Missionary moments: Great blessings

Things seemed pretty grim last year while I lay in my bed in a Salt Lake City hospital. I had suffered a stroke and had recently begun therapy. I kept thinking, "How can this experience be of benefit to anyone?" At the time I was practically helpless. I asked myself, "What can I do to make this experience a growing one?"

My roommate in the hospital was Malcolm Sbarbora. We were the same age - 76 - and both of us had suffered strokes. My stroke affected my left side and his affected his right side. I found my roommate to be a personable man, and we enjoyed each other's company. He was an intelligent man. He had been a professor at the University of Utah and spoke four languages. He had lost his wife in recent years, and he remarked to me how lucky I was to have Bernice, a wonderful and faithful wife, to come and visit me daily.I also discovered my roommate was not LDS. Each Sunday he would get in his wheelchair and go to his church service held in the hospital. I decided to share the gospel with him. One Sunday afternoon when it was all quiet, and no therapy was taking place, I got in my wheelchair and rolled over by his bed. I asked him if I might share with him some thoughts about how we were all children of the same Heavenly Father and that He loved each of us equally. My new friend accepted my offer, and we spent the next two hours talking about the gospel.

My release from the hospital finally came. I kept in touch with my friend, who was also released but was soon back in the hospital for surgery. After he was again released, I visited him and shared with him more about the gospel. I soon arranged for missionaries to visit him. They proceeded to make appointments with him, and in a couple of weeks I had a phone call announcing my friend's baptismal date. The date was postponed once because he wasn't well, but the day - in May of this year - finally arrived. We were excited and arrived in time to see the missionaries helping our friend out of their car and into his wheelchair. The baptism took place after the elders helped him down the steps into the font. I confirmed him a member of the Church.

This brings me to attempt to answer my original question, "Could anything good come from having a stroke?" My experience makes me wonder if the Lord could have been directing our lives so we would meet each other and receive great blessings - even if it had to be in a hospital under adverse conditions. - Harry Good, Jordan North 8th Ward, Salt Lake Jordan North Stake

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