the “almost there” menace

(this is part one in a 6 part series following the life of ry.  follow
his story as he battles through thick and thin, heat and cold, to
finally emerge from the mist, victorious⚔...

or not. it's your choice.)

i'm pretty sure i've never had so many appointments fall through in one week.

we thought we were on to something!  each week this transfer, we had
been improving.  in our desire, in our happiness, in our missionary
success; each aspect had been getting better.  but this week,
something really tried to stop all of our progression.

we were supposed to teach tay, the less active we are working with, on
thursday.  so we called him 30 minutes before our appointment, just to
confirm, and he said,

"uh... today is no good for me.  how about we meet up tomorrow?"

so, again, we set another time to meet with him.  we went up to the
church on friday to see him, and he didn't show up.  so we called, and
called, and called, but nothing....  we waited for as long as we
thought we could, but then we decided to give up and maybe try again a
different day.

however, despite our bad luck, god still showed us miracles when we
needed them.  our african investigators, oscar and derbley, were able
to see us twice this week.  the second time that we were with them, we
invited them both to be baptized (again...), and how they responded
really caught me off guard.

usually when you invite an african to be baptized, they reply with
"oh, i've already been baptized".  and then you have to get into a big
discussion about WHY and WHO and WHAT baptism really is... it's not
easy lol.  but oscar and derbley both said,

"oh yeah, i know that baptism is important.  and i haven't been
baptized yet, but i know that i need to be...  jesus was baptized
himself, and he lived without sin.  so that means that i for sure need
to get baptized."

elder orton and i just looked at each other, both pleasantly
surprised, and said,

"great!...."  (neither of us really knew exactly what to say lol)

i was thinking a lot this week about the adversary, and why he does
what he does.  why does the adversary even exist?  granted, a lot of
these these thoughts were there because of my frustration with
investigators, etc...  and then one morning, i was reading in the book
of mormon.

at the beginning of 2nd nephi, lehi blesses each one of his children
and gives them advice and council.  while he is talking to jacob, he
says this:

"for it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.  if
not so, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither
wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad...
wherefore, if it should be one body, it must needs remain as dead,
having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption,
happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility."

i believe that i talked a little about this last week.  the need for
opposition.  (that just goes to show you how quickly i forget
things...😜).

but really, it makes so much sense.  that's why there was nothing
"good" or "bad" in the garden of eden.  because if there were one of
those things, there had to be the opposite.  if they were able to feel
joy, they would have had to felt despair.  in order to overcome sin,
they needed to sin in the first place.  but, simply put, they didn't.
they couldn't.

like it says in the incredibles, "when everyone is super, no one is..."

so, there has to be opposition!  if there was no sin, nobody would be
righteous.  if there was no misery, nobody would be happy. there has
to be something to overcome to reach the other side of the scale.

i guess that what i'm trying to say is that regardless of our trials,
they're all important.  each one has it's place in our lives and each
one can help us.  but we have to LET them help us.  it's a choice.

i mean, after all, it's all part of the adventure.

-elder egbert
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