Yesterday President and I were in Joplin. President interviewed the missionaries in the Joplin and Monett zones. I visit with the Elders and Sisters before they go into the interview. As I was talking with Elder Lo_____, I had the impression that I could promise him a particular blessing if he did some specific things. A little later in our conversation he said to me, “Sister Loveland, that was a bold promise you just made me.” His comment took me aback. I thought for a minute and then I said, “But Elder we have been taught to not be afraid to promise what God has already promised.” And a scripture came to mind that supported the promise. “If you keep your side, He will give you this blessing.” Elder Lo______’s question caused me to stop and think. Was I really in line with the Lord? Did I have a right to make such a promise? I felt peace.
Later at the end of the Monett Zone training, President talked briefly about how we had been taught in the World-wide training that people who had experienced a death, birth,marriage,a job change or other disruptive events where traditionally more open to the Savior’s teachings than at other times. As he said this I had the thought, “I wonder if I prepared one morning to teach someone who had experienced death and then prayed that the Lord would put someone in my path that day who had experienced death and needed the comforting word’s of Christ’s gospel, would He actually do that? And what if the next day I prayed for someone who had experienced a birth? Would he put them in my path too? I ended up wondering a loud in the zone meeting. It felt exciting to think about the idea.
This morning for a few split seconds I remembered the previous day’s thoughts, but I was going walking with a neighbor and didn’t have time to study. A few minutes later, I was walking with my neighbor and what should happen? She told me her friend’s son had died at age 25 of pneumonia. The next three miles we talked about death, the spirit world, and many other doctrines of the gospel. I couldn’t help but think that the Lord was teaching me to trust in his promises.
I continued that day to have experiences that seemed to say, “Trust in His promises. He will hasten his own work. Leave the apartment having done all you needed to do to be worthy to do what He wants done.”
Before leaving the house today I read in Preach My Gospel on page 169, “Believe that people who are being prepared to receive the message of the Restoration will be placed in your path.” I double starred the passage and put an exclamation point to the side of it. I didn’t think about that statement again until several hours later as I was walking into the office.
It was a warm day and the lawn maintenance guys were putting out new bark. I thought I should probably come back out and give them a pass-a-long card. I don’t know what happened between there and the office door, but as I entered the office I wasn’t feeling real gung-ho about going back out. As I sat down, I had a little debate, and then said aloud to Sister Wiener. “I probably should take a Spanish pass-a-long card to the workers out front.” She immediately replied that she’d go with me. Her enthusiasm tipped the scales, so out we went. (I do love that about sharing the gospel in twos. If you are a little timid or being tempted to be less than you should be, your companion can be a good influence.)
I gave a card to one and then another gentleman came toward me. I asked him if he believed in Jesus Christ. He replied that he did and that he thought we should all read about Jesus. Talking about reading led to the Book of Mormon which led to his thought that he had always thought Jesus wouldn’t have just visited the people in Jerusalem. At this point, Sister Wiener said she’d be right back. (I was pretty sure she was heading back for a Spanish copy of the Book of Mormon.) He talked about religion and how so many people say one church is right and other people say another church is right. I couldn’t help but tell him that the Book of Mormon has a promise that if you read with real intent then the Lord will tell him that the principles found in the book are true. He wouldn’t have to take anyone’s word, he could have God’s. By this time he said, he needed to get back to work, but that we could find him and give him the book. As I headed back in, I ran into Sister Wiener who was coming out with a Spanish copy of the Book of Mormon.
Instead of going out we went back in, and called the Spanish Elders. No use settling for me, I wanted the experts. It just happened they had just finished district meeting and so they came. Elder Marq______ came with Elder Bro____(who is not a Spanish Elder). As I watched Elder Marq_____ converse with him with total confidence I admired his skill. He has only been here a few transfers and had learned Spanish to come. (He spoke Portuguese, Italian, and English, but not Spanish) It ended up the gentleman invited the missionaries to come by and talk with him. He thought he had read a little of the Book of Mormon years ago. My prayer will be that the seed that was planted years ago is ready to grow now.