The best miracle of the week! We asked the Mukilteo sisters where in their area we could tract for them, so they prayed and felt inspired to send us to Park Avenue--the same street I tracted nearly a year ago with Elder Turley on exchange (if you remember, it's where we found Jasminder). Park Avenue is lined with large and beautiful homes that overlook the Puget Sound. Mostly, people were nice, but uninterested. We moved patiently from door to door, and progressively, the houses grew bigger and the views more breathtaking. About halfway up the hill upon which Park Avenue is situated, we met a hardened old atheist named Don who would pop in and out of his house as he unloaded the trunk of his Jaguar and would talk to us during the brief stints of time that he was outside. He demanded of us the physical locations of heaven and hell; if we could answer him that, he would "come back to religion". We really tried "going to heaven", as President Donaldson of The District 2 would say, for an inspired question, but eventually, he stopped popping out. So we moved on. We came to an off-shooting driveway that led to one house right near us and to another house, which was at the top of the hill, out of sight and was prefaced by "Beware of Dog" signs. At the first house was Jamie, who was kind, but uninterested and informed us that the next house was "a long jog" up the hill, and "they probably aren't home anyway." Of course, we went ('twas indeed a long jog), it was a spectacular view of the Sound and the Mukilteo ferries, we knocked, and we were met by Mark, a kind humble, meek, and warm gentleman in his early 40's with a tired look in his eyes. We talked with Mark for probably 30 or 40 minutes and learned quite a bit. When asked what his faith in Jesus Christ is like, he responded admittedly and wistfully, "I would say it's lukewarm." He discussed with us his experience with past churches, and we discussed with him our purpose as missionaries. We asked inspired questions and both parties seemed content with the long stretches of silence that punctuated each thoughtful statement or question during which the Spirit so clearly worked with his heart. The air was clear, the sky was blue, it was evening time, the water in distance was calm, the ferries lumbered by sleepily, the wind blew gently. When asked what makes him truly happy, he at first jokingly responded that he would "be truly happy when [he was] finally done with [his] Master's degree." Then, with impressive love and warmth, he described watching West Wing on Netflix in the downstairs room with his wife and taking turns picking at the show and laughing together. It was a tender truth from deep within his soul that he shared with us. This is exactly why I love being a missionary.
|The Eames' (Jake and Mariah)|
This was certainly one of my favorite moments from my mission.
|Elder Christian Martin|
Thanks for your love and hard work and prayers and everything else!
Pix: Enrique and the Eames' (Jake and Mariah), all of which are headed back to Provo this week. So sad!