About a year ago, last October, there was a Halloween stake activity. There was a bright, 18 year old boy there, named Elliot. There were no warnings that peanuts were in any of the food items, and Elliot had an allergic reaction. He ran outside and called for help immediately; by the time he got to the hospital, damage had been done to his brain. Doctors said that the damage was so severe that he would be completely immobile and mentally handicapped for the rest of his life.
His sister Eloise, was on a mission. She had the choice to either return home or stay on her mission. She knew that in order for her family to receive the strength and blessings they and Elliot so desperately needed, she would need to stay. When she returned home at the end of her mission, she went to the hospital to visit Elliot for the first time in 18 months. She saw him, she held his hand and said in his ear "Elliot, I'm home."
Despite being immobile and completely unresponsive, tears came out of Elliot's closed eyes. He knew she was there, and he could hear and feel her.
I've heard of Elliot's progress since being here and have heard of so many miracles that have happened since his accident-- one of them being that he has returned home with his family just last month. He still resides in a hospital bed, but he is there-- body and mind. He feels when people touch him, he blinks twice when he understands, his eyes get big when he tries to see, he can almost, barely say "hi". Sometimes he will look around the ceiling frequently or just stare in one spot for a very long time-- angels are there taking care of him.
Saturday night I had the privilege of meeting Elliot for the first time. He has quickly become my favourite human. I tried soooo hard to fight back tears! But, I'm such a softy, dang it! Pray for him and his family. I love that boy and I admire his family so much. The strength they have and the blessings they have received from this trial has been such a testimony-builder for myself.
I know that this is a very frail existence that we have chosen to be apart of. But this life isn't it, there is so much more. The beautiful things we see and the tender mercies that are apparent and abundant in our lives, are only glimpses of what our Heavenly Father has in store for us. He loves us, and He hasn't forgotten us, and never will. It reminds me of the lyrics to hymn number #136:
He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with his eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul's complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.
He does, I know He does. I've felt it, and I know you can too as you turn to Him.
This week was good though, but this transfer went but so stinkin' fast!! I'm praying that I stay JUST ONE MORE. Maybe I can bargain with Heavenly Father? We'll see how that goes...
This week, we also met with our investigators! Yesol is still hanging in here! She will be baptized one day!! Pray for her!!
We met with Ben, too! He was sooo sick and still met with us to talk about the Book of Mormon. What a good guy. He is the one who comes and translates at our ESL class for us and plays the piano beautifully and has long hair-- he is a kingdom-builder, for sure.
After we met with Ben. our member that came with us was leaving to go hang out with the rest of the YSA, and sometimes being YSA while serving in YSA is hard! But we went on being missionaries and went to visit our dear Shaunna-- and it was one of the most spiritual moments of my mission.
She talked to us about how she is so ready to start coming back and asked us questions about how to know if Heavenly Father has forgiven us and so many other tender things that cannot be written. It was so good, and I love her so much! It's so cool to see how her testimony is not only becoming more apparent, but is also strengthening.
We also had Zone Council this week. We role-played talking to people on the bus and at the end. We all went into a small room and watched the "Because of Him" video and then our zone leaders opened the baptismal font and the spirit FILLED THE ROOM as they began testifying that this is what it's all about. MAN I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. Testimony meetings with other missionaries is one of the most powerful things to be apart of.
Also, the greatest baptism in the history of baptisms happened yesterday. Mordecai is this African girl that has the most solid, powerful, pure, testimony. She literally smiles with her eyes! She came out of the water laughing and crying. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL. She said that when she told her mom at first, her mom left her room and didn't talk to her for 2 hours-- but it was because she left and cried because her prayers had been answered that her daughter was being baptized. After she bore her testimony, her mom was bawling and they just held each other. It was so precious!
Sister Coleman and I and Elder Lasley and a member (Jesse) did the musical number, too! I played Come Thou Fount on the piano and they sang the lyrics to Joseph's Smith's First Prayer. It was fun :) and we also taught the Restoration during the baptism-- the spirit was so strong.
This week was the best week ever. I love my mission, I love these people, I love the spirit, I love love, I love this gospel, I love my Saviour.
The church is true, if you don't know it, I invite you to get on your knees right now and pray-- ask your Heavenly Father and He will answer your prayers. I PROMISE. Gain your own spiritual witness.
I love you all.
I love you all.