The Miracle of Hope

Tuesday, November 05, 2013 0 Comments

This week.

Man, this week.

It's a miracle I've survived it. This transfer has been the most difficult transfer. I've been under constant testing and refinement, and I feel like I'm failing everything and everyone.

Just another week in the life of a missionary.

But before I get to the great miracle of hope, let's talk about my week.

After emailing last week, we had a zone activity at the most incredible house. We sat by this gigantic pool with a waterfall (don't worry, we didn't get in) and ate barbecue then went out to the front lawn and played kickball and volleyball while the gardeners weeded the hillside. I can't even believe that house is real.

Then I went and had my first In N' Out milkshake! Actually, that was probably my first time setting foot in an In N' Out, being from the East Coast, where I don't think they exist.

Then I found a street called Shenandoah, and cried a little bit in my heart for the Shenandoah Valley that I left behind six months ago. Although California is pretty, nothing beats the hills of Virginia. I'll always be fond of that verdant green valley.

Then the elders' investigator, Wayne, got baptized! And what a beautiful day that was. Wayne is one of the most incredible people I've met. In just over a month he went from knowing nothing about Mormonism to having an incredible testimony of our Savior and the love of God.

That night was our ward's Trunk or Treat, which was AWESOME, if not a little wild. Having 75 kids running around is always craziness. We dressed up and helped run a booth for a little while, then walked around and just had a great time gathering candy and talking to everyone. There were so many nonmembers there! I almost had a missionary conniption.

Sister Wonder Woman and Sister Batman
And in between all of these incredible things, I've had some of the most disheartening moments of my mission so far. Funny how that works, huh? Even in the midst of my pain, I found that there was faith, hope, burning in my heart. Even as I thought "maybe I should go home" for the hundredth time, there was a tiny voice in my brain that said "no you shouldn't".

And that, my friends, is the miracle of hope. My hope that I will become the missionary that I want to me, and the servant that my Heavenly Father wants. My faith in this Gospel and the sacrifice of my Savior keep me going. It's something I've never had before, and I know that it is all because of this Church that I am able to keep going when the going gets tough.

I finally felt like I understood the Albert Camus quote that we've written on our missionary whiteboard. "In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer."  

When you have hope, or faith, you have an invincible summer even within the darkest depths of personal winters. And that is why I'm here, as a missionary. To help others build that same hope so they can have something to hold on to when they want to give up.

So, don't give up! Don't you ever quit, okay? Just keep stepping out in faith, believing that God loves you. Because He does. More than you could ever comprehend.

I love you!

Sister B