Oh my word. This week. Has been. Rough.
And if you fail to read the rest of this email after giving it such an enticing introduction, I understand, but it is the truth.
We met person after person with these heart-wrenching stories about Meth, Rape, Abuse, Alcoholism, Homelessness, Infidelity, the list goes on and on and on. We met a girl in a horrendous living condition who has nothing but good intentions and horrible circumstances. But it's hard to tell if we can trust the people who act so sincere. And I'll be honest, it kind of takes it right out of you.
But I have taken to locking myself in my closet at night and praying out loud. Because I was reading the Sermon on the Mount and Christ says, "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to the father which is in secret; and thy Father shall seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." So there. I took it literally, and I did it. And I pray for strength and humility and discernment and patience and understanding and miracles. Hahaha. It's a long list, but I have a lot to be grateful for too, so it eventually evens out. And let me tell you the powerful witness I received, God watches us all day. And when we pray and we vocalize the feelings in our heart, he explains them to us. He tells us why we feel the way we do and what we're supposed to learn from it. It's humbling.
And even though this week has sucked, I keep thinking back to advice that a gentleman on the airplane gave me on the way to Mexico. (And i gave him a lot of credibility because he looked like Dad). He said, "Yeah, it may be hard, but hard is such a realtive term... hard compared to what?" He then pointed out to me that anything that we endure that we count as hard just means that we are growing. That we are overcoming things that are outside of our comfort zone, and by doing such we are having experiences that we can now relate back to that have made us stronger. This sounds super corny, like it did to me when he said it, but he could not be any more right. I'm able to look back and think, thank goodness I'm still here with more motivation and a stronger testimony than before.
People have been asking about the weather here. It hit 112 this week. And it's not Utah hot, it's humid hot. Oh, Texas. You might be the death of me.
We have been teaching this incredible family, the family of 8 that I mentioned last week, and they are very, very sweet. They had us over for lunch yesterday and then took us out to iHop this morning. We found them by knocking doors, which hasn't proven to be terribly effective yet, but when we were knocking in their neighborhood, we turned to leave and then both felt really drawn to knock one more house. So we did, and when we got there, we met this family. The gal who opened the door mentioned that they had been kicked out of churches and they were worried that their kids were starting to lose faith in Christ. The more we teach them, the more learn how inspired it was that we knocked their door. She later told us that she had been battling with cancer and had thought of taking her own life the very day we arrived. The Lord watches all of his children all day. He has no concept of time, therefore he has the incredible ability to do so, and he is actively utilizing all of us to help each other in times of need. I am overwhlemed with his love and with the desire I have to be his servant, somebody he can use to help others out of their trials.
I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be true, to be the restored gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth. I see it every time an investigator tries to disprove us and can't. The more I learn, the more true it is. And the more obsolete doubt becomes. Not many people can say that. What other church could trust thousands of teenagers to hit the streets in cars and with apartments and trust that we would be doing what we were supposed to be doing? It's not hard to be devoted to a gospel that is flawless, despite being run by imperfect human beings. It offers too many blessings to deny. Forgive my preachiness. But holy moly am I blessed.
I love you all. I can't wait to talk to some of y'all on Sunday!