Happy New Year!
(The year that wasn't supposed to exist)
The week after Christmas is usually a pretty relaxed one for the Finns. But it wasn't for us. After the Christmas holidays, we looked at each other, shrugged, and said to ourselves, "well, back to work." Thursday morning, a man called me. He was drunk. He told me he hated his life and wanted desperately to change. At first, I was very wary of the idea of meeting with him. I've met with other people much like him, in very similar circumstances, and the end result was not pleasant. But, after a long discussion with him on the phone, and prayer and counsel with my companions, we decided we could at least give him fifteen minutes. We arrived at his apartment, where we couldn't even see the floor due to the mess of loose, dirty laundry, paper, odd electronic equipment, and other junk. He yelled and hollered and spewed on and on about all of his addictions for what seemed like eternity, and eventually, we agreed to come back to help him clean his place the next day. As we arrived the next day, I was not exactly pleased to be there. My motive the entire visit was to get it over with. As we were cleaning, my attitude worsened. That is, until I saw a picture of him. Staring back at me was a clean shaven, neatly dressed, slightly younger looking version of this man. He looked happy. There was life in his eyes, the light of intelligence. Rays of hope. I realized in that moment how horrible I had been. Underneath this man's current exterior was that man. He was still there, we just had to find him again. My love for that man increased a hundred fold in that instant as I thought about the way the Savior must sometimes have cause to think about me. Who am I to judge another, anyway?
Just last night, I learned another powerful lesson. A young mother, with whom we have just begun to meet, and who seemed to be progressing well, sent us a text informing us that she had been reading about the church and decided that she no longer wished to meet with us. I was so depressed. We made plans to call her and try to talk it over with her before just letting her go. I knew it would require the guidance of the Spirit. So, before making the call, I knelt down by my bed and prayed. I asked for the Lord's help in knowing what to say to this woman. I felt the peace of the Spirit come over me. During the call, she agreed to let us come over again, to explain all these things she had read in person. We are going back Tuesday night, and with the Lord's help, we will be able to help her overcome these fears. I am so grateful for the Lord's help in that moment.
Sorry this is short, but don't have much time today. Have a happy new year!