Yesterday was a very interesting day.
It began fairly normal: showers, scriptures, and Cinnabon cereal. When we walked out the door, there was nothing in the peaceful morning sunshine that suggested this would be one of the craziest days of my mission. But so it was, and so it would be.
As we cruised to the church for the zone meeting we had planned, we enjoyed the fresh, new day, ripe with potential. The meetings went well; Elder Tanner taught an excellent district meeting after as well. After this three hour block of meetings, my companion and I had the inspiration to take advantage of a whopper special going on at the local Burger King-"Buy one, get one free". Yep, life was looking good for the Elders of Vallejo 1st ward.
What happened next, we just couldn't see coming.
After consuming our delicious (and remarkably unhealthy) meal, we proceeded to our appointment with a Mr. Shawn Watts. Although we knew he lived on the sketchy side of town, we were confident in the broad daylight. We arrived at his home, guns blazing, excited to share the message of the Book of Mormon with him. As we got out of the car, he walked down the steps of his second story apartment to let us in. He seemed a little worried, apparently there had been a scene earlier and he wanted to get back inside as soon as possible.
We open with a prayer, and start reading the introduction. It was going great! ..Then we heard the shouting in the street.
Now, a little background: I grew up in the quiet town of Layton, Utah. I had never actually seen a "domestic disturbance". A fight for me was usually something that happened once in a blue moon in High School, and usually blew over pretty quick with maybe a black eye dealt to an unfortunate participant.
What we saw (again, safely from the second story window) was a real fight. People yelling and screaming, pushing and punching and kicking. As we watched, it quickly dispersed and the police arrived to restore the peace.
So, that was the end of that lesson. :P
The rest of the day was just as different. As we came in that night, utterly spent and (I'll admit) just a little perturbed, I reflected on why we have bad days.
Of course, the scriptures address this fairly succinctly, "There must needs be an opposition in all things". If we had days of nothing but sunshine and daisies, that would completely defeat the purpose of why we are here! We learn the most in our hard times, and as Elder Collett surmised last evening, "These are the times we'll talk about most after our mission."
Being a missionary is so many things. It's incredibly hard, unspeakably awkward at times, immeasurably valuable to the lives we touch, and endlessly rewarding at the end of the day. Despite everything we've faced (and most likely will face), I love this. I know that this work is true, and important, and worth every little bit of opposition. I know Christ loves His children, and the blessing it is to know His plan for us and to be able to share that wonderful news with our brothers and sisters.
"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."