From: Jessica McKay <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Two Wheels and Hail Storms
Date: May 13, 2013 9:52:47 AM MDT
So picture this: Sister McKay…in a skirt…with a backpack…on a bicycle…in the rain…and then…LIGHTENING AND HAIL. I know. The picture just kept getting better and better, riiiiiight??
Yeah, short story long, we were recently switched from full-time car, to part-time bikes. The good news is now I don’t feel nearly as guilty eating a dessert every single night. The bad news is…well there’s really no bad news about the situation, I’m just a little sore…all over my body. Our first day on bikes was last Wednesday. We had a zone training in the morning when it was pouring rain, and honestly I was dreading biking in that weather. But we had places to go and people to teach, so we sucked it up and just accepted that we’d be biking our first day in less than ideal circumstances. However, the Lord is merciful on His sisters and actually sent us a beautiful day…until about 8:00 when we were riding home and it started raining. Fortunately we were blessed with just enough time to make it to a potential investigator’s porch to take refuge 9 seconds before the hail came pelting down; Unfortunately she wasn’t home, so we just waited out the hail there on the porch until a sweet member of our ward came to pick us and our bikes up. And then Sister Beuchert left her helmet on the top of the car while we were loading the bikes, and by the time we realized it we were halfway home and the helmet was long gone. Whoops.
Friday we helped out at the Andover Sr. Center where they were having a Mother’s Day lunch and we helped serve the food. We go help out at the Sr. Center quite often. I love them all. Friday was a great day. We gave out three copies of the Book of Mormon (one of the Assistants to the President challenged us to give out 2, so we did, plus one), saw Roy and Omar (two investigators) working at Metro Grill, taught lots of lessons, and stayed on our bikes all day, altogether totaling a whopping 20 miles in skirts. We were suuuper sore the next day, but it was so worth it.
It’s been an amazing week, yet again. Every week is great, but it never ceases to amaze me how many miracles we have every hour, day, week, and month. We had five investigators at church on Sunday and a less active sister who we have been trying to get out to church for months. Jackie White was also there yesterday and brought her less active daughter and her baby.
Jackie had an amazing experience on Wednesday. We gave her a reading assignment of Alma 36 and D&C 25 and asked her to read the chapters and apply them to herself. Wednesday night we visited her and she told us she had read the two chapters and also ready Alma 32 because she “felt like she should.” She said she just felt so good while she was reading that she didn’t want to stop. She has a cancerous brain tumor and has been waning physically and emotionally for the past few weeks. She told us that on multiple occasions she didn’t know what she would do and almost resorted to drastic measures to end her suffering. However, the revelation she received from the scriptures buoyed her up and put so much wind in her sails that she was able to stop using the cane she had been using and could walk on her own two feet. I have rarely seen her happier than we saw her Wednesday night, even on her wedding day a month ago. She was beaming. She was glowing. She was the same Jackie as before, but she had been touched by the Spirit, and that made all the difference. Keep her in your prayers. I know that her prayers, our prayers, and the prayers of the ward were answered by that experience, but she could still use more.
Knowing Jackie and seeing what she has had to struggle through in her life has caused me to contemplate quite a bit on God’s merciful plan of salvation. Why do things happen the way they do? I was reading from President Spencer W. Kimball, and he addressed this very thing. While God is almighty and omnipotent, he very well could save us from all pain, suffering, heartache, hunger, or ailment. He could control the direction of bullets or drive cars that are out of control or completely remove disease. Yet he does not. President Kimball said that we should understand this because we understand why it would not be wise to control every situation that our own children go through by taking away their freedom to make choices and experience peace and opposition. Everything is for our learning and growth, and while, yes, some trials seem harder than others–I know I look at the experiences of people I’ve met just being on my mission and am astounded at the level of difficulty of some of their trials–we can endure anything if we have a patient and eternal perspective. Orson F. Whitney said, “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is ever wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts,expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God…And it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.” I know it is hard. I know sometimes it seems like there is no way out. Yet I also know that God has a perfect design for each of us, and one day we will overcome. One day we will understand. One day we will be heirs to all that we have been promised. Until then, let us press on in patience and virtue, endurance and strength. Doctrine and Covenants 58:3-4 says, “Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation. For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.” In the words of Elder Holland, “Hope on! Journey on!” What a beautiful opportunity we have been given to live and love in this life.
(Pictured above: This is how I feel about bikes: “Ehhhhhhhh.”)