Stepping into the Darkness

"You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness, then the light will appear and show you the way before you."

Monday, December 28, 2015

I-5 Miracles (again!)

It seems the opportunities to grow and learn, at least for us here in Oregon take place on I-5. This past week was no exception. We got the opportunity to take Christmas packages that have been collecting at the mission office for missionaries, to many of them in four of the zones. We counted somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 presents.  On Christmas eve, we transported Christmas to Roseburg, Grant’s Pass, Central Point, and Medford. It was fun to meet with the missionaries at each location and share in their joy and excitement of the holiday. Weather was a concern and we had lots of rain, and some snow going over the passes along the way south.

Heading home, we encountered increasing snow/rain going over the pass between Medford and Grant’s Pass. Between Grant’s Pass and Roseburg there are three passes to cross. We made the first two okay, but the third, the snow was coming down very wet and heavy. With about 2 inches of wet slushy snow, traffic began to slow and finally came to a stop about a mile from the summit where two trucks had jackknifed and blocked the road. Where we were, left us going uphill into a curve with a fairly tall super. As you can guess, when we tried to move forward in our rear drive van, the back end slid around toward the guardrail. We had been there for about 30 minutes when the snow plows arrived and had us move out of the way by backing up a few feet. This resulted in our rear bumper being about six feet from the guardrail and a drop-off.

Most of the other drivers were putting chains on, but the van we were driving didn’t have any and we figured we would have to wait until the plows came back around and could put down some sand for us. Over the next 30 minutes we watched as one after another, the cars around us slowly pulled out and disappeared over the pass. At last, the back log of cars were all gone and we were alone.

During the wait, we said a prayer and asked for help and safety. Looking back in the side mirror, I could see a “line” that traveled level across the road and onto the plowed and sanded lane. The thought occurred to me that the best thing to have in snow is a front wheel drive vehicle. I also realized that in reverse, my rear wheel drive van would have “front wheel drive”. It was one of those light bulb moments. We decided to try to go in reverse, downhill across the super and onto the plowed, sanded lane. In just a few seconds, we were back on the road and driving forward over the pass.

A scripture came to mind regarding the Holy Ghost. It teaches that the Holy Ghost will bring all things to our remembrance. I was shown the “line” to follow and reminded that in reverse, I would have the traction I needed. As we drove away, I also remembered several scriptures that command us to ask for what we need. I wonder if the apparent increase in miracles has to do with the increase in my asking. Joseph Smith taught that we should “ask for something better” when lead by the spirit. We have done this while we have served and have been astonished at the answers that have come. The Lord hasn’t done it all for us, but continues to remove the obstacles and make easy the way.
Nephi said, “…the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”

In the end, Laurie and I had a wonderful day together. We saw breath taking scenery, enjoyed the company of many wonderful missionaries and were privileged to bring some joy and happiness to them. We witnessed again the blessing of the Lord and miracles he brings to pass for our benefit. We were taught and reminded of blessings and lessons. We also walked in the door of our apartment right on the dot of 9:00 PM just as the mission wide teleconference devotional started and were able to dial in and listen with our fellow missionaries.

We are grateful for this experience of being missionaries, for the opportunity to be part of this great work and to spend full time in the service of others. It brings indescribable joy and happiness. Our testimonies have grown and our understanding of the gospel has increased. We know that God lives and that He loves us. We know that this is His work and it is a privilege to be a part of it.

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