Friday, November 6, 2009

Richelle Hobbs

Current Update: I am currently living in North Carolina, where I have my own business, Impact Driven Consulting, Inc., which provides leadership development, coaching, business process improvement and human capital management consulting services to industry-varied clients. I am blessed with rich relationships, opportunities to travel and learn about the world, and a Heavenly Father who is so generous in his mercy toward me.

Favorite Missionary Experience: It is difficult to select just one memory from my mission as “a favorite”, as each experience added meaning, depth, and greater clarity to my life. However, an unforgettable encounter on a street corner one rainy morning in Como will forever serve as a powerful witness to me that the Lord hears and answers our prayers. I remember it had been a tough streak of days as a missionary. It was one of those times when despite one’s best efforts, it does not seem that one’s work is having much of an impact—at least in any observable way. We had some great investigators we were teaching, but they had seemed to stall in their progress; the “missionary spirit” in our branch seemed to be a bit in decline; and to top it all off, the typically clear weather around Lake Como had been unseasonably gloomy.
On this particular day, my companion and I had awaken to a full schedule of teaching appointments, followed by a service project. But, nearly all at once, our phone started ringing, and every single engagement we had on our calendar for the day was cancelled for one reason or another in about a 15 minute period. Discouraged and frustrated, my companion and I got on our knees and offered a very simple prayer: “Father, we are on thy errand. We are at a loss about what to do with our time today. Wilt thou please guide us to find someone who needs us and needs thy message today.” As soon as we finished the prayer, we felt a very real sense of peace. We were unaware what the day would bring, but we knew the Lord would guide us to do what He needed us to do that day. We looked at each other and determined the Spirit would lead the way that day. As we left our apartment and entered the street below, we started walking, and felt prompted to turn at certain streets and cross particular corners. We could literally feel the Lord guiding our every move. About 10 minutes into our journey, heavy rains started to pour from the sky. The cold and wet part of us wanted to turn back to our apartment and seek shelter. But, the spiritual part of us felt prompted to continue. Press forward we did until we found ourselves stopped on a street corner by an elderly, white-haired gentleman—both he and us waiting for traffic to pass so we could cross the street. As we waited, the man struck up a conversation with us about the dreary weather. We were initially short in our response to him, thinking we were being guided to some warm, inviting place where an obvious soul was waiting for salvation! But, as we sat on that corner and continued to talk to the man—even after the traffic had passed—we felt prompted to share the gospel with him. Yes, right there in the rain! And, that was the beginning of a marvelous teaching experience—an opportunity to share the Gospel with one of God’s children, whom we may not have recognized as searching in other circumstances. But, because our hearts had been open as a result of the prayer we had offered that morning, we had been willing to follow His plan for the day, rather than ours, and do it His way. The Lord does hear and answer every and each kind of sincere prayer that we answer. Of that I am sure.