Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Harry Potter and the Convert from Hong Kong

SAN DIEGO —This week was AMAZING. Brady got baptized!

Let me start you off with a laugh:

The day Brady was supposed to be interviewed for his baptism, we set up splits (we split up as missionaries and go teach with a member). Our district leader forgot about the interview.

Long story short, Neil, one of our members who always rescues us, drove to the church to be our district leader’s companion so the other two elders could teach their lesson and we could still have Brady interviewed for the next day. While we were waiting for Brady to get done, I practiced with Neil and Adrienne how to bring up the Gospel in everyday conversation. They were practicing at a grocery store when Brady came out of the interview. He listened as they finished. I felt the need to ask Brady to practice also so I turned to him and said, "Hey Brady, you are almost a Mormon, why don’t you come practice sharing the gospel!"

He picked the scenario to be at a bookstore. Adrienne was pretending to read a book (She only had Preach my Gospel so she was using that).

Brady asked her, "What book are you reading"

"1984, she replied".

"No your not!" Brady said, as he took the Preach my Gospel and started scanning it over. "This is printed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!"

I thought to myself, "oh dear, what have we got ourselves into: He doesn’t even know how to pretend!" (Remember Brady has only spent four or so weeks in America, after living in Hong Kong all his life).

After teaching him how to pretend we started again.

"What book are you reading?" Brady asked.

"1984" replied Adrienne.

"Oh! What kind of books do you like to read?" asked Brady

"Oh all kinds, history, adventure, action....” replied Adrienne

Brady sat for a second, "Well have you ever read Harry Potter?" (At this time I was thinking, where is he going with this?)

"Yaw" she said, "I love Harry Potter!"

"Well you know how the pictures move? There is a cool place in Old Town that has talking pictures that move too. It’s about Mormons. I’m a Mormon too! And I would love to invite you!"

I looked around the room. Elder Clarke's jaw was to the ground, Adrienne had the biggest grin across her face, and Neil looked stunned! YESSS! Our soon-to-be recent convert shared the gospel in a bookstore using Harry Potter. THAT is what I am talking about doing missionary work!

To tell you more about Brady, I want to share my journal entry from his baptism this Saturday:


December 1, 2012

"It is amazing what a single action can do to change the life of an individual. Sister Riggs and the Hudsons made that single action just a few weeks ago as they listened to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and street contacted Brady. A single "hello" and a start of a conversation brought him to the waters of baptism today. 

Brady has already paid that single action forward. This morning, he and his friend, Steve walked into the Elder’s Quorum room this morning where the font is. We were introduced to his friend who sat down with us while Brady was getting changed into his white clothes.

Steve looked at me and said, "I want to know how Brady, who has grown up all his life going to Christian schools and not changed a tiny bit, wants to be baptized into your church after only a few weeks."

He continued, “I have never felt anything from a church before, and I don’t expect to. But I want to learn more about what you taught him."

A single invite to a baptism, and Steve has been introduced to a message that will change his life forever.

Baptisms are always filled with the spirit. Brady's was no different. 

Oscar and Parker talked about following Jesus Christ and enduring to the end. Corey sang a beautiful song. There is no way anyone sitting in that room could doubt the powers of Heaven were present. I watched Brady walk into the font and be baptized.  Someone who holds the restored Priesthood of God baptized him. I wish I could have had a glimpse of the angels in heaven rejoicing as Brady made his first covenant with God. His testimony was so powerful. He talked about his life in Hong Kong — growing up in school, he felt forced into Christianity and so he fell away. He decided that the wanted to lean towards the sciences and math, and just be a good person. Then, just a month ago, he came to America and met the sisters. He talked about how his friends kept asking, "How can you do this?" "Why do you believe this anyway?" Brady's reply has stuck in my thoughts these last few days. He looked at us as he was sharing his story and said,

"I could have told them a lot of things. But I knew the most important thing to say was, I feel it. I just feel it."

I felt it right then. All I can say is, I too felt it. I felt it as he was baptized. I felt it as he shared his story. And I felt it as a young single adult from China bore his testimony that he knew the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God..."


The Holy Ghost is the only one who can seal our testimonies. Think of Alma. He said, I know of a surety because of the Holy Ghost, not because I saw an angel. I want you to know that I know Jesus is the Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. And I know that Joseph Smith was called by God to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth.

Just as President Monson counseled in General Conference:  IF you don’t have a testimony, find it. If it’s not as strong as you would like, fix it. And if it is strong and deep, keep it that way.

You don’t have to know everything. Notice what you feel inside. Especially as this month is centered on the Savior. Notice how you feel as the world testifies of Him. It is no wonder to me, that there is a different spirit during this month — because the Spirit is testifying to the world of the testimonies that are being shared of the Savior of the world.

I love you all! Merry Christmas!

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