The Clue in My Blessing09644_000_010
I served in the Texas Houston South Mission as a Spanish-speaking elder. One day my companion and I were knocking on doors, trying to find somebody to teach. We came to a house with a huge hole in the worn, wooden porch.
An older woman answered the door and invited us in. I’m not sure if she really knew who we were and what we were doing, but she was very polite. We began teaching her the first lesson, and things seemed to be going fine. Soon it was my turn to teach about Joseph Smith and the First Vision. I watched as the woman’s facial expressions seemed to show growing confusion. It was obvious she was not really following what I was trying to explain to her.
After asking a few questions about what we had gone over so far and about how much of it she was understanding, I felt myself becoming frustrated that she wasn’t getting the concept of the First Vision. It had been a long day, and the last thing a missionary wants is for somebody not to understand what he so badly wants people to know is true.
In the split second I felt my emotions starting to slip toward anger, a small passage from my patriarchal blessing came to my mind. It was a section about my future family that advised me to teach my future children the concepts of the gospel. As that paragraph went through my head, I knew the Spirit was telling me to teach this humble woman in the same way I would teach a child.
I began teaching her with a more simple and loving approach. I imagined my own children sitting around the living room looking up at me, their father, as I taught them about the Prophet Joseph Smith. It was amazing to see the change on her face. Her eyebrows soon lifted, and her eyes began to shine. Her confused look became one of interest and wonder. As I related the story of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appearing to Joseph Smith, tears filled her eyes and ran down her cheeks. The Spirit filled the room, and my frustration turned into great joy.
I will never forget this experience. Now I can’t wait to teach the same principles to my children someday and feel that great joy again.
Prepare for Service
“Young men, I admonish you to prepare for service as a missionary. Keep yourselves clean and pure and worthy to represent the Lord. Maintain your health and strength. Study the scriptures. Where such is available, participate in seminary or institute. Familiarize yourself with the missionary handbook Preach My Gospel.”
President Thomas S. Monson, “As We Meet Together Again,” Ensign, Nov. 2010, 6.
Illustration by Brian Call