May 10th, 2015
We waited and waited to hear from our missionary son in Arizona. He had emailed the time for us to be ready --- 3:30 pm on Mother's Day. So we waited and wondered and wondered and waited some more UNTIL we realized that Arizona does not change to Daylight Savings Time. Ahhhhh! His 3:30 was really our Utah 4:30. So we waited some more until just after 5:00 Utah time. Then a call came from Elder Bailey. "So," the voice said, "How are we going to do this? Skype, Google Hangout, or what?" We were ready with the Google Hangout, so with a few connections we got the video conference call started. Cami and Greg promised to join us when we could add them later. There he was --- Elder Mitchell Bailey --- looking healthy and happy and well groomed. Awesome!
Elder Bailey introduced us to his host family, also named Bailey. The mother thanked us for sending such a wonderful missionary. They have two sons getting about to missionary ages and were grateful to have an Elder Bailey to be such a great example and friend for them. He also introduce us to his companion from France. I tried out my limited conversational French and then stopped abruptly when I could not go further than "Good day" and "How are you?"
Mostly we just wanted to hear him talk and tell us about anything and everything he is doing. He described the areas they support, the wards and the neighborhoods. He told about getting to drive a car for a transfer because his companion from Canada felt insecure driving in America after being on a bike only for so long. He told about the low income housing projects where they have been fortunate to find some very humble people willing to listen. He told of the incredible week when they had 20 teaching appointments. Usually they only get 5-7 teaching appointments. He talked of the many little miracles that happen day to day.
One little miracle he shared he said has been the highlight of his mission. He said that missionaries don't always recognize or acknowledge the Spirit they carry with them every day. But after this experience, he has learned to recognize and acknowledge this wonderful gift. The Bishop's wife took them to meet a neighbor who had been having a rough time. She was going through a divorce. When she answered the door, she said that she just did not have time right then to sit down and talk with the elders. Her little dog had run out onto the porch and was curious about the missionaries, but did not bark. Elder Bailey bent down and patted the dog and snapped his fingers to point commanding the dog to go back inside the house. The dog instantly obeyed. The lady was surprised at how well the dog obeyed and said that she would call when she had time to visit with the Elders. The missionaries were rather surprised when the lady called back so soon. She explained that while the missionaries were on her porch she felt a peace that she had not felt in quite some time. And her little dog, that usually yaps loudly and bites "intruders" on the ankles, was uncharacteristically calm and obedient. She just knew that she needed to feel that Spirit again. So she called the missionaries right away.
Yes, Elder Bailey said, we as missionaries need to recognize and be grateful for the Spirit we carry with us. That was truly a miracle!