Monday, April 25, 2016

Keep Climbing Those Stairs!

Hey this week I finally watched most of General Conference in English, and it was so awesome! For me, it was a time for much needed feasting on the word of the Lord. Sadly, we didn't get through all of it, but even though I am not completely through, it has made such a difference in my life this past week. What a nice change up to a wild and chaotic lifestyle. Oh man, it really is so amazing. I know God lives and is aware of everyone, and I know He gives all of us those things that we need, right when we need them. I actually had another experience this past week that built on to that testimony.

In order for this story to make sense you need to hear the background:  So almost exactly a year ago, I got my mission call to come to Korea, and to be honest I could not think of anyone I knew who had received a mission call to Korea. I felt pretty lonely about that--I won't lie--and it also added more anxiety to what I was already feeling.  I felt pretty alone, going to an unknown land and having NO ONE to relate to! However, I soon found out that a guy who happened to be my childhood hero had actually served in my exact same mission about ten years ago--well, it was a different mission then, but the boundaries are essentially the same. Honestly, I was so happy to have someone to relate to and who else than the guy I had looked up to for such a long time. In fact, he was the entire neighborhood's hero. One of my close friends liked him so much that he asked him (Spencer Harman) to baptize him when he turned eight. This guy was famous in my eyes! Once I found out that he had been to Korea, we arranged to meet and he got me excited about my call. 

So after living in Korea for a while, I decided to contact Spencer to see where he had served (now knowing a little bit more about Korea and my mission) and he told me he had served in 5 different areas, none of which I had heard of, so I didn't think much more about it. A few months later, though, I found myself in a new area, so I looked at the list of his areas again and found out that he had served in the area I am serving in now!!! Naturally, I hurriedly sent him an email letting him know. I was so excited and happy for me, but also for him. When I got to the new house, I dove into records and read though close to a thousand just looking for Spencer's name to see if I could meet someone that he knew. I found a lot of cool records, and a few even had his name, but nothing looked too promising. A lot of wrong numbers is mostly what we found.

A few months passed and still I had nothing to connect with Spencer. Feeling a little angry and more than anything sort of questioning this cool occurrence (me serving in the same area as my childhood hero), I received another email from Spence. He sent me the name of a person who had gotten baptized while he was still here in Korea.  The name sounded familiar, but I wasn't positive who it was. I ran home and looked through the records again, and at the top of the "Most Potential" pile was the person Spencer had told me about.  We had actually already tried to find him, but the contact information was incorrect.  I called around the ward trying to find out more, and finally got his address and correct phone number.  We went that night to the house and there was no answer! I was so confused, and I even questioned God. We were so close.  We let a few days pass and went back, but the same thing happened again. No answer! AH! A near "miracle" that turned out to be nothing. 

Well, I tried just to forget about it because, to be honest, it kind of hurt. I didn't know why, but I was kind of just mad about it all. Everything had been lining up: my childhood hero, the same mission, the same area, the records.  It all made sense to me that we were supposed to find this guy and tell him what had happened and he, of course, would just follow us back to the church building! It seemed meant to be. But it wasn't working out that way and I wasn't sure why.  However, last night we were taking a bus back home at a pretty late time when I realized that we were on the same bus line that this guy's house was on. And, moments later I also realized that it was the very bus stop we were pulling into. I thought "whoa what a coincidence! Should we go try again?" I wasn't sure what to do, so I began a quick prayer.  Honestly, the second I started the prayer I got an answer and it was "GO."  A second answer might have also been the words "YOLO" from my companion as he stood up to get off.  We both just bolted to the door right before the bus was about to leave the stop! 

We hopped out, went up to the apartment, said a prayer, and knocked. You won't be surprised to hear that someone answered! His daughter! I was so happy that someone had answered--not just the door, but also my prayer. I am not sure what will come of this, but I'll just trust the Big Guy and his incredible timing on this one! 

Through these few experiences, I have come to know that God is really right next to us, and that He really IS in all of our lives. I love Him for that, and I know that He is there because He loves us!

Sorry for the length! I am just hyped is all.  Love you guys!

Elder Jenkins

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