Have I mentioned that I love summer?
(Because I do.)
Since it has been so nice out (and because we all get a little ADD when stuck inside the apartment for hours on end), Sister Harris and I have been doing our weekly planning out in the park. Thankfully Thursday mornings aren't prime for Tanglewilde shenanigans so it's actually productive. (though to note: the Tanglewilde's got nothing on Parkland)
Even so, Sister Harris still gets a bit...undone by the end of weekly planning.
Meanwhile, all us missionaries in Washington have been supplementing our diets with the blackberries that grow wild everywhere.
Every time I turn around, Harris is dangling precariously over thorns and berries.
This week we had Jessica pretty much come out of nowhere, so prepared, asking us how baptism works. She had spoken with some Spanish Elders, has been learning on her own from mormon.org and lds.org, came on an amazing church tour and brought her own bread for the sacrament on Sunday. She loves everything from the Relief Society lesson, to the safety she feels in the chapel, to the "Meet The Mormons" movie she watched on netflix. We are praying nothing will come up that will keep her from being baptized on August 1.
We also found Kathy while knocking a street in the middle of nowhere that we weren't even positive had any houses. It was a whole string of events that led her to be sitting on there her parents' porch thinking about her own faith and her own prodigal son when we walked up and were able to talk to her for almost an hour. She is so excited about the Book of Mormon and the peace she feels.
Sometimes things just come easily or at least it appears so - we don't always recognize just how much time and effort and planning has gone into every aspect of the miracles we see each day. How much God has been teaching and preparing and aligning things to work out just perfectly for us to be where and with exactly who he needs us to be.
On my exchange with Sister Harward we knocked into the kindest people all night. (I think something about living on the water can make people a bit more content with life and thus, less angsty about talking with missionaries.) An elderly man named Dick really needed the opportunity to pray and was so grateful we were there. Since his wife had died he didn't have anyone to appreciate her dahlias, so he sent us into his vast garden to make bouquets to take with us.
When his wife was alive, he would accompany her to countless dahlia shows and conventions because dahlias were her pride and joy. At one of the conventions she was standing amidst all the dahlias and he was standing against the wall when another man asked him, "Don't you just love dahlias?", to which he thought and replied,
"No, actually! I don't love dahlias at all.
But I love Evelyn. And Evelyn loves dahlias. And that is a good enough reason for me."
Some things about missionary work or life aren't easy or come easily or are easy to love. I don't always love being out all day every day in the rain or the heat, always being exhausted from working and worrying, or trying to talk to everyone possible, or getting bitten by dogs or having guns pulled on you or seeking after the one, or struggling and striving and placing trust outside of yourself and expecting miracles.
It isn't easy to give all of yourself.
But I love my Heavenly Father.
And Heavenly Father loves these things, because it allows His children to come home. And so I can love these things too. It is a good enough reason for me.
P.S. Just how little time you have left becomes so much more real when your milk has the same expiration day you do.