After Prisen had set his baptismal date with us, he agreed to meet us every single day this week. This is the first time ever on my mission that an ami has met us every single day. On most occasions, we would ask our amis to meet with us 3 times a week, and most of the time, once or twice a week would be the case due to work or school and complemented with some lack of desire to really engage in their search for a testimony. Well, we met Prisen every day this week, and he kept every commitment, praying about the priciples that we had taught him, reading from the Book of Mormon, studying the scriptures we gave him, etc. He really had a desire to find the truth, and each time he returned, he said that he had gained a testimony of what we had taught, and I knew that he had put in the effort into seeking an answer because he always bore a simple yet sincere testimony about the truths he had learnt. One of my favorite lessons was teaching him about the Word of Wisdom. When we told him that Heavenly Father commanded us to refrain from drinking coffee, tea or alcohol, or from smoking or taking drugs so we could keep our bodies clean and pure, he recounted how 3 weeks ago, he had realised that he needed to stop smoking and drinking alcohol because he just felt that it was something that God did not want him to do. So out of pure determination and with lots of praying he stopped smoking and drinking completely. To imagine that someone who had never heard of the Word of Wisdom realised that he needed to stop smoking and drinking in order to be closer to God was indeed a testimony for me that indeed, there are people out there who are really, really being prepared to receive the gospel. They are ready to act on the message of the restored gospel and are going to find their testimonies because of their pure desires to know if it is true.
My testimony of the fact that people are being prepared did not stop there. To give a little background, the LDS Visitor’s Centre here opens everyday at 2pm. And usually, we use a room in the centre to teach because it is a very peaceful environment. Well, we had an appointment at the visitor’s centre at 10am. We waited there for a while, about 45mins before we realised that we were not going to be able to see the ami that we had planned to see. So, we decided to stay in the visitor’s centre and continue with our language study, which we had foregone by heading to the centre at 10am. At 11:30am, a french man in his 30’s dressed in a suit walked in, and asked to see the Institute director, saying that he had a meeting with him. Thinking nothing of it, we brought him upstairs to the institute, and then went home for lunch. Well, a few hours later, we received a call from this same french man, wanting to meet with us to discuss the Book of Mormon. My first impression was that he just wanted to ask us missionaries about the things we did each day, our view of the Book of Mormon etc., because we had had many of those rendezvous before. However, when I asked him how he got to come across the Book of Mormon, he replied that he had searched for an entire year to find a true church, so he bought a Book of Mormon, a Kuran, and a Bible, and read every single one of them from cover to cover. He said over the phone, ” I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and I want to learn more.” For the first time in my mission, someone had read a Book of Mormon through, and had obtained a testimony of it without being committed to it. We met him 30minutes later and we taught him the lesson of the Restoration with Joseph Smith’s first vision and committed him to pray and asked God if Joseph Smith was a real prophet. He replied, “But I already know that he is a real prophet of God.” For about 5 seconds, I stood dumbfounded, speechless. So we gave him Alma 32 to read.
We also found a family of 8 people that we could begin teaching this week, and all these experiences have truly strengthened my testimony of how real the work of the Lord is. Honest and willing hearts are being prepared everywhere to receive the gospel. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and the one can truly grow closer to God by reading it.
Missionary life is a life of miracles. We will be having a new mission president come in this week, President Babin, from the Evry ward (my first area), and I know that Heavenly Father will continue to magnify all his missionaries here. There are no words to describe how happy I am to be on the Lord’s errand.