As a missionary, you experience a wide variety of…well experiences. Anything from the happy, to the sad, the hard, to the easy. This week I hit my year mark, and I guess you could say, "It's all downhill from here." It feels weird! I feel like I still don't know what I am doing on my mission, that I just got here yesterday. But then again, I feel like I don't even remember what "normal" life is like. I remember as a brand spanking new missionary, looking at those guys who have been out a year, and thinking about how they have got everything together. How old they seem. It's weird to think that I'm THAT GUY. Well…maybe not the guy who has everything together…haha just kidding…Over the past year, I've started to notice something, a trend you could say. It may be a missionary thing, but I'm pretty sure that it applies to everyone in life. And that is, it is the little things in life that matter the most. Those little details, that at the time seem so innocent and regular, are the ones that will be cemented in your memory for all time and eternity. Those small moments, I believe, are the ones in which we can see the Lord's hand at work most clearly in our lives.
Today, some members of the Ewa Beach 1st ward invited us over to have a Memorial Day barbaque and to watch some movies. We watched "The Saratov Approach". Man, what a movie! For those who don't know what that is, it is a movie about two missionaries in Saratov, Russia, who get captured and held for ransom. The "Approach" the plan of action that the church took to get these young boys to safety. Instead of paying the young men's ransom, they decided to ask everyone from every faith to join together in prayer and fasting to bring to pass a miracle, and put faith into action. It was neat to see as the crisis began to reach world-wide media, the effect that a whole nation has as they break down religious barriers and send their pleas toward Heaven. I won't give away any details, but the two missionaries miraculously, through the work of Heavenly Father, make it home safely.
Now I share that story to show how amazing something like that can be, but I argue that what is even more impressive is when the Lord works on a seemly smaller scale. Those stories that don't make national headline news, but rather make the local news station, "Channel 6's Gleave @ 5" My own news station. Today's headline reads, "Miracle on North Road…One young man, David Costa, continues to defy the odds and overcomes obstacles that a mental illness and a local society have placed on him. A firm belief by the Ewa Beach Ward has lead this 24 year old handicapped man to the waters of baptism, and confirmation. But even more impressive, this young man has received the aaronic priesthood, given a church calling, gone to the temple to do baptisms for the dead, and passed sacrament for the first time. Although most people will continue to doubt, this young man's determination to be a servant of the Lord will push him to be better than anyone could ever imagine."
Now, it might not be that crazy of a story, but to me that seems amazing. I never could have imagined when I first met David that he would be in the place he is now. I love him, and although he might not be the most reverent in sacrament meeting, and he might love to have thumb wrestling wars and reenact scenes from Space Jam in the church's cultural hall, he is the most dedicated, submissive person I've ever met. It was a small victory in my book, and it's sad that no one will ever hear about it.
Anyway, I wish I could show you everything that happens here. I wish I could film my everyday life, because I often feel as if this church is similar to the Book of Mormon when it says that only "one one-hundreth" of what happens can be recorded. I'm excited for this next week. It should be a good one! I will keep you in touch with the local news. Until then, aloha err body.
Elder "I'm not sure if he's a missionary or a giant toddler in a suit" Gleave