Missionary Moments: A Different Hotel

Contributed By Bruce C. Kusch, Church News contributor

  • 8 June 2016

Missionaries street contacting in Mexico.

Article Highlights

  • Follow even the smallest of promptings.
  • Follow up with those you think may be interested in hearing the gospel message.

“It soon became clear that the Lord knew there was someone waiting and ready to receive the gospel message.” —Bruce C. Kusch, Eagleridge Ward, North Salt Lake Parkway Stake

In September 2013, while I was serving as president of the Mexico Cuernavaca Mission, my assistants and I traveled to a distant town, Ciudad Altamirano, to transact some mission business. In preparing for the trip, I felt impressed to stay at a local hotel, different than one I had stayed at previously.

We arrived late in the afternoon, about the hour everyone eats their main meal of the day. I asked the hotel clerk for a recommendation on where we might find someplace to eat. She suggested a restaurant downtown but then added, “There is a place just a few blocks away that is also good.”

“Great! That’s where we will go!” I replied. We were hungry and the restaurant was close, making the decision easy.

We arrived at the restaurant, El Caporal, and enjoyed an excellent meal—one of the best any of us had ever had during our service in Mexico. The food was so good, in fact, that we returned the next morning for breakfast and went back later in the day for dinner.

After we ate at El Caporal for three consecutive meals, it was clear the owner of the restaurant, Luz Maria Pineda Romero, was curious as to who these three men were, dressed in white shirts and ties, with badges that read “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” We felt something special about her, and we also sensed she felt something special about us.

As we paid our final bill, I explained who we were and told her that we would be back to share more of our message. Just then the restaurant was filled with customers, and Luz Maria was not able to spend any more time with us.

At that time, we did not have missionaries assigned to Ciudad Altamirano, but in November 2013 I was able to send two faithful elders to the city. In doing so, I gave them this charge: “Elders, when you get to the area I want you to do two things: (1) go eat at El Caporal, and (2) teach and baptize Luz Maria!”

And so they did; in February of 2014, they baptized Luz Maria Pineda Romero, who remains a stalwart and faithful member of the Ciudad Altamirano Branch to this day.

At the time I decided to look for a new hotel and then follow the suggestion to eat at El Caporal I did not know that these decisions were Spirit-led. But it soon became clear that the Lord knew there was someone waiting and ready to receive the gospel message. All it took was a different hotel and a great meal.

Bruce C. Kusch, Eagleridge Ward, North Salt Lake Parkway Stake