Tuesday, December 6, 2016

WEEK 73 Eureka, McKinleyville Ward & Humboldt YSA Ward 

Family and Friends, 

We took a couple blows this week. Big ones. I never thought I'd be saying this, but amongst the wonderful Thanksgiving week we had - things spiraled right down hill in a matter of a couple days. The uppercuts and right hooks we were hit with didn't necessarily send us to the ground for a K.O. punch, but it definitely did bring me to my knees. A lot. Despite all of it, certainly, 'as The Lord liveth' - He delivered us in our greatest times of trial and concern. 

With the majority of people in McKinleyville heading out of town for the Holiday weekend, it really was 'slim pickins' around here. We had an awfully hard time meeting with people and keeping appointments that were set. It basically turned into a drop-by visit extravaganza. We attempted to stop by a lot of our investigators and less active members homes. Some opened their doors - others left us standing on the porch in the pouring rain. But hey! That's what a mission is all about, right? Regardless of the extensive attempts we made and the seemingly endless amounts of empty doors we knocked, I still remained so entirely happy. The miracles and appointments we did have surely made up for it all. 

I think the greatest and hardest lesson I learned this week was the fundamental principle we all learn at one time or another. As I look back on it - it seems so easy. It seems so obvious. It shouldn't have even been a problem?... Yet, when surrounded by tribulation, often times our overall perspective becomes so limited. We often times let our trust in The Lord become lessened. I really learned that trusting in The Lord with unwavering hope and faith strengthened my testimony a great deal over the last couple days. 

Tessa (our investigator) took a trip down to Southern California to visit her extended family for the Thanksgiving weekend. In her doing so, we coordinated and agreed to keep daily contact in preparations for her baptism this past Sunday. The first day worked out very smoothly and as planned but as time slowly passed, our phone calls started being denied. Our text messages were left unreplied. Our voicemails obviously weren't doing much either. After trying to find any way or sorts of communication to get in contact with Tessa, our efforts were greatly unprofitable. No answers. No returned calls. No Facebook messages replied to. Nothing. It seemed as if this 'golden investigator' we had was simply slipping through our fingertips and there was nothing we could do about it. We had also been given some information from one of Tessa's relatives that she could no longer be baptized. We were so utterly discouraged. At this point in time, my companion and I knew we had to turn the situation over to The Lord and trust in His plan. Needless to say, we prayed a lot. 

This weekend, Elder Adamson and I decided to take a drive to Tessa's apartment building and by 'the grace of The Lord' - hope that she would be there. As we pulled in the parking lot, we quickly found and identified her car. We looked at one another and smiled as the butterflies immensely multiplied within our stomachs. We were extremely nervous due to the lack of contact and we were anxious to the fact that Tessa might not have the desire to be baptized anymore. As we united together in prayer one last time and got out of the car to knock on the door - everything changed. Tessa's face completely illuminated when she first saw us, as almost as if it was a sigh of relief. She began to explain that some personal complications had come about during her trip to Los Angeles and some heavy conversations she had with her family, but nonetheless she expected to be baptized this coming Sunday on Dec. the 4th. I couldn't even believe my eyes and ears. 

Something that had seemed almost hopeless and almost lost was completely renewed as we put our trust in The Lord. We prayed fervently and trusted in what our Heavenly Father had planned. Some serious question, concern and complication found room in our work but The Lord changed the whole situation around. I am so thankful for what Heavenly Father had taught me throughout this past week. I need to trust more. I need to have greater Faith in the one whom has control and dominion over all. 

My mission is the greatest mission in the world. Here's to a baptism this next week, huh? I'll keep you all posted. 

Until next week. 

-Elder Schaefer

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