Sprinting in My Suit

    “Sprinting in My Suit,” New Era, June 2012, 10

    From the Mission Field

    Sprinting in My Suit

    missionary running

    Illustration by Scott Greer

    My companion told them I was the fastest man in New York City.

    I trained with some of Jamaica’s top runners before serving a mission. I was called to serve in the New York New York North Mission. My coach told me I should stay home and train for the Olympics instead, but I was incredibly excited to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to find ways of using my talents to further His work.

    Once, on a very nice day in Washington Square Park in New York City, my companion and I were contacting in the park with little success. In the park, people were watching some Broadway-quality street dancers. At the end of the performance, my companion approached the dancers with a challenge: “We have the fastest man in NYC with us today, and he would like to have a race. Which one of you is the fastest?” One of them came out and said, “That’s me, bro. I’m a runner too.” The other dancers blocked the street, and the crowd leaving the dance performance was called back. Someone exclaimed, “It’s the Mormons!” Soon we had a large audience for the race.

    My opponent was in athletic dancing clothes. I was in my suit, holding my Book of Mormon. The dancer asked if I wanted to give my suit coat and Book of Mormon to my companion, but I said, “I’m good. I will run with them.” He started the race with, “On your mark, get set, go,” and took off. I gave him a head start of a couple seconds, and then I began to chase him down. As I passed the dancer, I held up the Book of Mormon and said, “The Church is true, bro!” and ran on to win the race. Because of this performance, we became very popular in the neighborhood. Many people immediately took pass-along cards, and we made several return appointments. Gospel seeds were planted.

    I contacted people on the street and invited them to race me—if I won, they would agree to come to church. I ran in 77 races on my mission and never lost.

    I testify that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. He died that we might live. As my testimony has grown, I have been better able to see the light of this profound gospel brought back through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I am happy to be a part of this gospel. It has helped me in many ways. It is by obedience that we can build upon the Lord Jesus Christ as our sure foundation. I have a deep love for Him. He lives. He is my cornerstone, my all, my everything.