Following a Prompting from the Spirit
Because I grew up in Jamaica, one of the hardest things for me to adjust to in serving as a sister missionary in the Canada Toronto Mission was living through a cold Southern Ontario winter.
For example, while returning to our apartment in the late evening, we noticed that our car needed gas. Pumping your own gas at a self-service gas station in the winter is not something fun to do. While doing this very thing, I met a man who taught me a lot about prayer.
As I braced the bitter cold, I noticed a man two pumps away from me. Suddenly, I felt prompted to turn to my companion and tell her to finish pumping the gas. I made my way over to this individual and introduced myself as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was actually really friendly and told me his name was Luke, short for Lukusa. He replied that he did not know much about our faith. So, I told him about the temple, invited him to attend Church, and gave him our missionary contact card. He seemed to be very receptive as we parted our ways.
What happened next, I was not expecting.
Learning About and Joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
That following Sunday Luke actually went to the Church closest to him. As soon as he entered the building, he was greeted by friendly ward members and by the missionaries serving in that area. Those elders had been praying to meet someone who was interested in learning more about the Church. He showed them the card we had given him. Later that Sunday, they called us and told us about this first meeting with him. I was overjoyed to hear that he had responded so quickly to my invitation to attend Church.
I felt like I was truly fulfilling my commission as a missionary to teach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. As the missionary training manual Preach My Gospel teaches: “You are surrounded by people. You pass them on the street, visit them in their homes, and travel among them. They are all children of God, your brothers and sisters. God loves them just as He loves you. Many of these people are searching for purpose in life. They are concerned for their future and their families. They need the sense of belonging that comes from the knowledge that they are children of God, members of His eternal family. They want to feel secure in a world of changing values. They want “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (Doctrine and Covenants 59:23), but they are “kept from the truth because they know not where to find it” (Doctrine and Covenants 123:12).”
The elders in Luke’s ward started teaching him the missionary lessons. Step by step, Luke accepted the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and desired to receive the ordinances of baptism and confirmation by priesthood authority.
As President Dallin H. Oaks recently taught: “We have also said much about the inspired summary of our work: ‘teach repentance and baptize converts.’ But converts to what? To Jesus Christ our Savior and our Redeemer, to His doctrine, to His restored gospel, to His authority, and to His name. Conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel should precede conversion to and membership in His Church. … Seek conversion to Jesus Christ and His gospel” (“Closing Remarks” [address given at the seminar for new mission presidents, June 28, 2017], 6, Church History Library, Salt Lake City and cited in Preach My Gospel).”
Luke was baptized on April 02, 2017.
The Temple Was and Is an Answer to Prayer
At the baptism, Lukusa shared something special. As he commuted to and from work everyday, he drove by the Toronto Temple. One day, he had the pressing thought: “That building is pure: God must live there.”
He said he knew he needed to go there, but he did not know why or how. So, he prayed that God would send him someone to show him the way. Five days later, he met me at that gas station, which happened to be right by the temple.
After talking with me while pumping gas on that cold winter day, Luke said, “I knew there was now a way for me to meet my Father in Heaven.”
Our Heavenly Father hears all of our prayers, member and returning member alike, and in His time He answers them (Matthew 7:7). Luke had prayed about the temple. The elders in his ward had been praying for the opportunity to teach someone the doctrines of the gospel. When I came to Canada to serve for eighteen months as an authorized representative of Jesus Christ, I prayed that I could be made a worthy “…instrument in his hands…” (Mosiah 23:10). Heavenly Father heard each of our prayers and answered them—He is and always will be mindful of His children.