One day this week, when we left the pension, I had a headache. It was just a dull ache, easy to ignore, but I was not excited about having to walk around in the hot sun.
Our plan was to find a family that had been taught by the missionaries some two years ago. We found their teaching record in our Area Book: three boys, ages 19, 15, and 14 (at that time), who had been ready for baptism. The last entry in the teaching record describes how the missionaries went to give them the baptism interview, but the mother didn't want her sons to get baptized in this church. Beyond that, we didn't have much information. The only address written was "Two blocks past the Crizantes family," with the name of the street. (Although I suppose that's a step up from "around the corner by the mango tree.")
With my head aching, we boarded the bus. When we got off, I got confused and went down the wrong street, and we ended up several blocks past the street we needed to get to.
Then it began to rain.
The rain caught us completely by surprise. We had nothing - no raincoats, umbrellas, nothing! We walked down one muddy street after another, trying to make our way back to the correct street. Every house we passed looked uninviting; there was nowhere to take shelter from the storm.
I paused to rest under a tree, which offered some protection from the downpour. I said to my companion, "I don't know what we should do. We don't know where this family lives or how we are going to find them. Even if we do find them, we don't know if they will lest us in." A little rain, and I was ready to give up.
My wonderful companion, ever in tune with the Spirit, would not surrender so easily. "I think that's just Satan trying to keep us from finding this family."
Something in her words convinced me. "All right," I said. "Let's go." Words from the scriptures echoed in my head: Yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions...and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls. (Alma ) If ever I needed patience in afflictions, it was now!
We braved the rain and mud and eventually found the street. As we walked, the rain began to gradually let up, and our clothes began to dry. We found the home of the Crizantes family and began counting the blocks - but it wasn't very clear where "two blocks" started or ended. Our plan was just to ask around, see if someone knew the family.
My companion nudged me. "That house." I had been eyeing it too, as it was the only house with the door open. It seemed humble but inviting, as good a place as any to begin our search.
We asked for the family name. A woman came out. "Sí, somos nosotros. (Yes, that's us)." I asked for the name of one of the boys. "Mi hijo. (My son)," she said.
My heart sank. This was the mother who had been less than enthusiastic about the baptism of her sons! But as we kept talking, she turned out to be not nearly as terrible as I had first thought. In fact, although her sons weren't home at the moment, she invited us to return, saying, "There was a difference in my sons when the missionaries were teaching them."
I am grateful for a companion who is in tune with the Spirit and for the opportunity I have, as her companion, to witness many miracles.