Monday, May 8, 2017

Heart Of The Storm

I apologize dearly for not writing a mass email last week. In all honesty, I completely forgot to. I am not sure how that happened. I wrote to everyone, and then sat back and waited for my companions to finish emailing. I sat and stared, convinced I had done everything on email, and wondering why I had finished so early. As we left, I suddenly had an epiphany! Elder Benge, I thought to myself, you never wrote a mass email, you noob! So that's what happened. The only interesting thing I can remember back from two weeks ago is that we got our transfer calls. However, everyone in the house is staying the same, but Elder Porter and Elder Stapley are now covering the Gig Harbor Ward, instead of the Crescent Valley ward, and Elder Quinton and I are just covering the Wollochet ward, instead of covering both the Gig Harbor and Wollochet wards. So, things changed, but not really. Our area just got smaller, and that's it.
This week we had a crazy lightning storm, though. Washington almost never has thunder and lightning. Before this week, I can honestly say that I had only ever heard thunder once on my mission, and the lightning storm was very far away. Well, last Thursday was a very hot and muggy day. We had our sleeves rolled up, sweat coming down our faces, and not a care in the world. As we joyfully frolicked in the sunshine, I noticed some very strange clouds in the distance. It looked like the sky was covered in bluish shaving cream. Within moments, the sunshine was gone, and the land was dark. Overhead, goober-like clouds levitated, looking very ominous, threatening, and moldy-whipped-creamy. Then, we saw the lightning and heard the thunder. It was a sound I had longed to hear for a very long time. I rejoiced gladly at the approaching thunderstorm. My soul was almost as electrified as the clouds overhead.
Soon, the rain came pounding down, and I can honestly say that I have never been in a storm that bad on my mission, and probably my entire life. It was actually quite invigorating. 
That night, as we knocked after dinner is when it all really came down. We were standing at the first door, when the world was suddenly plunged into chaos as the previously mild rain intensified until the sky was shooting bullets, and all around us were the cracks and flashes of lightning. Words cannot describe the experience. We sprinted from house to house, but even just a few seconds in the swirling deluge soaked our clothes completely through. The air felt supercharged, and the sky was constantly splintered by cracks of lightning on every side. We were under the storm's supercell. We considered going back to the car, but both Elder Quinton and I felt peace about being out at that time, so we stayed, and it was awesome. And we didn't die. I definitely felt some profound peace in the middle of nature's fury.
Definitely one of my favorite experiences.
We all can, in the midst of the most turbulent experiences of our lives, still feel the peace of the Savior. The precious gift of the Holy Ghost can bring us hope and solace in even the most spiritually, emotionally, and physically chaotic times of our lives. I know that. I am so grateful for the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I am so grateful that even in the loudest storm, the smallest prayer can still be heard. You are never forgotten. You are never abandoned. You are never alone. Cleave always to God. Reach out to him in prayer. He does hear. Your trials and tribulations will be but a small moment. I hope you all have a wonderful week. I love my mission, and I am so grateful for the experiences I have been able to have out here.

Elder Benge

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