I had a district leader in my first area tell me that “When you have a set appointment and it falls through, then there’s someone else on that street that needs to hear your message.” Hermana Boushka and I were in the car for a few minutes since we had made it to M___ street just a bit earlier than our set appointment. As we waited there was a teenage black girl waiting outside looking for someone with the cutest little boy by her side eating the crumbs of a cereal bag that was taken out of the box. She saw us looking at her, we saw her looking at us. Hermana Boushka and I actually admired her jeans. We said a prayer, walked down a few homes down the street and right before we were going to knock on M___ door, this girl that we had seen earlier who lives two houses down says that she wasn’t home at the time and that we had just missed them. As we walk down the steps of this home she says, “Who are you guys?” And that’s where it all started. We talked with her for an hour. Her name’s K___and she’s 15 years old. She has a tough life and has way to much to worry about for a girl her age to say the least. Everything that could possibly go wrong in her life went wrong and is wrong. The life out here isn’t the life she wants. She’s super smart and could have a lot ahead of her. Schools aren’t all that great out here which makes it hard for her to learn. She’s thought of so many times of just running away from the life she has. But then she thinks, “Where would I go? Who would I be?” We gave her a Book of Mormon and she honestly believed that it would bless her life, she said so and I could it in her eyes. Such hope in her eyes as she looked at the book in her hands. She couldn’t help but smile because it was something that gave her hope. My heart just melted as we taught her.
Hermana C___ is a member that Hermana Russon and I enjoyed having the one time that she came out to teach with us. We didn’t teach anyone that one day because appointments fell through but she was just such a joy and miracles happened that wouldn’t had happened had she not been with us. We decided to take her out again with us 🙂 She’s an older lady probably in her 70’s and such an angel. In order to know of the biggest miracle from yesterday, you would have to know the background story and it all started on Saturday night… I spoke to Sister Woodbury (President’s wife) on the phone that night and she said she wanted to come by and drop off the jackets that I had left at transfers this past week. She said she and President would be at the apartment around 5pm on Sunday. Hermana Boushka and I had to eat and do studies and so we’d be done by 5 and thought it’d be perfect since we told Hermana Castillo we’d at her place closer to 6 to pick her up (and it takes about 45 mins to drive to her place). We waited about 15 mins more for the Woodbury’s to either call or arrive and we hadn’t heard anything by 5:15pm. Right as we folded our arms-, they call. We concluded with them giving my jackets to the Elders and we’d pick it up later. We left and headed to Hermana C___ in Hammond and then off to Chicago Heights which is about a half hour from Hammond. Our first set appointment fell through. Then we decided to go visit a less active member (which is initially why she asked if she could come out with us and see him again). We got out of the car and there was a Hispanic woman walking to and from this one house. I greeted her and she couldn’t stop looking at us. She walked up to us and asked us if we were church people. We all know what we said to that one 😉 She said that she’s very sick and her son is making it hard for her because he’s tried to commit suicide and is facing depression. She asked us to talk with him and to follow her to the car. G___, 13 year old boy was sitting in the back seat of the SUV. Hermana C___ opened the door and he said he didn’t feel like talking right now while trying to close it on her but she insisted. Hermana C___ is very wise and shared her words of wisdom with him in the most loving way I had ever seen from an old lady to a young boy just barely met. “Ask Him with all of your heart if He loves you! And be grateful for your eyes! Be grateful for your hands that you can touch!” It wasn’t just a reminder for him, but I can honestly say it was a reminder for me too. She said to him, “Don’t hurt you mother. She’s sick. Children give parents EVERY REASON to live.” His mother was broken hearted and cried but so grateful that she had found us. There was a possibility that we could’ve missed her.. even by seconds! There was a reason we left home a few minutes later than planned and just small things like that. Hermana Boushka and I shared a few words with him and gave him a Book of Mormon as well. He may not have appreciated what we shared with him at the moment but I know he’ll definitely remember.
This past week I’ve realized how grateful I should be for what I have and have had. I sometimes think I had it easy growing up compared to others. I think ‘why’ sometimes but immediately just think to myself, ‘just be grateful’. My heart breaks seeing these young kids like this and there are other much bigger things that the Lord has put right in front of me to realize what a blessing my family has been to me literally just minutes after really starting out in the field. There are blessing left and right, we just have to count them.
Hermana E. Whitney