09246_000_014I was just inviting Ashley to dinner, but she was hungry for the gospel.
My dad invited a woman he worked with and her husband to come over for dinner on Thursday to meet with the missionaries, but on Wednesday they called to cancel. The elders couldn’t come over without a nonmember present, so I quickly called my best friend, Ashley, to see if she would come over for dinner the next night. She agreed, and I told her that the missionaries would be over for dinner as well.
Thursday night came, and we all sat down for dinner. I had told the elders that Ashley was just here to meet them and not for a lesson. But after dinner they proceeded with the first discussion. I could tell Ashley was caught off guard. I was thinking, “Oh, dear. Ashley is going to be mad at me because this is not what I told her they were going to do.” But I didn’t stop the elders from teaching, and Ashley didn’t either, so I let them continue.
Ashley answered the elders’ questions and seemed very interested. My nervousness started to go away. Throughout the lesson the Spirit was present, and there was no denying it. I knew Ashley felt it too. The lesson ended, and the elders asked to set up another appointment. She agreed, and we decided to meet the following Tuesday. The elders gave her a Book of Mormon and a chapter to read.
When I walked Ashley out to her car, she gave me a hug, said thank you, and started crying. She said she had been looking for something and had been waiting for me to ask her if she wanted to learn about my Church. I told Ashley that I had felt for a long time that I should ask her, but I never knew how.
With her parents’ permission, Ashley took all the discussions with the missionaries and was baptized within a short time. Her baptism was amazing, and the Spirit was so strong. What I really learned through this experience is that Heavenly Father is preparing people all the time to hear the gospel, and He had been preparing Ashley. I felt the prompting many times to invite Ashley to learn about the Church but never acted upon it. If my dad’s friends had not canceled, I probably still wouldn’t have asked Ashley to learn more. The Lord took it into His own hands. Now Ashley has the fulness of the gospel.
Photograph by Cody Bell