While serving in the Canada Toronto Mission, I had many opportunities of sharing the gospel with the people I met. I would like to describe one experience when my companion and I witnessed “a finding miracle!” I remember we were eagerly searching for someone to teach. We already had people we taught, but we were still searching for someone that would be ready to listen to the gospel messages we had in store for them with “real intent” (Moroni 10:4).
Both of us were new in the small town we were assigned to work in during the winter season. The only way we found people was by knocking on their doors and had scheduled to do this everyday. Our ability to communicate with others improved as we exercised faith and trusted that the Holy Ghost would be able to prompt us to know what to say to them. We had not, however, been having much success with our door approaches. Some people let us in their homes just to be kind.
But this particular spiritual experience didn't take place while knocking on doors.
An Answer to Prayers at the Barbershop
On our preparation day, we went to a member's barbershop to get our haircuts. We sat down in the waiting room. I looked at the man sitting next to me who was also waiting to get his haircut. I started to talk to him and asked him questions to get to know him better. After we introduced ourselves, he noticed our nametags. He asked us where we worked. We told him we were both volunteer missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He then asked us where our church was located. We told him the address and gave him a pass-along card with our telephone number on it.
We asked him about his beliefs and whether he believed in Jesus Christ. He said that he did, but he hadn't been to a church in a long time. He started to mention some of the struggles he was having in his life and how having faith in Christ had helped him get through those problems.
Then, he asked us what made our church different than any other church.
Teaching with Members about the Restoration
We started to talk about the Restoration of the fullness of the gospel after the Great Apostasy. We explained why there are so many churches on the earth. We also talked about the Prophet Joseph Smith who had prayed to know which church he should join. The boy Joseph received answers to his prayer in a magnificent way—he saw both Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and received guidance (Joseph Smith—History 1:7-20).
After listening to us, the man told us that he was happy that he had met us. He mentioned that he would like to meet with us sometime soon to talk more about what we had mentioned. Then he stood up to get his haircut from a member of our ward who had overheard our earlier conversation with him.
The barber introduced himself and explained that he was a member of the restored Church of Jesus Christ. He told him more about how our Church works. He also invited him to come and attend a sacrament service and that he would also be there so that he had someone to sit next to during the meeting. When the next Sunday came, this man was at church. Many members came to greet him as soon as he entered the front doors. After the meetings, he said that he had enjoyed his time with us and the other members.
From that week on, we began to teach him the missionary lessons. We taught him how to recognize and be guided the Spirit of God: “I will tell you in your heart and in your mind, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart” (Doctrine and Covenants 8:2). As our lessons progressed, he told us that he felt good and that he knew that what we were teaching him was right. A week after I was transferred, he was baptized.
The Saving Power of Christ’s Great Atoning Sacrifice
This is one of many experiences that I have had on my mission when I have seen that God does answer our prayers. He will help us to gather scattered Israel. He will guide us—both missionaries and members—to the people who are ready to listen. For God has revealed: “Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbour” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:81). All members are missionaries.
This experience has strengthened my testimony that the Lord will prepare people to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. He will put them into our paths so that we can lend a helping hand and teach them. Heavenly Father will assist us in His work of sharing the gospel according to the Lord’s timing.
Serving a mission has really strengthened my faith in Jesus Christ. It has helped me to see that God loves all His children and wants the best for each one of them. He wants to bless us as we share the gospel: “And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father” (Doctrine and Covenants 18:15).
I have been inspired to know that God will help everyone who asks humbly and sincerely for the truth: “By the power of the Holy Ghost [we] may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5). God will provide a way to help us overcome the obstacles we face. During my mission, I have learned to overcome some weaknesses by trusting in Jesus Christ’s atonement, repenting, and becoming better than I was before. Heavenly Father’s love applies to everyone who will come unto Him through His Son Jesus Christ. God does not just see us from where we are in this life, but what we can become in our eternal future.