Our missionaries are amazing. Some are the only member in their family, some are the first missionary in their family, some introduced the gospel to their families. They are pioneers. I am just including 2 of their wonderful stories. The stories also illustrate the importance of opening our mouths. "I am a Mormon!"
Elder R and his forever family
Elder R was born into a dysfunctional family. It was a family without love and an unsafe place for a young boy. By the time he was seven he left his home and lived on streets alone, until the government became involved and placed him in and out of 7 different homes before he turned 18. Life was challenging, but Elder R attended school, worked hard and at age 18 he was living on his own. He had a job and paid for his own apartment. He even found his younger sister and took her in, caring for her. He started attending the university to further his education.
Elder R was in his early twenties when he was talking one day with his cousin about religion. She asked him “Did you know Christ visited the Americas?” He replied “NO! Where did you hear that?” His cousin told him it was in a book called the Book of Mormon. Elder R researched the word Mormon on the computer and found there was a chapel near his house. He also found the meeting times. The next week he went to the chapel but when he arrived he saw the men wearing white shirts and ties. He felt under dressed in his casual clothes so he did not go in but went back home. The following week Elder R walked into the building wearing a white shirt and tie. He was warmly welcomed by the ward who assumed he was a returned missionary. They even asked him where he served. He responded he was not a member and only stopped there because he was looking for a copy of the Book of Mormon. The members introduced him to the missionaries but Elder R firmly told them he was only there to get the book. The missionaries told him that if he would stay for the 3 hour meeting block they would give him the Book of Mormon. Elder R agreed, he stayed for the 3 hour block of meetings, and went home with the book.
Elder R had been attending a church. He returned to the church he had attended and showed his pastor the Book of Mormon he had just received. He asked the pastor what he thought of it. The Pastor told him the book was of the devil, and he should not read it. Elder R asked the pastor if he had read the book and the Pastor answered no. Elder R said “How can you know if it is of the devil if you have never read it? I am going to find out for myself.”
He read voraciously and finished reading within a week. The next week he returned to church and asked when he could be baptized.
Two years later he decided to go on a mission. He was 26. He was called to serve here in Cochabamba. He was an excellent missionary. When he completed his mission he returned to Columbia and was quickly hired by a man he had worked for before. He started right back with university classes and he began courting a young woman he had meet briefly here in Bolivia. They met right before she left to serve a mission. They are now sealed in the temple. Elder R is now building the life he always dreamed of. He is creating his own forever family.
Elder C. "SOY MORMONA"
While attending a party at age 16 Elder C offered an alcoholic drink to a young lady. She simply replied “No gracias, soy Mormona”. After the party Elder C went home but he was unable to get the words out of his head “No gracias, soy Mormona”. He tried to sleep, but the words still echoed through his head. At 4 AM in the morning Elder C got up and went to the computer. He googled Mormona and found the Church website. He read about the church and learned there was a book called the Book Of Mormon. In the morning he called the girl who had refused the drink and asked her if she had a Book of Mormon he could borrow. She replied “I am not an active Mormon but I think I can find you one” and she did. Elder C read the book, gained a testimony and was baptized. He shared the gospel with his mom who joined the church.He is now a missionary here in Cochabamba all because some one opened her mouth and said the words “soy mormona”.