, there is One who is aware, who notices our every footfall and gently guides us around the traps and rugged edges. As courageous as we fight to be, thee are moments when we feel weak, when the height of our tiptoes doesn't make the cut. But the crest of every mountain, the depth of every valley of our lives is forged by the Creator of the Universe, and be it me in the box of my own heart or you in your personal darkest dungeon, when we close our eyes there is always a light to guide us. This is something I am learning still, but no matter where we are or where we aim to be, we have a Friend who will be there when all else is faded or lost.
May we each remember this truth and trust in His gentle, guiding hand.
God be with you! He certainly is with me.
Pictures: Went to dinner with these girls before a meeting, temporary comps with my trainer Sister T (with our matching glasses), and me trying to figure out where the other two sisters were after one left a bag on a train. (It was like two hours before we all safey made it to the meeting, but that's a whole 'nother story, hahahahahaha...)
Sister Training Leaders