And Who Shall Say It Was Not A Miracle?

These letters stand for the Hebrew phrase, Nes Gadol Haya Sham– which means “A great miracle happened there.” -

You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It's just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

Do you believe in miracles? There can be miracles if only you believe. 

What a week! There is so much to update. Mom's hair almost looks pink. It is definitely a new hairstyle. I hope Dad enjoyed a wonderful Father's Day. I am glad you enjoyed my note, Dad! I received your letters this week. It was good to read them! I loved the jokes; I thought they were hilarious. 

This week was chalk full of miracles and craziness. Starting with Monday. I want to reiterate the fact that our special investigator was not home for the appointment we had set up for last week. As her family claims, "She got upset and went to a friend's house." We have been praying for her, hoping that she is alright. So, we had a normal P-day (preparation day), playing Chess and Clue. I love Clue, but that is besides the point. We had those board games in the apartment. Miracle #1: A person who is active, but had no job, obtained a job last week. It was perfect for him! Small little miracle. He has been out of work and his situation has been iffy. I am thankful that he got a job. That was a small miracle. 

Tuesday. We enjoyed working at one of the less actives. We cooked lunch with them and had a great time. We do a lot for them in trying to help them stay attached to the gospel. We later went to contact a referral we received from other missionaries. The referral was a woman. She had requested for a blessing through her nephew. This woman has terminal cancer. I was the one that had to give the blessing. It was hard, but I put my faith out there. May God bless her and all those who are going and have gone through cancer. 

Wednesday. We decided to go see our special investigator to see if she is home. Nobody was home. Disappointed, we went home and had an early lunch. Miracle #2This stretches back to Sunday. Our special investigator came home from church; the member that took her to church gave our special investigator her phone number. Our special investigator kept it. She has been having family issues, where her family has been leeching off of her. They fight a lot and she is tired of it. Well, Sunday after church, her family had another fight. Our special investigator threatened to call the cops. They did not like that, so they took away the phones and, essentially, made her prisoner in her own home. What does our special investigator do? Oh, just wakes up at midnight, sneaks out of her home, goes to the road (which is 0.2 miles from the house), and hitchhikes to a friend's house. Yeah, she ran away from her family at midnight, which explains Monday. Wednesday, she got into phone contact, called the member, and the member called us. We talked to our special investigator and set up an appointment. Prayers were indeed answered and we had nice appointment with her and her friend. 

But, this is not at all. Just you wait. Miracle #3: We have a section of the area that we never go to due to mileage limitations. It would kill us for the month. The ward mission leader, on Sunday, told us that he would like to take us to Amelia, that section that is hardly touched, to find three less actives. I prayed for Wednesday to be a miracle day and that we would see the less actives, all of them. Prayers are indeed answered. Not only did we get to see our special investigator (which was a major surprise), we saw all three less actives and a referral in Amelia. One less active had Parkinson's and was not too interested. Another had some contact with the Church and does not mind us stopping by. The last less active was nuts. Crazy. Proud Southerner and made it obvious that he was a bit racist. He had a wall of death, meaning he had dead animal heads on a wall. He did not mind us coming back to him again. And we talked to the referral a bit. A follow-up contact will be best.

Thursday. My companion had received notice that he would be receiving a package. He is, I say this jokingly, a creeper. So, we were headed home to eat lunch, when he saw the UPS truck and pulled off the road. He wanted to make sure that the truck was coming our way, which he did. If it did not, he would have followed the truck until it stopped. The truck stops somewhere before our house and we just go home. My companion stood outside, while I went in, to watch to make sure we were not missed. Eventually, he went in. To make it even more awkward, when the UPS man did come to our door, he instantly recognized my companion and said, "Oh, I was wondering why you were staring at me." 

