I asked the Lord what the use of staying so darn obedient was if I was to have no baptisms. I said “Father, you are almighty, I pray over the map every day, I stop our bike rides at the slightest prompting to rethink what we are doing, where we are going, all to prove that I am listening, and you still send me to neighborhoods where there is nothing but vile, mean, personal rejection”. Ricciardi of course would have been overjoyed at those kind of prospects. I wasn’t. Then it happened. The answer to prayer that changed the course of my mission and frankly my life.
I could write 10 pages about what I said that morning in that damp, musty, moldy room
Let me fast forward a minute to before I finish the prayer room story. I was working in New York City, living in New Canaan, CT (had lived there 14 years), and married with 6 children and one day I received a call from an old mission friend Michael Walker. We were never companions, but back in 1986 he and his companion at the time had moved in with me and my companion for three weeks while they looked for an apartment in another part of Birmingham. He was coming to New York City on business and asked if we could meet for breakfast. I had not seen or heard from Michael in over 6 years so I was surprised not only to hear from him, but that he sounded so anxious to see me.
I wondered if he was okay or needed help. I picked him up from the airport that morning and we had breakfast at my favorite spot in Manhattan. We reminisced about a lot of mission memories, and then seriousness fell over our meal. He looked at me and said “Can I ask you a question about something that happened when I was living with you and Elder DeGala in Birmingham”. The strangest impression came over me when he asked that because at the very moment he asked the question I already knew what he was going to ask me… I knew this had to do with the “prayer room”. I quietly said “sure”. The first line out of his mouth was “there was this room on the third floor of that apartment in Birmingham.
He returned again and this time did not hear me praying, but below the door could still see my shadow
He waited for me to respond. It took 10 minutes for me to gain my composure. He patiently waited, then continued, recounting to me that he had seen me pray in this moldy smelly room in our flat, and he had started using it for his own personal prayers. One morning he came to the room to pray and could hear me praying out loud in the room. He left and came back 10 minutes later and could still hear me praying. He returned several other times over the next hour intending to use the room for his own prayers, and could still hear me in there praying. I had never until that day prayed out loud in my personal prayers, nor had I prayed for longer than 5 minutes, but that morning, with all my frustrations and anger, I decided to say my prayer out loud and I had plenty to say.
My friend recounted that though he could not hear what I was saying; when he pressed his ear to the door he could sense the earnestness and emotion of my prayer. Another 20 minutes went by and upon hearing me open the door he came down the hall and saw my eyes almost swollen shut from crying. As we passed each other no words were exchanged. After telling me the story up to this point over breakfast, he began to weep, as he told me that he entered the room to pray and a flood beste gratis dating apps voor iPhone of emotions enveloped him immediately without explanation, causing him to cry and wonder what had taken place in that room.