This is Elder Kilmer's post for this last week. We are now all caught up on his posts.
It's been a fantastic week. Life as a missionary is just fantastic. Even though every day has its challenges, each day becomes more and more rewarding.
It's been quite stormy here recently. Thankfully, Enid is in a bit of a bowl (yes, not flat!) so the worst of any storm never hits us. Other areas get quarter-sized hail and tornados and we just get a lot of rain. That being said, the storms here are awe-inspiring. There's so much lightening and the thunder shakes the walls every time. The sky here is just amazing. Even when it isn't stormy, the clouds are impressive looking. I've never really thought much about the sky, but it is beautiful here.
We've had a few miracles this week. While I was on exchanges with Elder Bledsoe, our Spanish-speaking District Leader, we decided that rather than head back to the apartment that we would try to talk to two people during our last 15 minutes of the night and then book it back so we would be on time. (It's pretty hard to share the good news with the gospel if you aren't able to talk with people, so sometimes we set goals of talking with a certain number of individuals and get creative about how we can meet people.) So we biked to some apartments...no one outside. No doors opened. We were bummed, but it was late, so we needed to get back. Just as we were grabbing our bikes, someone called out to us from across the parking lot. After we talked with him, we walked past a woman just getting back from work who we talked to about families. We got back a few minutes late, but we were definitely blessed with the means to accomplish our goals.
Yesterday, Elder Nicholas and I decided to stop by someone we taught once and left with a Book of Mormon. We hadn't been able to catch him at a good time before because some of the Marshallese men here work 13-hour days to support their families. But we finally saw him for a couple of minutes and set up a good time to come by. Then out of the blue he said, "I've been reading and...*nods his head*...it's really good." Turns out he has read farther than some of our investigators that we've been teaching for months. We're excited to come back and teach him again.
My favorite experience this week comes from a lesson with a less-active member. During our previous day's planning session, we decided to share with him 2 Nephi 25:33, which talks about how we need God's grace because our own efforts don't cover it, and invite him to listen to Brad Wilcox's talk "His Grace is Sufficient" (which is what I based my farewell talk on). In our planning sessions, we pray specifically to be guided to plan for the needs of those we teach. When we arrived at this member's home, we almost decided to change the lesson, but in the end we stuck to our plan. During our lesson, we learned that he has recently been feeling weighed down by his inadequacies and felt like he was overcome by mistakes and just bad things in life in general. Our lesson plan was exactly what he needed to hear, and his entire countenance changed to seem a lot brighter at the end. It was a wonderful example that God loves His children and is keenly aware of their needs.
Which brings me to my challenge this week: God doesn't send angels to perform every single miracle His children stand in need of. He usually works through those around us who are faithful and willing to turn outward. So my challenge to you this week is to look out for one person that you can help every day. You don't have to pull an entire family from a burning building; it can be simple. The more time I spend serving, the more I learn this. Everyone always needs help. Everyone always need love. Everyone always needs to be uplifted. If you assume someone is struggling with something, you're probably right. Not that you should send everyone you know a sympathy card, but you shouldn't pass up on an opportunity to do good or to reach out to someone just because they don't seem weighed down. One small kind act every day. If you believe in prayer, pray for God to place you in the path of someone you can help. If not, just look for simple things to do. Take care of the dishes, help with groceries, give someone a ride. It's easy. It makes others happy. It will make you happy.
You're all awesome; don't forget it!
Elder Josh Kilmer
Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Mission, Marshallese speaking
Fudoshin: immovable spirit