I feel bad, guys--I keep meaning to write more on here but life has been crazy lately. Not because of the mountains of things I have to do (there isn't really a lot going on right now); mostly just because it's been a little bit of an emotional roller coaster for the past few months. But I've felt a shift start to happen, literally just in the past few days, where I've been able to see that I'm making progress and to recognize the hand of the Lord in everyday events. I'm starting to feel like I can write something uplifting again. I don't know, maybe I should've been trying to do that all along...but I'm doing it now, and I think it'll help. And if it helps someone else too, even better!
One of my friends there showed considerable interest in my beliefs from the very beginning. He actually came to church with me once, and he's started to read the Book of Mormon. He's asked me a lot about what the missionaries teach, and about what we need to do to make it to heaven. It's so much easier to explain things to him, because he's so willing to listen and to consider what I say to him. I know he won't argue or debate with me, which is a relief.
One night after work (we get off at midnight...yuck), I gave him a ride home because he'd been having car trouble. We were talking, and he started to tell me a story so similar to the ones I've heard so many times from investigators--about how he wants to live life differently than how he's done before, and about how badly he feels about the mistakes he's made in the past.
I don't remember what exactly I said, but I know that I told him about the atonement and about how Jesus Christ paid for all of our sins. When he heard that, he looked at me and said, "Wait, so he paid for all of our sins?" He sounded so surprised. I told him yes, that through repentance he could be forgiven of every sin he'd ever committed.
To this day, it amazes me that people don't know that one simple truth. When I dropped him off that night, I saw a little bit of hope that I'd never seen in him before. It made me realize all over again why it's SO IMPORTANT to tell EVERYONE about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ that's here on the earth today. Because if we don't, people will continue to wander in search of the happiness that their Heavenly Father longs to give them. He can give it to them through us, if we are only willing to follow His lead and put our trust in Him. It's not an easy commitment to make, and every single one of us will stumble and fall in our efforts. But every single one of us can reach out to His already outstretched hand so that He can pull us back to our feet.
Through my own trials, I've had doubts and I've felt so alone at times. But every so often, I've been able to open my eyes enough to see that He has always been right here beside me. I know now that I won't ever forget Him--I just can't. These moments will stay with me forever, and they will always be more powerful than my doubts.
Without this knowledge, my life would lose all meaning. With this knowledge, I can do my part to save this world and everyone in it. And all because of the love of my God, which knows no bounds.