Rennes, Angers and Tours – the zones that President and Soeur Babin, my companion and I went to visit this week. It was such a privilege, once again, to meet the incredible people who I get to serve alongside and see their spirits shine with faith in the Lord’s work and a testimony of the happiness that the gospel brings to others. Like the previous week, Elder Christiansen and I were able to do exchanges with the Zone leaders in each zone after their zone conferences and there we saw many miracles.
One in particular that I would like to share this week is the impact that missionary miracles have on others who are not missionaries.
On my exchange with Elder Brown, the zone leader in Angers, we had been running from appointment to appointment during the day, hoping to be able to make it for dinner just before our final meeting at night with one of the companionship’s new amis. The appointment was set for 8pm at the chapel, and we had asked one of the young men in the ward, a 17 year old named Charles, to accompany us for the appointment. Elder Brown had told me earlier that Charles was a stellar young man, with a great testimony, but who was also scared to his bones to talk to non-members about the gospel. We had planned to meet him 15 minutes in advance to tell him what his role was – to testify and be himself.
We met Charles at 7:45pm, and told him his role, assuring him that he would be just fine. He seemed to be a little more at peace as the minutes ticked closer to 8pm, but I could still see a little bit of hesitation and fear.
Well, 8pm came by, and as it comes to all missionaries, we got a call saying that the appointment had to be postponed. So we were left with Charles, a young man, and 30 minutes to spare before the end of the night. Elder Brown and I turned to each other, nodded and said, “Well Charles, today, we are going to take you out to talk to people on the street. We’ll do the talking, and you can just observe.” His eyes widened, with even more uncertainty, and replied, “Ok, as long as you don’t go to this house here, and the other house on that street, because my friends are there and I am afraid to talk to them about my beliefs.” We agreed and headed out the chapel doors. I whispered to Elder Brown, “We’re going to need a miracle to help inspire this kid. But don’t worry, we will find one.”
We contacted the very first person that crossed our path outside the chapel, a french student who had just come from the university nearby. We started talking to him about the purpose of life, and about how he found the motivation to continue every single day. He explained that he never really thought deeply about his purpose in life, besides doing well in school, and added that he never did because he never knew. We were able to have a really good discussion with him on Heavenly Father and why we are here on earth, and taught him how he could pray to know his Heavenly Father. We ended our discussion with a prayer, and parted separate ways. All this was done with Charles just next to us. 25 minutes had already passed.
When we asked Charles what he thought, he couldn’t help exclaiming how cool it was that we were able to pray with someone and talk to them about the gospel with such facility. He said that all throughout the conversation, he thought about what he could say, and as soon as he knew what to say, one of us would have said exactly what he was prompted to say. He was truly edified by the experience and thanked us profusely for the chance to have been in a contact.
Charles was really changed by those 25 minutes. His fears of talking to people about the gospel may have still been there, but he knew that it was possible. The greatest testimony to me was the impact that the Spirit can have on giving others courage as we share miracles and personal experiences with others. It only takes 25 minutes to change a young man’s perspective of missionary work, and it will only take an uplifiting experience to strengthen another for life.
How will you strengthen your fellowman this week?
I know Heavenly Father lives and this is His work. I am grateful for the privilege to be a missionary, to bring happiness to others around me. #nogreaterworkthanthis