It was a difficult, but important week for me. I learned a lot and saw a lot of weakness that I need to work on. We had lots of incredible experiences.
One of them was yesterday night I when I was kind of discouraged cause we aren`t having lots of success with investigators. The last part of the night we decided to visit the Barreto family who is less active. They are like 10 kids and the single mom and we got there and they hadn`t gone to church cause the sick daughter had to go to the hospital and the wiring of the house burst into flames in the night. The mom was way discouraged. We talked about the Children of Israel who followed Moses out of Egypt (I studied this like a week ago.) The course they take into the wilderness really makes no sense because they are heading straight for the Red Sea when they should logically just take a straight shot to the promised land. But in faith they follow the cloud that guides them by day and the pillar of fire by night. But then a difficulty come: Pharaoh is on their heals and they begin to doubt. They ask why they didn`t just stay and die in Egypt. The situation looks impossible but Moses prays and God tells him to put his staff in the water. And the waters.. do NOT part instantly. I never knew that. But during the night they are parted and they cross over and the armies of Egypt are destroyed and they are all safe. This often happens to us. We may find ourselves in a seemingly impossible situation. We might think that we would be better off if we had never joined the church or if we had never followed a prompting that seemingly led us into danger, but if we have faith and keep following we will be protected and one day we will be in the promised land and realize that we left the comfort, but limited progress of Egypt, passed through pain and trials, but ended up much better off in the promised land. That is what they are going through. It was awesome to see the perfect application of the scriptures in their lives. But the best part was seeing the amazing faith of the mom. She told us that she knew that God would protect and bless them because he has been doing it since she found the church as a recently abandoned single mother. She said that this experience would help her daughter to come back to church and that it would make them stronger for their goal to be at the sealing of her son and daughter-in-law.
As we walked home I realized that while I can preach all day about faith I am not sure if I could face these type of situations with such bravery and optimism. I admire these people so much. I love them and one day hope to have the faith that they have. I truly felt as we went home the love of the Lord for these people. They do not have the same opportunities as I have and are in situation a whole lot more difficult, but they have faith that is unmatched. I have loved these people for 22 months and I think in that moment it really hit me that I was going to have to leave them in not too long. I don`t know how I will be able to do it. The Lord answered my prayers and gave me even more desire to work and help in the time I have left. I do my best to help these people, but they always help me more than I could ever help them. It really isn`t fair how much God blesses me. I love being a missionary.
Con amor, Elder Hawk