Another week in the books. This has been another solid week and I realized that I have been a missionary for an entire month, which is crazy because it seemed like just yesterday that I was reporting to the MTC.
Batesville Indiana is an awesome place, it's small, but at the same time you always meet people that you have never seen before and have the opportunity to just talk to them. Elder Dallin H. Oaks gave a quote recently in which he said something to extent of "When we love those around us, we will be able to talk about our beliefs without being compelled to, and it will come naturally and almost subconsciously." I have learned this lesson even in just the short couple of weeks I have been here, when I try to conjure up something in my mind of what I will say beforehand I end up being super nervous and uncomfortable about deviating from that outline. But I have learned that as I trust that the words will be given to me,
D&C 84:85- " Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man."
I am then able to talk to people with ease about a subject that can be fairly uncomfortable to talk about. I know that it is through that gift of the spirit that we are led to the people we need to see, and the things we need to say.
Just last week Elder Holland was speaking at the seminar for new Mission Presidents at the MTC. In his address he told about an experience that he had recently been made aware of, Which follows.
There was a young man from southern Idaho. One night the young man stormed out of the house and set off to join an infamous motorcycle gang. He succeeded in that resolve and for 20 years became immersed in a culture “of temptations yielded to and degradations explored,” never contacting his parents, who feared that he was dead. Eventually ending up in Southern California, he one day was sitting on the porch of a rented home when he saw two LDS missionaries making their way up the street. With a rush of memory and guilt, regret, and rage, he despised the very sight of them. But he was safe, because he kept all visitors at bay by employing two Doberman pinschers, who viciously charged the gate every moment that anyone came near. The dogs startled the missionaries as they passed by and continued on, our man on the porch laughing at the lovely little drama he had just witnessed, wishing only that the gate hadn’t restrained his two dogs. Then, the two elders stopped, looked at each other, conversed a little, said a silent prayer, then turned around and approached the gate. The Dobermans on cue charged the gate again, hit it, snarling, frothing, and then stopped in their tracks. They looked at the missionaries, dropped their heads, ambled back to the front steps, and lay down. The man on the porch was speechless as the missionaries opened the gate, walked up the path, and greeted him. One of the elders said, ‘Are you from this part of California?’. The man said, "No. If you want to know, I’m from Pocatello, Idaho".There was a pause. ‘That’s interesting,’ the elder said. ‘Do you know the [such-and-such] family in Pocatello?’. With a stunned look, our biker paused and then, in very measured words said, ‘Yeah, I know them. They are my parents.’ 'Well, they’re my parents too,’ the missionary said. ‘God has sent me to invite you to come home.’”
The younger brother had been born after the older boy had left home. The elder brother did not even know of him.
"Mom and Dad have been praying for you every morning and night for 20 years,” the younger brother said. “They were not sure you were alive, but they knew if you were, that someday you would come back to us.”
The wayward son invited the two in, and they talked for the rest of the day and some of the night. He did return home, returned to Church activity, and, in March 2015, was married and sealed in the Boise Idaho Temple.
I know The Holy Ghost prompted those parents to keep praying, to keep believing, to keep trusting. … The Holy Ghost inspired that rebellious boy to come to himself like the prodigal he was and to head for California. … The Holy Ghost influenced that younger son to serve a mission and be willing to accept a call to Southern California. … The Holy Ghost inspired one of my brethren in the Twelve, who was on the assignment desk that Friday, to trust his impression and assign that young man for service not a great distance from his native-born state. The Holy Ghost inspired that mission president to assign that young missionary to that district and that member unit. The Holy Ghost led those missionaries to that street, that day, that hour, with big brother sitting on the porch waiting, and, with Doberman Pinschers notwithstanding, the Holy Ghost prompted those two elders to stop, talk, and in spite of their fear, to go back and present their message.
I know that the power and miracle of this story is not confined to itself. Miracles happen everyday and I have already seen them in my short missionary experience. We should never forget the amazing gifts we have been given in our lives, and always remember it is because of Him. We should try to strive to "Become As He Is", and as we do that, it can bring us inexplicable joy.