We have a great story for you! Isn't cool how so often we see miracles?
Let me first start off with a quote from a missionary but I think it was from our Mission President, President Welch. "I think that you will find that most miracles come with no number associated with it."
This is a miracle that built my testimony, I know that it will for you also if you allow it.
James had a STRUGGLE of a week! So many doubts and anger and just bad stuff. Everybody has those days, everybody gets that way everybody knows what, what I'm talking about everybody gets that way! Haha sorry.
Anyways... so we went over to James' to meet him and it was BAD! He started cussing up a storm, he had gone back to smoking, took a total nose dive. Honestly we were more scared than anything. (We had a new missionary with us Elder Palmer and when we got there and things went bad I told Elder Palmer to just sit back and keep quiet--terrible, terrible idea! So prideful.) We felt so bad because he was accusing us of stuff like lying to them and we just listened to everything he was saying. Elder Tolbert and I were trying to help a little bit but LUCKILY Elder Palmer was with us because he saved the day. He asked if we could say a prayer right in the middle of it, and when we did... Everything changed. The Spirit came, I shared Moroni 7:13-16 and his entire countenance changed. But the real miracle came when Elder Tolbert whispered to me and asked if we should give him a blessing. We asked him and he agreed.
We gave him a blessing and he sat there for a few minutes and when he eventually stood up he told us something cool. He said, "You guys don't know this but for the last 15 years I have suffered from a inner ear condition which causes chronic pain in my ear and jaw. When you put your hands on my head I felt a pop and the pain left." Now as I write this to you it has been about a week and the pain has not returned. We saw that day that God knows his children and loves us individually. We, the missionaries, had no idea of the need for that healing but our loving Heavenly Father is on a much higher plane. Our testimony was strengthened and James' was built and God is so, so good!
I feel like I can tell you a lot of stories that are going on here but I guess the biggest thing is the joy that I feel doing this work. I'm old and stubborn (as would be expected from being my mom and dad's son) and still I'm changing so much and learning so much. I'm starting to see how experience is changing me as well as learning from the Spirit.
I can literally never catch up! The more I try and serve the Lord because I am so grateful for the blessings I already have, the more I am blessed and then I desire to serve him even more!! Haha it is a good problem to have :)
I just realized something cool this week. If each day served on a mission is equal to one Sunday spent back at home then in these two years I am going to receive the experience of about 50 years worth of weeks. No wonder all those missionaries come home so much more dignified, refined, and wise. What an absolute blessing that is to learn and grow!
Elder Mark Howland