Should I Choose Work or Church?

Kenya Ishii, Japan

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    My wife and I were married in 1981 in the Tokyo Japan Temple. Our life after marriage was not easy at first. I was grateful to have a job, but we had trouble meeting our expenses. We asked Heavenly Father for His help and did all we could to make ends meet and pay our tithing. We knew that if we trusted in the Lord, He would provide for us.

    One week both my wife and my friend brought me the same small clipping out of the newspaper. It was an ad for a full-time English teacher.

    I sent my résumé to the company and was asked to come in for an interview. At the end of the interview, the interviewer said, “You wrote in your résumé that you had been involved in volunteer work as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So that means you go to church on Sundays, don’t you? If you had to decide whether to go to church or to work on Sundays, which would you choose?”

    It was a difficult question because I needed a better job. But after pondering, I replied, “I would go to church.”

    With a vague smile, the interviewer said, “Oh, I see.” Then he dismissed me with the promise that the company would make a decision by that evening and that I should call to find out the results. As I left the room, I thought I had failed.

    Later that evening when it came time to call, I dialed the company’s number with great fear.

    “What about the results of the interview?” I asked the secretary. “I failed, didn’t I?”

    I was stunned but happy with her answer.

    “We’d like to ask you to work for us,” she said.

    About a month later I learned why I got the job. The secretary explained that the interviewer lived next door to full-time Latter-day Saint missionaries. He had often watched the missionaries briskly riding their bicycles to their work in the morning.

    “He believed that you, belonging to the same church, would work for us just as hard as the missionaries worked for their church,” she said. “Lucky you!”

    Since then our family has always had what we needed.

    Whenever I think of this choice experience, I am encouraged and comforted. I know that God often uses other people to bless His children. I cannot adequately express how grateful I feel for my wife and my friend for their inspiration in bringing that newspaper ad to me, for those hardworking missionaries and their great example, and for our merciful, loving, and caring Heavenly Father, who has miraculous power to consecrate our experiences for our good.