'Gave me hope'

Ever since returning from my full-time mission 14 years ago, I have wanted to be instrumental in bringing someone into the Church. Through the years I have always tried to share the gospel with friends, but never saw anyone baptized as a result of my influence. This has always bothered me, especially since I served as a stake missionary for more than two years. I was released last spring.

But I recently had an experience that gave me hope to continue trying to share the gospel with my friends and not give up on them. About three years ago I was assigned to home teach a part-member family. The wife was a member, but was less-active at the time. Her husband was not a member, but he welcomed home teachers, and, in fact, asked gospel questions. We agreed that once a week we would discuss the questions, read scriptures and show videotapes pertaining to the gospel.Over a two- to three-month period, the wife was touched spiritually and committed to start coming to Church regularly. I prayed fervently that the husband would be touched also, and I bore my testimony to him every week. Preparing for these weekly lessons became a focal point and a highlight of the week for me. Unfortunately, he was seemingly unaffected.

Then the family moved to another ward in the stake. The wife said she would be active in her new ward. I felt good that my efforts were not in vain; however, in regards to her husband, I felt I had failed and was very discouraged. After they moved, I lost contact with them.

Then last fall I was visiting their ward one Sunday and ran into the wife. I was glad to see she was active in the Church. She then told me: "Because of those lessons you gave us, shortly after we moved my husband felt a desire to let the missionaries teach him. He was baptized and now serves as elders quorum president in the ward."

I thanked her for telling me this, left the building and cried all the way home in the car. I told myself that I was going to remember this experience. The thought came to me that maybe there is someone else out there who was influenced by me eventually to be baptized, and I don't know about it.

I think the reason we feel so good when we do missionary work is because this is the highest form of service we can do for our fellowmen. - Larry Lehnhof, Redlands (Calif.) 1st Ward

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