Miracle #4: Remember also last week about how I told you of car accidents that have occurred here? Remember the person who was T-boned? Yeah, he is another miracle this week. Two weeks ago now (last week, it was only a week after the crash), he got hit as he was turning out into an intersection by somebody going 60 miles per hour and was helicoptered to the hospital. He had a broken neck and back and a huge cut on his head. The driver of the other car received only cuts and bruises while the passenger received a broken thumb. Well, on Thursday, he was up and moving. He was moving fast, even with a broken neck and back. He still had a neck brace on. Even more, he was cleared to go to work! The doctor, who saw him in the emergency room, was astonished and could not believe what had occurred. The doctor kept on uttering, "There is no way."

Friday. Miracle #5: This day we went out with one of the youth. We had received a referral from the office just that morning. We figure we should go see that person and we did. She was a person who also had terminal cancer. She has, I believe, breast cancer that is stage 4, grade 3, and triple negative. This cancer feeds off of her. This woman was impressed that we showed up so quickly, because she only talked to her friend in Richmond, only that morning. This woman was happy as can be and relies on God. Even more, she is taking no pain medicine nor any antidepressants. If she does, she would die. She could have an adverse reaction to radiation. And she, while in pain, is happy. She was concerned for her husband, because her husband is trying to do everything from work to helping her to taking care of the house. We offered to help. This woman also had a card that she received from a non-member youth during a Relay for Life. It really touched her; our youth knew the person who signed the card. This woman and the connections we could make was a miracle.

Saturday. We had a ward picnic at a lake. It was nice to be with the people. My companion made cookies. I really enjoyed my time. I loved it. People swam in the lake and we just played games. We talked with the people and it was the best time ever. 

As much as this next event did not seem like a miracle, I am still referring to it as a miracle. It is obvious as bad as it is that I was meant to be here. Miracle #6: Friday, we received a call from our special investigator, saying she needed help with moving some stuff. At the picnic, we got some help. Our special investigator needed some things out of her house. We arrive at her house (she and her friend were in the driveway) with the member driving behind us. A policeman comes up and escorts us up the driveway. The police are involved with her situation. We get out of the car and we need to get inside. The front door is locked and the key does not work. Any doors into the main part of the house are locked. We open one of the garage doors (there are two) that was unlocked and I, due to it being a small space, crawl in. I open the main garage door and then we tried another side door. It too is locked. The policeman is watching us and giving us occasional tips. The member ended up taking off one of the storm windows by the front room and opening up the window. The member removed glass items and called me over. Another small space for a small person to crawl through. I crawl into the home and open the doors for them. The police entered, making sure nobody was home. Thankfully, nobody was. The policeman left, seeing as there was nothing left for him to do. Our special investigator's bedroom was locked. Using an old library card of mine, we broke in. (On a side note, perhaps I should learn lock picking skills.) Our special investigator needed some papers for court to be rid of her family. She, by the grace of God, was able to find them.

Still on Saturday. We ate dinner and went to a less active's home. There we got the call. I handed the phone to Elder Clifford, because he felt that he was leaving. He is indeed leaving. Without hanging up, he hands the phone to me. I, too, am being transferred out of Powhatan. Off to a new destination. So, it is a bit of headache, trying to leave a thousand notes about this area. Sunday. We sang Take Time To Be Holy, accompanied by the member who got the perfect job. He is such a wonderful pianist and I felt so privileged to sing that song. It was his first song that he accompanied someone to and that was his mother. We both bore our testimonies. The rest of the day was filled of saying good bye to people. It sucks, because I was starting to get attached to these people and, much more, it is hard saying good bye to people. But, I must move on. And today, we have said good bye to people and had zone P-day. I did not do much, because I incidentally had most of my clothes already packed from the previous transfer and never felt inclined to unpack them.
President Wilson, or rather the Lord, likes patterns. Elder Clifford, Elder Frank, and Elder Longman all have a common thread to them and that is one companion. My chances are that I will receive that companion or a companion of his. Also, I figured I might be gone. There is one missionary that whenever he comes along, I end up leaving. He is my curse, in a sense. Who knows where I will be.

That is the wonderful, miraculous, and crazy week I had. Perhaps I should not have been involved with our special investigator's issues, but she has no one and I was needed.
All is well! 

Elder S. Todd