So this week was interesting for a lot of reasons, we saw some amazing miracles. To start off there is this man, and for the sake of not sharing too much, we will call him "Steve". Steve is one of my favorite people ever. We found him street contacting back in the beginning of December and as he was walking by we just gave him a card and a smile. He stopped and turned around and said, "I'm a member but I'm very less active. I'm going to the gym right now but I will call you." We thought "Well that's great but no one really ever calls us"....
Well at about 10:20 at night a couple of weeks later, we get a call from a random number - I answer it and it is Steve! We end up meeting with him a few days later and it goes well, but nothing comes of it. A couple of months go by of calling him once a week to see how he is doing but not being able to meet up with him. THEN one day Elder McBride and I are walking home and all of the sudden as we are walking across the road Elder McBride says "Steve!" And the man walking the other way looks up and it is him! We were both in a hurry so that was actually the whole exchange. Time goes on and I end up with Elder Cruz Santos as my companion. The calling once a week keeps happening and we maintain a good relationship. Finally we are able to meet with him but he wouldn't let us share a message. So we just helped him cook and then we ate with him. Well a week later (last weekend) I gave him a call to see if we could meet up. He said "Yes!" and of course I said "Perfect! And then tomorrow we can go to church right?" And he surprisingly said "Yes." I honestly didn't see that coming... I wasn't planning on inviting him because just the week before he said not to bug him about going to church, that he will come back when he is ready....
Well, Sunday comes around and we pick him up from his apartment. We actually were a couple of minutes late because he wasn't ready when we got there, but hey, we made it to church! It was hard for him to go inside because he had not been in over 10 years. I wrapped my arm around him and we walked in together. He even bore his testimony because it was *fast and testimony meeting! It was such a cool experience. *(The first Sunday of the month is "fast and testimony meeting", members are asked to go without food for at least two full meals and donate the monies saved to the church Fast Offering funds to be used to help individuals and families in need. AND also on Fast Sundays there are no scheduled speakers - it is open mic for who ever feels impressed to stand and bare personal testimonies.)
The reason I share this story is because it was a really special experience for me - it was so awesome to know that God's arms are always open even when we may go astray. I could feel God's love for Steve as I held a crying 60 year old man during the passing of the sacrament. The message is come back - it may not be easy nor should it be. "That which is received too easily is esteemed too lightly."
Sorry if this email is long, but I have something else to share as well.
Soooo ever since I have gotten to New York I have been wanting to buy a watch from a street vender. I have tried on many watches, but haven't been able to find the right watch or the right price. Well last Saturday we were waiting for a member to come meet up with us on the street corner so that we could go to an appointment with him. While we were waiting I stopped to look at the watches and talk to the people selling them. I was so close to finally making a deal on a watch that I only half wanted and then I backed out. I was hungry, but knew if I bought the watch I would not have enough money to buy something to eat. I decided that I would look at one more vender stand. I went to the next stand, and they had the EXACT watch that I was really wanting and looking for and the price too! I bought it and was happy!.....
Well the next day, in an unusual turn of events, we ended up on the one train that we only ride about once a month. While on he train a man says to me "Sir, where did you get that watch?" I told him and we started talking and then the next thing I know I am giving him a Book of Mormon and he is like a golden investigator with great desires to know more. With confidence I looked him in the eyes and told him that this was the answer to his prayers and desire to know the truth. I found it so interesting to look back and to see how many little things had to happen throughout the last 6 months for me to buy THAT watch and be on THAT train at THAT time so that I could have a conversation with THAT man. HOW COOL IS THAT?!!!
I love you and once again and I'm sorry that this kinda went long. Thanks for hanging in there with me. jaja.. I will I try and make the next one shorter!
Have a great day! I challenge you to read the Book of Mormon, pray, and go to church.
Here's the watch!