When I started college, I was prompted to join the cross-country team. The team watched everything I said and did, not only because I was the captain, but because I was a member of the “Mormon” Church.
I was asked questions about the Church constantly. They were amazed that I wouldn’t drink coffee or party on weekends. Before every race we huddled and I would offer a prayer to help us do well. It was great to share my testimony and beliefs with the team.
Our season was ending, and we had one more race in Spartanburg, South Carolina. We stayed at a Marriott hotel, which had a Book of Mormon in every room. I found a teammate reading a copy. When I asked her why she was reading it, she replied that she was interested in what it was about. Excited, I bore my testimony to her of its truthfulness. Many of the other girls on the team had joined us in the room, and they asked me questions about the Book of Mormon.
When we got home I invited my best friend on the team, Rosa, to go to church with me. She enjoyed the meetings and felt peaceful there. After that, Rosa came to church almost every week. It was so wonderful to see the gospel touch her life.
About a month later I received an unexpected phone call from a young man on the men’s cross-country team, Brendan. He told me that he had taken the missionary lessons and was getting baptized in a week! I was so happy and thrilled for him. Both Rosa and I attended Brendan’s baptism. Rosa also took the missionary lessons and later chose to be baptized.
Looking back on these wonderful experiences, I am amazed that so many blessings resulted from joining my college cross-country team. I learned you don’t have to be set apart or wear a badge to be an instrument for Heavenly Father. Through my actions and living the gospel, my teammates wanted to know more about the gospel, which led them to baptism. I found that truly “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6).
Illustration by Sam Lawlor