John had to go to Phoenix for business last week. Mission rules frown upon parents visiting their sons/daughters. But John was sorely tempted to look for Nathan and take a couple of hungry Elders to dinner so I wasn’t too surprised to get this text on Friday: “Just saw a missionary . . .” Well, that certainly got my attention so I immediately replied “Was it Nathan?” “I wish” he texted to which I replied “You’re so mean!”
I am always excited for Mondays to come around so that I can find out what Nathan is doing and who he is helping. Today I am going to use part of the email exchange between Nathan and his older sister about marriage.
You really are lucky – not everyone we run into has a marriage that works out like that. It reminds me of a lady we met. She was on the side of the road looking for her baby’s bottle. We helped look but couldn’t find it, so we said a prayer with her and left. We stopped by to see her a few days later. She had found the bottle in her yard, and we set up a time to come and teach her. For a couple of weeks she kept canceling appointments. One day I called to set up another time and she was pretty stressed out. She has 4 kids and she told me how messed up her situation really was. She had been a stripper when she was younger, had a kid and married the guy. They actually stayed married for about 10 years. But about a month before we met her he had started acting weird. She found out he was on meth and a few days before I called he had come in and started freaking out – tearing the house apart and taking everything valuable. He left telling her how he had been with hookers who were better women than her. She was crying really bad at this point. She said she had tried to be a good wife, had tried to do everything right. I bit off way more than I could chew with this one. I told her that maybe this was good – that her life would be better off. But really, all the help I could offer was to bring over food. Last I heard she was trying to get to a women’s shelter with her kids. I will probably wonder for a really long time what ever happened to R…
On a more positive experience with marriage, we met a guy named Fred. He is a 75 year-old man. He is married to a woman who had a stroke a few years ago and can barely get around or even speak. I was really touched by how he treated her. They have been married for a really long time. Anyways, I am glad you are on that side of the scale.
Oh, and I got in a car accident last night on an exchange. We are both fine though. (Thanks for telling your parents, Nathan!)