The last post reminded me of a story I heard in China. I thought I had written about this before, but couldn't find any posts about it in my search. I hope I'm not repeating myself, but this is a great story.
I should preface it by saying that I once read a story in the church news about a man who broke his back. He had to be hospitalized for a long time, and felt it was a complete waste of time. He was quite despondent, and at one point said to himself, "Can anything good come from this?" As it turned out, he was roommates with another man who was quite depressed about his situation also. The man with the broken back was able to share the gospel with this man, and helped to convert him. So something good did come from him having a broken back!
I had a friend in China who was a journalist, and had lived in China for over 10 years. At one point, she too broke her back! She had to lay flat for an entire year! While she was laying there she had plenty of time to think. She thought back to a visit she had made to George Washington's home. While they were touring the grounds, they had been shown a cemetery on the property. It was a cemetery of the slaves that had served George Washington. As my friend lay on the bed for that long year, she began to be curious about that slave cemetery, and wrote a letter asking if they had any more information about it. In response, they sent her a large packet of copies of the records! George Washington had kept very good records of his slaves.
At first my friend couldn't understand the records. They were written in an odd way, and she couldn't make them out very well. But over that year, as she continued to study the records, she began to make sense of them. She figured out the recording system, and was able to make connections to families. She was able to do the geneology work for ...if I remember correctly, 100 families. She sent that geneology work to the Washington DC temple, where the baptisms and family sealings were performed. For those who are not members of our church: We believe that these individuals have the option to accept or reject these ordinances.
This story really made me see that sometimes our trials can bring forth blessings, even if we think, "What good could come from this?"