This week was definitely an interesting one. First off, Elder Hughes turned twenty on Wednesday and I turned nineteen on Saturday. Yup. Another year older. We each got a phone call from the Mission Office telling (singing, actually) is happy birthday. Yup. Everybody in the area found out it was our birthdays, but everybody was super busy, so we got about a dozen meals dropped off to us.
You're probably wondering why this email is called the refiner's fire. There's actually a couple of reasons why. Starting with the small trial, (actually a double entendre on the word fire) it was HOT this will. Killeen has always been super humid, but now it's pretty intense. If we have a few hours open in our schedule, we usually just try and walk around to try and visit some potential investigators we've met in the past. The problem is, we'll walk around from 1 immediately after lunch time until it's time for dinner in 100+ degree temperature with 100%+ humidity.....I might have been exaggerating about the humidity, but it's still pretty bad (about 80-90%). It wouldn't be too bad it we knew that this was the worst that it would get, but this is nothing compared to August down here......yaaaaaaaayyyyyyy........ Oh, well. I've gone through one summer here, I can go through another.
The other reason for the title is something that taught me that walking around in the hot sun isn't too much to handle at all. One of our Investigators who was close to getting baptized told us this week that that would probably be the last time we spoke with her. When we asked why not, she told us that she was getting kicked out of her house, which means she'll be living out on the streets.....and she lives DEEP in the hood.......and she had the toes on her right foot amputated.......and they're infected. Yeah, she's got it hard. We gave her a blessing, and then we taught her about trials instead of what we were planning on. God could easily provide a way for her to immediately be healed and keep her house, but she feels like this is a trial that God wants her to endure. It brings to mind a quote from Joshua 14:12: Give me this mountain. God gives us all problems that aren't fair at all, but He isn't necessarily punishing anyone- He's giving us a burden to strengthen us and prepare us for greater things in the future. While I pity Mary for being in the situation she is, I wish that I also had the strength to say to God, "Give me this mountain to climb."
Hope y'all have a great week!