I'll start by relating the coolest story of the week to those of you who like to eat your desert first. Early last week while it was raining like a king, (10 kudos for who got the pun) E. Queiroz and I were walking neither fast nor slow but with fervent purpose late at night (it's cooler), trying to get out of the angry rain. This place is very indecisive with how it weathers. While we were briskly walking we merged paths with a guy walking home. In the most unreasonable of times, E. Queiroz turned to him and started a conversation which led to him giving us his address for us to pass by the next week. We didn't think much of it until last Wednesday, when we searched for his house again. He had given us the wrong address, so we ended up at a house we had never seen before. Being a little put aside because we had faith that he was telling the truth about his address, we decidedly knocked on the door in front of us to see what we could make out of the situation. It took awhile for someone to come to the door so we stood waiting. While we were standing there on the front porch, a girl came behind us and said "hey, can I ask you guys a question? Are you from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?" She asked where the church was in Aguas Lindas, explaining she had just arrived. She said she is a member too and wants to go to church. We were happy to be able to help someone looking for the church. She was very happy, and appeared so excited it kinda weirded me out. But I understood why when she told us how she found us. She moved to Aguas Lindas to find her biological mom. She had been raised in a family of members elsewhere but now that she was old enough, they supported her in finding her real mom. Her situation upon getting here was difficult. Her mom wasn't very excited upon seeing her and her family that she hoped to accept her with open arms and with smiles on their faces didn't like the idea of her meeting them again. It was very sad to hear. It was easy to see that for a 14 year old, she had lived through a lot. She told us that the week before she prayed every day that God would help her in this situation, and that she could experience some of the joy she had living with her other family in the gospel. She barely ever left the house, feeling despondent and lonely. But the day in which she talked to us she said that 15 minutes before she felt a very strong feeling that she should come out on the street. She didn't know why, but followed the feeling. She looked down the street and saw us standing outside of the house we found ourselves at, after searching for the guy that gave us the wrong address. Soon after, we explained the odd circumstances by which we ended up on her street. We both were amazed and very grateful for how the spirit can work in the lives of those who are exercising faith.
I subsequently thought a lot about that occurrence and what implications it had for us as missionaries as for her as someone looking to find joy and peace through the gospel. I renewed my desire to always be in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. As long as we're working, we'll be guided even when we think we're not being guided. If I had stayed home because I had a little headache or felt tired, I wouldn't have been an answer to her prayer. I understand better now what Thomas S. Monson said once. He said that one of the greatest joys is feeling a prompting, acting on it, and in doing so being the answer to someone's prayer. The girl's name is Sámia. I know that Sámia was an answer to our prayer that we could find the people the Lord wanted us to find that day, and that we were an answer to her prayer.
I only have time for this story today, but I feel like stories such as these are of much more avail to people who read my updates than small snippets of how things are going. I have been reading Grandpa Royce's mission journal that Christy put together and sent me. I love reading his journal and have learned that experiences such as these are the ones that influence and touch me the most. I want to try to focus my efforts on relating stories such as these in hope that it can positively impact the lives of those who read them.
Elder Bryce Young