Do I have a story for you! You are going to die laughing by the time I finish it. Unless you're related to me, and then you might just die of embarrassment. Because this is pretty embarrassing.
Saturday night we returned home at 9:00 like the good little missionaries we are. I reached into my bag for the keys to unlock the door and couldn't find them. After rummaging through my bag for a good five minutes, I determined that the keys were not there. Mildly distressed but not yet panicked, my companion and I thought back through the day to the last time we had had the keys: just two hours previously when we had stopped for a brief bathroom break at the church. I had locked the church and could distinctly remember putting the keys in my bag. But now they were not there. They must have fallen out somewhere along the way. We ran to check all the places we had visited in those two hours (fortunately we had been working in an area close to the pension). No luck. The keys were nowhere to be found.
And then, as if things weren't bad enough, it started to rain.
Huddled under a single umbrella, we made a mad dash for our pension to at least wait in the doorway out of the rain while we figured out what to do. It's now 9:30, we're cold, wet, and tired, and we can't get into our pension. (On top of that, I was in the process of getting over a head cold.) We called the district leaders to explain the situation and ask for advice. "Have you talked to the owner? He should have keys." Why didn't we think of that in the first place?
And so we rang the doorbell for the dueño, who lives just down the hall from us. He came and let us into the building, but he didn't have the keys to the pension. Well, at least we were inside....
We called the elders again. "Maybe we should just stay the night with the sisters in Rama 1?" (about a ten minute taxi ride away). "No, you'd better call a locksmith." So we went to the owner and got the number for a locksmith. "Can you come open the door for us?" we pleaded.
"Yes, I'll be there in half an hour. Or an hour and a half. Whenever the rain lets up," he said. Well, that's helpful. We called the elders again, and they were appalled. "We'll find a different locksmith," they promised. After a little while, they called back. "We called the branch president, and he called a locksmith, and it was the same one you talked to. But he said he'll come now!"
Not too long after that, the locksmith showed up and let us into our apartment. But in order to do so, he had to destroy the lock on our door, and wasn't able to come replace it until today. So we went two nights without being able to lock our door. Fortunately, God protects His missionaries and nothing happened. We slept very soundly.
But the story doesn't end there. Wait till you hear this...
The next morning after this whole fiasco was Sunday. I was sitting in Relief Society with my bag on my lap when they called on me to say the prayer. As I stood up, my bag shifted, and - guess what fell out.
That's right, the keys. They were in my bag the whole time. (I promise I searched the bag like 10 times - I even had my companion look through it!) ¡Qué vergüenza!
I was thinking about it, and I think there's a great metaphor here. I think of the Jews who were looking for the prophesied Messiah. They looked and looked and were so sure they knew what they were looking for that when the Messiah actually came and walked and taught in their midst they couldn't recognize Him. And I feel like sometimes we are in danger of the same thing. Perhaps sometimes we look and look and look so hard for God that we overlook His hand in our lives. Do we recognize His hand in our lives?
Let us be careful not to overlook the tender mercies of our Lord in our lives. Let us be grateful for the blessings He pours upon us abundantly.
All my love,