It is amazing how much I have been blessed for serving a mission. It is incredible the miracles I have seen. I am convinced that these miracles are happening in each of our lives even if we don’t realize it. They are miracles that take more than 5 minutes, or even a day, but take years or even a lifetime life time. So they can be difficult to recognize. It’s usually something of a domino effect; by small and simple means great things are brought to pass. Small means that eventually make a difference between life or death, sickness or health, and between joy or suffering. I think most all of us want those miracles that happen right in front of our eyes. They can happen, and they do happen, but it’s my belief that God wants us to build our faith on what He has given us first.
This week I have had some time to reflect back on the past 20 months of my mission, and the past 20 years of my life. I have noticed that there were some pivotal moments in my life. I did not recognize them at first (in other words the first domino). God had enough mercy to guide me through those important moments. Moments that brought me to where I am now. I am now on a mission in a country across the world teaching the gospel without pay. I think there is nothing short of a miracle needed to take an 18 year old away from all his concerns to do such a work. Where I am now has become yet another important time in my life. A time that will help shape my life and my future. What a miracle! I am sure this is not unique to my life. I think we each experience these miracles, more than we give God credit for.
I also know of miracles in our lives, not brought to pass by small and simple means, but by means so enormous it’s imposable to comprehend. I have met many people on my mission that wish their conditions were different. They remember through Jesus, “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” (Mat 11:5) They often hope that these same miracles would happen to them. I think what they forget is they all have been promised the same miracles. Jesus did not just preform those miracles for a few but for all of us. These things we all are redeemed from through the resurrection. If we are lame we will walk, if we are deaf we will hear, we will even rise from the grave. That is quite a mighty miracle that each of us are promised. Those of us that exercise our faith in Jesus Christ will yet find another miracle of incomprehensible proportions. The Atonement is the greatest blessing and miracle that can be experienced in mortality. It is hard to think we each still ask God for more. That is a thought I had as I started to email that I wanted to share. I guess the point of my email is God truly is a God of miracles even if his children tend to forget it. I am so grateful for this gospel and for the miracles performed by Jesus Christ for all of us.
This week I recognized what I am going to now call a domino miracle in the life of my investigator. Eleven years ago he met the missionaries and at the time was not interested in their message. Over the years he has made friends with members of the church that helped prepare him eventually for the second time he meet the missionaries. This same pattern was happening with his wife and children. By the time we met with them they were ready to accept our message. His entire family came to church yesterday where they found friends that were ready to receive them. It was amazing to me how this all happened. It has built my testimony of these “domino miracles.” This family is now actively investigating the church. They are all very happy people. The father has one bad leg that is stick thin and unusable. He has found a way to come to church four times. Each time he has brought more of his family. He studied to be a Petroleum Engineer but lost his job and is now unemployed. They live in a really small house. I hope that we can put together a service project that might help them.
On April 29th, Elder David A. Evans of the Seventy, who is currently serving as the Executive Director of the Missionary Department, will be coming to visit our mission. We will have a combined meeting with the Ghana Accra and the Ghana Accra West Mission. I am looking forward to that.
I hope you have a great week. Try and find some dominoes of your own. -Elder Orton