In my magazine project I will be creating a two page spread of an LDS magazine article. For my magazine story, I chose to write to an audience (Ensign) of LDS missionaries and those preparing to serve a mission to help them understand that the Lord has “[prepared] a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7). I wrote about an experience where I received a prompting to teach an unusual prospect about the gospel, and the wonderful results that came of it. It relates to my audience because they too will have to find those prepared for them, and listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost in order to find them. I have posted my story here, with some photos I would like to use in my design.
Story: Finding Those Prepared
I have always been the type who is eager to serve the Lord in any capacity I can, that’s why when I left to serve a mission I decided I was going to devote all of my time and attention into the work.
Stuff did not come easily for us missionaries in Mexico, in many if not all cases is was a hard fought battle just to convert one of the many people we taught. That is why we were very selective about who we taught, to better manage our time and find those prepared for us (see Preach My Gospel Chapter 8: How Do I Use Time Wisely?) So it was no surprise that when we chanced upon a drunk in the street we usually avoided them, because they were not in the right mental state to neither receive the gospel nor feel the Spirit as we taught.
That is why when we chanced upon Jose, a man known for his reputation of being a drunk, we slipped by him and continued to move onward. As soon as we had though, something pulled me back. The Holy Spirit was telling me to go and communicate with this man. Confused as to why I stopped, and consulted briefly with my companion to see what he thought. He repeated what I already knew, that he was in no state to receive a lesson and that our time could be better used somewhere else, but I felt the need to go and talk to him, so I did.
I began contacting him, telling him of our Heavenly Father and how He had restored the fullness of the gospel upon the face of the earth through a Prophet. Through his drunkenness he explained that he no longer wanted to drink, that he wanted to grow closer to God and repent of his sins. Quietly we sat down on the cobble sidewalk in front of his house listening to what he had to say before testifying to him that our Heavenly Father loves and cares about him a lot, and wishes him to change his ways. He said that from that day forward he would no longer drink. Being that I had met many drunks before him that had told me the same and not kept it, I didn’t think much of it.
We returned a few days later and to our surprise and amazement, he looked a lot better. He had shaved and his hair was combed, and upon asking to see if he had drank he replied that he hadn’t, nor did he from that time forth. We carried on with the discussions there on that slanted sidewalk on a hill in Zacatecus and later contacted his wife and daughter and began teaching them as well. Jose later came and assisted church with us, and what a powerful time that was for me. This man had taken such long strides in his life in just a short amount of time, and I owed all the thanks to the Lord for helping me find him.
I was later transferred from that area before I could see what happened to them, and am not sure if any of them were later baptized though I hope in my heart they were. There is one thing I am sure of though, I was given the opportunity to change that man’s life, and despite other impeding voices it all started with going up to someone you would have least expected to accept the gospel and shared the news of good tidings with him. A section of the Preach My Gospel manual comes to mind which reads: “You are surrounded by people… All of them are children of God, your brothers and sisters. God loves them just as He loves you. Many of these people are searching for purpose in life. They are concerned for their families. They need the sense of belonging that comes from the knowledge that they are children of God, members of His eternal family” (Preach My Gospel, Chapter 1, page 1, paragraph 1).
I testify that the Lord loves each and every one of us. He wants us to be happy and return to His presence, and will provide the means that we may come unto Him if we so choose. I testify that through Him, we can take the restored gospel unto those prepared for us to receive it and that as we do so we will find indescribable joy in the work of the Lord.
In this I share my humble testimony,
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Image Sources: My own photo library