There we were, sitting in the trailer of our favorite Less-Actives, the Joker and Harley Quinn. After a weird week of trying to figure out who to go see and what to do with them, the Lord plopped us on their couch. As the Joker opened up to us about driving home from work, angry and irritable but randomly thinking "hey, maybe I should go to church" and then a couple hours later, we show up, I had a hard time keeping my jaw off the floor.
"So now, I guess this is some sort of sign? To have those thoughts earlier and now here you are at my door. Tell me, what goes on in the day of a life of a missionary on their way to see us?"
Sometimes, you knock on a half-open door with a golf-ball because you're determined to get a new investigator and not even a Rangers game and a few awkward moments is gonna get in the way of that. (agency might, though..)
Sometimes, you share an incredibly powerful message with a family after dinner on the importance of member work and then watch as the Spirit tells them what to do and then tell YOU that their goal is the proper goal.
You might even meet a dog that's literally bigger than your companion.
You get referred to as "Sister Gunslinger" by your 9 year old investigator because all he remembers is that your name starts with "Gun.... something" and then goes for "Gunslinger" (note: no complaints here).
Sometimes, you get transferred to the area that your old investigator was referred to at the beginning of the year and get to resume teaching him yourself instead of letting other missionaries do it.
You set a baptismal date with True Grit-- after she's been meeting with missionaries for 5 years!!! She decides that she's gonna quit smoking, give up swearing and Saturday night, she kicked her boyfriend out for good! TRIUMPH.
On occasion, you might end up playing "Sunshin on My Shoulders" on a century old player piano AND attempt to play an accordion.
Sometimes, all of your appointments for the day cancel in one morning and so you spend most of comp study trying to keep yourself together so that your green compy doesn't freak out... But knowing that you need to spend some time with Heavenly Father-- you need to hear His words and talk to Him-- you grab a plain blue Book of Mormon and head for the bathroom. You sit on the edge of the tub and cry and have a tender conversation with what could only be a literal and loving Heavenly Parent. You tell Him all your worries and fears and ask that He might talk to you. So, flipping open the Book of Mormon, you turn to Alma 17 where you receive comfort and strength to do hard things. You receive the promise to be an instrument in the Lord's hands and recognition that you're doing your best. And so you take a quick second to thank Heavenly Father for His mercies and His guidance. You're thankful for the trials you get to go through because you realize that it's all for your benefit and learning. And you walk out of the bathroom strong enough and serene enough to comfort your companion and to get out and work.
Then you find out that the reason all of your appointments cancelled was because the Lord needed you to be somewhere else. He needed His missionaries at the home of sweet Tender Mercy, another less active member who's had a really hard 3 years.
Because I love her, I'm not going to tell you all of what happened since a lot of it was opening up to us.... Suffice it to say that she's from Sister Morrill's hometown and she spent a couple months in Santa Barbara. She had pictures of the harbor and a view of the city from the beach... plus she could join with me on why In-N-Out is the best burger joint in the WORLD. She also proved Heavenly Father's promise that morning that we would be instruments and that we would be guided to know where to go. Not only did the Spirit witness to me that she needed this, she was prepared for this moment... and every small step was guided. When we knocked on her door, I turned to say something to Sister Morrill, but had the strong impression to look directly at the peephole. I did it and was like "... why am I doing this?" Well, at the end of the lesson, Tender Mercy looks up at me, and says "you saw me through the peephole didn't you?" I eloquently said "uhhhh....... huh?" and she said "I wouldn't have opened the door, but I thought you saw me through it and had to open the door."
Crazy? Little bit. Real? SO real.
Sometimes, the bishop calls you and asks if you'll give a talk in Sacrament Meeting. You say "sure!" and then sit there... wondering what exactly you're going to speak about concerning missionary work (the assigned topic). You write and rewrite your talk and then, Sunday morning, you're praying and the Lord says "change topics" and you're like "TO WHAT?!" You re-write the talk with the small amount of time you have left, but are still a little shaky on it. And then, when you're sitting in Sacrament Meeting, the youth speaker talks about faith and listening to the Holy Ghost, one of the elders that you split the ward with is talking about Charity, so the Lord is like "ditch the talk you wrote, you're gonna combine those two talks and tell them how to use Faith and Charity to do missionary work!"
I'm just not one to argue with the Lord.
So, I over-answered the Joker's original question. That kinda stuff happens in a week, not just a day.
When we got the the Joker's, I'll be honest, I didn't know why we were there. We had a vague idea, but I felt like we were going to do something... else. We shared Helaman 5:12, talked about how to build ourselves on the rock, and all of a sudden, the Joker opened up. More than Sister Morrill has ever seen in her life. He was baptized before he really had a testimony and now all of his demons are haunting him. He wakes up every morning, scared to live, in so much pain. He knows he needs to come to church, but he says "I'll go back to church the day I wake up and I'm happy to be alive." We told him the formula for how to get to that day. We walked him through going to church, reading the scriptures and saying prayers and how he can best do it. We asked him if he'd do it and we could see the little mustard seed work-- at this point, it was barely faith, mostly hope-- and say "yes."
I call him the Joker because, as we were talking about God trying to get his attention and send him signs, he told us that he had been thinking he needed to go back to church and then we showed up. He sat there, a little dumb-founded and said "It's like the bat signal!! You know when to come!!"
People in need draw us out like that.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is we're the sisters Euless needs, not the sisters they want....? I forgot the line.
PS: I saw a live armadillo this week. Almost killed it. ALMOST