Happy 4th of July! We're going to celebrate here cause it's my companion's BDay too haha. We're heading out to a (yes my idea) Hot Dog joint to celebrate his birthday American Style. It's the J Dawgs of Manabí.
I sure love you all and can't believe a year has gone by, it is zooming and I don't want it to! But wow, let me tell you about a week never to forget.
The Lord truly answers prayers, I don't want to lose one minute in the mission and was feeling like I had wasted my first year, yet the Lord made it clear that I haven't, though I do have much more to improve on. Let's start from the rear! Yesterday we had a few at church... a few 19 investigators! I've NEVER had that in the whole mission! A few families helps make the number bigger, but the Lord really showed us our potential, 19 baptisms this month, let's get to work baby!
I don't even know where to start telling you all of the miracles in the mission, my happiness, wow I love the work! Elder Franco and I are having a blast out here. The other day we had a meeting to run to, but we were debating whether or not to squeeze in another short visit to a progressing, yet fragile family. I couldn't get the man out of my head, but we'd be late to the meeting, spend more money, but we ran anyway. Turns out that Jimmy, who simply needs to get married so he and his wife can get baptized, had just gotten off the phone. He lost his job. Their marriage was already really fragile and had just started making progress, but that threw him a million worries and he simply broke down. He got on his knees to pray and as he asked 'What can I do?' We happened to knock on his door. We were not planning on visiting him that day, he wasn't expecting us. He was worried sick, tapping both legs like mad, talking a million miles an hour, popping off a million random comments. It finally went quiet, he looked at us and simply broke into tears. 'It's okay to cry right?' He asked us. We had a beautiful conversation, the reading we had left him was perfect for his needs, but better than any lesson was simply showing up, listening, and supporting him. God knows His children so well, He knows when they are in need and why, He tells us to see to their needs. We were instruments in the Lord's hands that day.
Yesterday was an experience very similar that I shall never forget. We have an investigator that comes to church, pays tithing, does everything and has done so for a year. Her boyfriend refuses marriage. I had the strongest prompting to go see her and as we knocked on the door we heard yelling, screaming and so we decided to take off. We visited her neighbor, a convert, and during the lesson, that boyfriend passed by, he had left the house. I had the strongest impression to run to the rescue. We finished the lesson and headed back to the house of Carmen Delgado and I shall never forget the scene and feelings that grabbed my stomach. She always greets us with a smile, calls us her angels, yet this time she opened the door, we greeted her with a huge smile and asked how she was. She simply broke into tears. The house looked like a tornado had passed through, her 4 children were screaming, she let us pass and ran to get chairs and I simply lost hope. I had no clue what to do, what to say. She began telling us of what had happened, the fight, how her boyfriend left and she told the kids she was going to run away. Just as she and her 4 children were cuddled in a group hug, scared to death... she heard a knock on the door, us. With tears of fear, desperation, she yelled at us 'TELL ME! WHAT DO I DO? TALK TO ME! YOU OBVIOUSLY CAME IN A TIME OF NEED! WHAT DO I DO NOW?' She was so torn apart and I was so scared. Scared sick, you cannot prepare for lessons like that, there is no lesson that fits her needs. I had never felt so hopeless in my entire life. I desperately asked God what His daughter needs, how can we help her, because we don't know what to do. I can promise you all, revelation came, we were the instruments and God played us perfectly. She was comforted, she has plans and goals to progress, to make a decision.
I had never felt so hopeless in my entire life, so lost, so scared and yet that is another testimony of mine that God knows each and every one of His Children. In times of need, they hear a knock at the door. We had no clue what was going on and they had no hopes of seeing us for a few more days. Their needs were seen, not by giving a lesson, not by reading a scripture, but by listening, by being there, by supporting, by smiling, by speaking the God Given Guidance that comes to any Obedient Servant. Those are two stories that filled my week with such joy, the week was full of experiences like that.
I don't know how God sees to all the needs of His Children, but I do know that He does. I know that He loves each and every one of us and needs us to help those that surround us. There is no better work than that of a missionary, why? Cause it gives you a model to follow the rest of your life so that you, your future family, and anyone else in your path finds their way back to God. As missionaries or as members of the Restored Church of Christ, let us be obedient, in all of God's commandments. Let us not fret, but let us follow in faith. I now know what it means to forget yourself and truly be happy in life. I am trying so hard to forget myself, lose my life, and my needs and joys are being seen in the families we help. I wish you could all be here at my side, WE ARE SEEING MIRACLES! I want to tell all of them too you! I shall never forget the mission, I still have a year, I wish it had just begun. We're off to work with the 19 souls the Lord put in the church yesterday, I am as happy as can be and ready to work. Let's go!
Christ lives, He is our Savior. Joseph Smith restored His church to lead us back to His Father, and Thomas S. Monson guides that same Church today.
I sure love you all and hope you have a great 4th of July, cause I sure will!
Elder Griffin McGinn