Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dear President Albright,

When Hermana Nichols, Hermana Frandsen, and I were in a threesome, we were having a hard time finding people to teach. One day we went to visit an investigator. We knocked on her door only to discover she wasn't living there anymore. "Well... let's knock this building!" one of us said. We all agreed. We were on the third floor so we worked our way slowly down the entire building finding no one home or interested. As we approached the last door on the last floor (yup... another "last door, last floor" story) a little girl came to the door. "Is you mom home?" I asked. She ran and got her mom, and a woman who looked a little distracted and flustered came to the door. I gave her probably one of the worst door approaches of my entire mission. As I stuttered at first I managed "Hi, we're missionaries and we share a message about Jesus Christ, would you like to hear?" ... the woman looked at us and said, "I'm really busy right now cooking dinner, but I think I can give you 10 minutes." SHOCKED at her invitation, I stuttered again and my companions shoved me through the door and followed the woman inside. She said her name was Patricia.

We sat down and spoke briefly with Patricia about the gospel. She told us that she remembered having two missionaries teach her family back when she was a little girl in Peru. "Elder Welch and Elder something...but two young men came to our home and they showed us movies and things." We began teaching her about the Restoration, and she basically remembered all the significant points she had been previously taught many years before. As we finished the lesson, I asked her why she had allowed us to take a few of minutes of her time when she was so busy. Patricia explained, "A few days ago, I was thinking about my life and how I wanted more. Something was missing, so I prayed and asked Jesus to send me the answer. It didn't surprise me when the three of you came to the door."

On our second appointment, she invited her 16 year old daughter Carolina to sit in on the lessons. Carolina loved the gospel just as much as her mom did! We continued to teach them, and on the 3rd or 4th lesson Patricia, our wonderful new investigator, asked "What do I have to do to be baptized?" My companion replied... "do you want to be baptized?" and Patricia with an almost embarrassed laugh said "yes Hermanas!" We set them on date and they enjoyed a wonderful baptism a couple weeks later.

They are now both active in the church and Patricia's other daughter has since been baptized and confirmed a member of the Church. Even if missionaries are not the best teachers in the world, the Lord finds a way. We can still be instruments in His hands to find, teach and baptize the elect. His sheep recognize the voice of their Master. This is His work and He knows exactly what we need to say or do to help us find those prepared for the gospel.

Happy Easter,

Hermana Barrero

Dear President,

I want to tell you the story of Paul. It was one of my first weeks working in the Annandale Stake, and Elder Schmidt and I had been praying that we would find people to teach and be led to those who were prepared to hear our message. The week before, one of the counselors in the Elders Quorum Presidency had given us a list of names of inactive members of the ward that the Bishop and ward council wanted us to visit. One of the names on the list was that of Paul. We called his home teacher to find out some information about Paul, and learned he had been inactive for many years and that his home teachers had been unable to make any contact with him. We decided to give him a call that evening. We got a hold of him, and after a brief talk he asked us to call back the next week, so we made a note in our planners to follow up on him. A few days later I felt an impression like I should give Paul a call.

When I called, I could immediately tell a difference in his voice. He expressed his gratitude to us for listening to the Spirit and reaching out to him and asked us when we could come visit. He then said, "That wasn't you that called me, it was God. It wasn't your voice--it was God speaking to me. You were just the messengers." Paul explained to us that he was just recently trying to get his life back in order, after suffering from alcohol addictions. We readily volunteered our help as a lifeline, which he used, whenever he felt the urge to relapse into his bad habits. For 17 years he had been completely inactive from the Church. As we continued to meet with Paul over the next few weeks, I noticed a light come back into his eyes and countenance. He began to radiate the happiness of the gospel. Paul attended church with us the next Sunday. As he sat beside us he said, "I feel good. I feel like I'm back home." The very Sunday he came again but this time he stood up and shared his testimony of the Book of Mormon and of God's plan for us. It was very rewarding for me to see the difference it made in his life. The darkness that was so apparent in his voice since that first phone call had disappeared, giving way to the joy of Christ. The morning breaks, the shadows flee. Paul has helped me to appreciate the happiness that I so often take for granted and "how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth" (2 Nephi 2:8).


Elder Parker