You know how in Helaman we read of Nephi and Lehi’s great labours and success in bringing many unto Christ? Well, I wish I could say I saw miracles as huge as those on my mission but I didn’t. Mine were of a more subtle nature, but they were there. Take this for instance:
In Grade 11 I started finding that I couldn’t have a packet of chips without throwing up the oil from the packet I had consumed. So I just decided no chips. Then on my mission in Uganda I started getting really sick and never truly understood why. After some convincing from my companion, we went to the LDS mission doctor and it turned out I had acquired enzyme deficiency. Basically, my body cannot break down oils and fats, and this had developed gradually over the years. We went to the main hospital in Kampala to get a second opinion and it was the same response. I didn’t really get the depth of what they told me and so I went about doing my duties. I started doing my best to change my eating habits and resisting some of the foods I found really tempting. Some days I managed and in those when I didn’t, it all came up very violently.
I started getting the hang of things but there was only one problem: dinner appointments with members. I was in one of the most beautiful countries with the most caring and loving people I had ever met. When they offered us food, it was from their heart and some shared from the little they had just to show how grateful they were for all we had done in bringing the gospel to them. Maybe it was a weakness in me or I had wrongly judged that they wouldn’t understand, but I just couldn’t bring myself to say, ”I am so sorry I cannot because I have enzyme deficiency”. It sounded lame to me and I hardly understood the depth of it myself, so trying to explain it was dreadful. But this story has a beautiful ending.
I remember the very first lunch appointment after I was diagnosed. The food was beautifully prepared and even though the family who prepared it for us didn’t have much, we could tell they had done their all to make this a wonderful meal for us. It looked beautiful and delicious and had all the things I shouldn’t eat. My companion looked at me as if saying, ”Can you do this?” So I said a silent prayer and it went something like this, ”Heavenly Father, do you remember in the Bible or somewhere where that guy ate poison and still didn’t die? Well right now, this food is like poison to my body. Please help me eat because I love these people and I know they have prepared this from their hearts and I don’t want to disappoint them”.
And surprisingly, I ate and the food stayed down and we went to the rest of our appointments. Seeing I had these newly found super powers, I tried it in the apartment. I was in the bathroom in less than 5 minutes. So it was that I enjoyed every dinner appointment with the members and was able to express my love to them by enjoying what they had so lovingly prepared. It became a testimony to me that God knew and loved me. So that was my mission, filled with tiny and personal miracles of strength to overcome, and to do what God required. He lives and I know it. He heard my prayers more than once as I did all I could for the people whom I had loved and who had always shown that love back to me.