Tuesday, August 21, 2012

When two worlds collide

SAN DIEGO — A lot has happened this week! I suppose I will start with some "Miracles around the World"

August 17, 2012

I served at the Mormon Battalion this morning. It was one of those loud and crazy ones, but despite the mayhem in the lobby, I saw a family of three walk up. I soon found out that they were from Florence, Italy. The daughter, Chiara, spoke perfect English and was able to translate for her parents, Elizabeta and Giovanni. Because her parents couldn’t understand English, they didn’t want to go on the full tour, so I took them to the back to share a brief story of the Battalion and let them see the artifacts. We ended up standing in front of the glass case that holds the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I told them that I knew they probably had questions about Mormons, and I would love to answer them. They, of course did, and I was able to teach them about the Restoration of the Gospel. What a special moment that was, when two worlds collided, allowing us both to talk about the truth.

While not an international experience, Sister Newman had another colliding moment when @zbloxham, a twitter friend of her brother's, came by the Battalion
Just a few hours later, I had another one of those "colliding" moments. This time, with Pak from China. Pak came on a tour and was smack-dab in the middle of a bajillion Mormon families. Somehow, miraculously, I was able to talk with him after taking everyone’s photo in the resource room. This time we spoke outside, underneath the grapevines (it was quieter than with all the screaming kids). 

He told me he was an atheist. I felt the Spirit tell me that was not true, so I asked him, "So you believe that you are just here and that’s it?" He changed his mind and told me that he believed in a higher Being, he just didn’t know what it was. We were able to talk about how God literally is his Father. He agreed to read the Book of Mormon and talk with me about it.

My journey around the world ended in Belgium. The sisters gave us a referral for a man named Jeroen. We sat across from each other in his humble student apartment (he is going to pilot school) and started talking to him. I was stunned with all the questions of the soul that he had. 

He wanted to know what his purpose was on earth. He didn’t believe that all we have to do is believe Jesus and be saved (YAY!), but knew the truth that we must live the Gospel for the Atonement to work in our lives. As I looked him in the eyes, neither of us breaking eye contact, I told him of the 14-year-old boy who prayed to know the truth. The Spirit was tangible. I was struck in awe as we walked through the apartment complex back to our car. I looked up at the sky and just wanted to yell, "THANK YOU" to Heavenly Father for letting us find all the people from many lands that were thirsting for the gospel today."...

I think that is the lesson I learned today. There are people wandering, searching for the truth because they know not where to find it. I was so blinded before my mission, thinking, So-and-so would never want to hear the Gospel."  Or "So-and-so would never be Mormon."

Let me tell you all something: THAT is a COMPLETE lie from Satan.

Did you know that just this week, we talked to a guy, Ryan, walking to a bus stop? We told him that we had some great news to improve his life. A teenage boy who looked like he had plenty other things to do accepted, we met him at the church and he wants to learn more about the Plan of Salvation.

The other day when we were on our way to Jeroen's, we walked past a mother with her baby in the stroller. We just told her how cute her baby was and that we had something to share that would improve her family relationships. She accepted to learn more.

A sister shared with me that she took a tour of a non-member lady who has been to the Battalion a bunch of times, and NO ONE ever asked if she wanted a Book of Mormon. This dear sister asked, and the woman gladly accepted.

NO ONE can tell me that God is not putting people in our paths. I chose not to act before I came out here. 

For 21 years, I let neighbors, acquaintances, and coworkers pass by me. I know what you're thinking: "But she’s a missionary, she can be bold." I’m not saying we have to go up to a person and say, "do you want to hear about the three degrees of glory?" But have you ever asked a dear friend, "have you ever had questions about Mormons?"Or have you invited a less active or nonmember over for dinner? Have you invited the grocer at the store to look on mormon.org and given them a card?

I PROMISE you as a messenger of Jesus Christ, that if you would only do those simple things, you will be a messenger and advocate for the Father in bringing the Gospel to all nations, kindreds,, tongues and people.

The world is curious. 

They are thirsty. 

It is our job to bring them the fountain of living water.

I love you all. I’ve just written this email. I hope you don’t go on to your every day lives, but I hope you ask yourselves as President [Boyd K.] Packer would say,


 Let's go out and do some good in this world.

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