Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Glow of Understanding

Hi Family!

Aren't you lucky? You get emails in the middle of the week!! (:

We found an investigator this week!!! Her name is Morgan, and we thought that she was a young single adult. Young? Yes! Single? Yes!! Adult?! ...Well, not so much... sophomore in high school... whoops. Anyway, she's currently our investigator and soon we'll be turning her over to the Jones Falls Sisters.

Morgan is AWESOME!! We were trying to go see a less active sister in the ward one night when we walked by. She was sitting on her porch, just chilling, and we started a conversation. She's been looking for the truth! We arranged to come see her another day because it was pretty late and Baltimore is sketchy in the dark hours (don't worry, we weren't in the city proper).

We went back to see her in the early evening later that week. Morgan walked out, smiling that big happy smile of hers, and warmly greeted Sister Tripple and me with big hugs. We went out and sat on her favorite bench, and she started talking. She told us about her day at school, about her friends, and about how she had always wondered what more there was to the universe. We asked her about what role religion had played in her life to this point. She responded quickly, letting us know that though she's only been to church approximately three times in her living memory, she knows some things about the Bible and she likes what she knows. She expressed a great desire to learn more and to get answers to all of her "why" questions. We were grinning so much, you wouldn't believe it.

Do you know how good it feels to have the resources to help someone find the answers they've been anxiously seeking for quite some time? I do!! Often before my mission, I felt joy when I would tutor and learn with a frustrated, confused student and would have the privilege of watching that marvelous glow of understanding spark to life in their eyes. I would sit back quietly as they labored over a problem similar to the many we had done together. The brow furrows, the mouth frowns, the face clouds over with concentration. This moment is the critical moment. Will they finish, or will they falter? Children are so often stubborn enough to push through. Finished! Bright eyes are anxiously hopeful as I check the work. The moment of truth comes: the math is good!!!! "See?" I exclaim, "Long division isn't that hard after all!" The triumphant grin that inevitably follows each acquisition of insight I will never forget, for each of these memories fill me with joy!

I do have to say, however, the rush of happiness I feel when math tutoring is nothing compared to what I' doing now; it is far outshone by the joy I experience each time I teach the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even though my memories of tutoring are no less significant to me than they were a year ago! I am perpetually filled with wonderment as I reflect upon this singular situation. What joy may lay just ahead of me that I cannot begin to comprehend? I must conclude that it will just keep on getting better. The majority of society tells me that I'm stupid for coming on a mission to talk with people about God, that I should be going to school and living the college life, tasting and experiencing all that the world has to offer. My response is, so what? So what, that I'm not out partying with my graduating class? Do they find any exceedingly great and enduring joy where they're looking for it? I don't think so. What I have tasted in the service of God is delicious, sweet. It fills the empty corners of my soul, patches the holes in my heart. It is delicious to me.

My time runs out. Long story short, Morgan was astounded by the story of Joseph Smith, for it reflected her own feelings. When we presented her with the first vision, her eyes filled with tears. She was smiling, grinning like she couldn't contain herself.


Sister Rapier

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