The Hardest Part of Sharing the Gospel

“For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it — Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven” — Doctrine and Covenants 123:12–13

Two nights ago, my companion and I sifted through some records in our car in search for a potential investigator to visit. It was 8:50, and we had 10 minutes before curfew. My companion suddenly blurted, “Let’s go find Carlos!” We put the car in drive and left. We arrived at 8:55, and we couldn’t find a parking spot. So, we turned the hazard lights on, parked the car outside Carlos’ apartment, and said a quick prayer. Panting at the top of the stairs, we knocked on door #4.

Carlos was a young man my previous companion and I met. He told us that he didn’t believe in Jesus Christ but he’d be interested in learning about him. We had taught him once about the Restoration, but he wasn’t home for our return appointment. Every time we knocked on Carlos’ door and he wasn’t home, his girlfriend, Diana would answer. Over time, we became friendly with each other and she would ask us questions about our Church and where it’s located. This time when we knocked on the door, she answered and told us that Carlos was home — finally! She went into another room and came back after a few moments. “He doesn’t want to see you…” she said sheepishly. We told her it was totally okay and asked her if there was anything we could do for her. “Well…” she said, “I actually am kind of confused about something. I don’t really know what Mormons believe, but I was wondering if you could answer some of my questions.” She proceeded to ask us several questions that we were able to answer simply and clearly, which led us to refer to the story about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost filled my heart as we expressed the joy and gratitude of the restored gospel. Diana’s countenance changed from confused and questioning, to reassured and filled with joy. She continually thanked us for answering her question and requested the pamphlet to read later.

On the way home, Hermana Castro and I stopped the car on the side of the road to say a prayer of gratitude. Peace filled my heart and tears watered my eyes as we reflected on the moment we had just experienced.

Two days later, we sent a text to Diana asking her how her reading went. We didn’t get a response for a few hours, until she sent us a long text explaining to us that our visit with her had motivated her to go to her mom’s church. She told us she didn’t need us to come back again and that she was going to start Bible study.

This is the hardest part of being a missionary. I am so excited for Diana to begin going back to church and reading the Bible, but I am so crushed that she has chosen not to partake of the blessings of the fullness of the restored gospel. I know that Diana felt the truth of our message, and I know that she will one day recognize the full truth that this gospel has to offer. But, my heart still breaks that she can’t receive the blessings now.

Choose to do what you will with this story. But I hope you can feel the amount of love I have for the people here, especially those we teach. I know this gospel is true, regardless of who else decides to accept it.

On top of that, I got a call from my mission president this week, and found out I will be training TWO new missionaries this transfer! Super crazy!!!! I am sooo excited to meet them! I would really appreciate some extra prayers to help me have the strength and humility to be successful as a trainer for two new missionaries. It is such a big responsibility and I feel extremely inadequate in this leadership position.

Les amo mucho!

Hermana Stockwell

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