So, we were tracting this street. 7th st. E. to be exact. 900 block. And we were just about to go in, because it was 5 to 9. I know this sounds cliche, but it was literally the last house we were going to knock on. 909 A (it was like a duplex). So we knock and this lady comes to the door. Elder Schumann introduces us and she immediately says "No thank you, I am not interested AT ALL with religion." Elder Schumann asked why and she said that she has been going through a really hard time for 4 years, and God has not helped her at all. She prayed and prayed... and nothing has changed. Then I started to testify to her that God did, in fact, love her, and that he wanted to help her. She just needed to draw nearer to him first. She then tells us a bit about her situation. "I dont drink," she says "I dont smoke, and yet, my 9 year old little girl is stuck with my alcoholic ex-husband, because he has money, and money talks" She goes on to explain that none of her children are living with her. But she is most heart broken about her little girl, because they are all drinkers, and she dosent want her to go that way. At this point i said something else, but i dont remember what it was. She looks at us for a while and says, I cant have you standing out there in the cold, come in and ill make you some hot chocolate.
Wow. I have never had a contact turn from that into THAT. But it gets better.
We sat with her a while and asked if we could share a bit of our message. she says yes. We explain the book of Mormon and tell her that this will bring her the happiness she is looking for. It wont fix all her problems, but it will give her hope and bring her at peace with God. She starts to talk again about her kids, and how she can tell that we were well raised and that being kind to people was important to us. She said her kids dont know that. "I would rather have you sitting her, playing cards with me or whatever, than my own kids". She said "When you come back I'll have too..." and then I didnt hear what she said, because all I could think about was her inviting us back! We never said anything about coming back... She must have caught herself too, because after she said. "You know, I think it would be a good idea for you to come back. I could really use some hope right now".
Wow.. powerful. The spirit was so strong.
Her name is Patience
So the next day, we are finishing up that same street. Nothing much happened, and it was time to go in for lunch, But because of some scheduling stuff, Elder Schumann asked if I wanted to keep tracting another half hour and go in later. I said sure, not really wanting too, because it was so cold. But it must have been a prompting too him, because at one of the houses this BIG black lady came to the door, and with absolutely NO hesitation said "Come in", so we stepped in. Then she said "Sit down". and points to her couch. I was actually a little hesitant.. I didnt know what was up.. did she think we were someone else? We sat down and she just sits there, holding her very cute, very wide eyed baby girl on her lap. She dosent say anything... so we start talking. And she is just listening to everything we say and loving it. She says she is Jehovah Witness, but that she dosent like it very much, because she likes to pray, and she dosent like their prayers. She said her spirit will get weak if she dosent pray. She told us that she had been fasting, and she was just about to end her fast with a prayer, and we came to the door. She said "God sent you". She is so great! she is from Nigeria. Dad said he baptized a Nigerian man on his mission. So i have to baptize this lady and her family. They are so funny. The culture is so different and friendly. i love it. She just invites us inside instead of making us talk to her at the door. That is normal to her! I am going to do that all the time now. It was so funny and I am already in love with her family.
His name is Eduardo
I also met this man from the Philippines.He is already a member. He is amazing. We went over to teach his roommate, who ended up not being there for the lesson. so we just taught him. He shared with us his conversion story. He was born roman catholic. Everyone in the Philippines is. He wasnt content though, and so he searched. He became a Born Again Christian. His first in counter with the church was around this time, I believe. There was a man, that would walk to church and pass his house. He lived somewhere down the block, but he didnt know him. But he would always sit on his porch as he walked by, and the member would always shout "Hello my friend!" and walk on by.
He never knew he was a member. A year or so later, the man stopped coming by. and a while after that, this man got a job in Saudi Arabia. While he was there, he met the other men he was working with, one of the men came up to him and said "I know you! You are my friend!" It was the same man that passed him on the street on his way to church. In the next couple of month, he was introduced to some of the teaching of the Gospel by him, and by another man, who was a return missionary. They did not have scriptures in Saudi Arabia. It was against the law, and you could receive the death penalty for it. So they just talked. His friend told him "All you have to do to know that this is true, is to pray, very hard, and ask God". So he did. That night, he had a dream about a beautiful white building. It looked like a church. He asked his friend about it, and he pulled out a picture of the temple in the Philippines. "Is this is?" He asked. "Yes! Thats the church! What Church is this". He said, "this is a Temple. This is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". He said "I want to go there". But his friend said that he had to be a member of the church. "He said, "...Ok, Teach me about your church".
In the next few weeks the return missionary and his friend taught him the 6 discussions. He took lots of notes, he said. He was especially intrigued by eternal families. That is what he wanted. At the end of the discussions his friend asked him if he wanted to be baptized. He said yes, "I want to be baptized NOW. Can you baptize me now?" Unfortunately, they had to say no. They explained that they did not have the priesthood keys to do so.. He was heart broken.. they told him that when he had vacation time, find the Elders and tell them you want to be baptized. He had to wait something like 6 months before he had 1 month of vacation time. He went back to the Philipinnes and told his wife "I want to marry you for time and all eternity. Do you want to be with me forever" She said yes. and so he called the missionaries. they lived 2 hours away from his house... he had to travel there every week to retake the discussions. He took them 2 at a time. He was baptized the end of the month. Some how, he got permission to receive the priesthood and baptize his wife the same day... That wouldnt fly anymore. But it is romantic in this story. He is now away from home once again, in Canada. But he now has a large family, all in the covenant. He has helped 27 people to accept the Gospel. And that is just from HIM alone. Not including all the people that they have now helped, and also his son, who just returned from his mission. This guy is amazing.