We had a few really cool experiences this week that helped remind me of lessons I have learned. On Tuesday we were passing through an area and felt we should stop and visit one of our strongest members. We knocked on his door and he answered and let us in. He gave us a soft drink and had us sit down. It was also a plus that he had AC so we sat comfortably. We talked for five or so minutes. We asked if it would be ok to share a small message. He look almost surprised and said, “Yeah, I would love that.” We prayed and shared the first things that came to our minds. After saying what we felt we should he sincerely thanked us and said, “You know it has been a really long time since anyone has come to share any message with me.” Then he said, “I think that everyone assumes since I am always in church and do all my assignments that I don’t need any strengthening or help. I haven’t had any home teachers since I got here.” He became a little more serious and said, “You know, I think it was God that sent you here because I have been having a very hard time lately. What you shared really helped.” He then went on to explain what he was going through and it had to do with the same things we shared with him. I felt really good that we were able to help him. He is one of the most helpful people in the ward and it was just great to give something back to him. He actually shared a nice thought with us as well. He read a scripture from D&C 1:23, “That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.” He shared with us that the Lord works through the weak and simple. When we feel like we have become strong that is when the Lord will bring us back down, so that he might use us to do something great.
We had another experience this week with a member that is not one of the “strong members”. He explained to us that a few years ago he got very sick and the doctors did not know what was wrong with him. (By the way, at this time he was in Finland.) After various treatments he slowly began to recover. Once he got better he came back to Ghana. He said that a few weeks ago this same sickness came back. His explanation actually came with a very long back story but at the end he asked us if we could give him a blessing. We of course agreed. We gave him a blessing. He thanked us and we left. Yesterday he came to church. In Elders Quorum he told everyone that we came over and gave him a blessing and that the next day he woke up and was all better. He bore his testimony about the Priesthood and its reality. It was really nice.
The other experience I thought to share was a little more humorous. But the problem is it will probably end up being a “guess you had to be there” story. Any way we were walking around contacting people when we met this old man and his 45ish old son. They invited us to sit down under a tree. As soon as we sat down they looked and said, “Oh no, scoot forward so you are not in the sun.” Immediately after telling us that the old man just stared firing off questions. Like where we were from and what church we were with. How long we have been here and so on. He barely stopped long enough to take a breath let alone for us to answer. Then at the end of his little questionnaire he asked, “Why are you talking? What did you come here for, to sit there and not say anything? Scoot forward so you are not in the sun.” Trying hard not to laugh we suggested we pray. After another minute or two of him talking about who should pray, we finally prayed. We got to introduce who we were and what church we were from and one or two sentences when the old man started talking about his great-great-grandfather who came here to Ghana before there were cars from Jamaica. Then he gave us his family history and said a lot of stories. My companion seeing an opportunity talked about how in this church we do family history work. Then the old man preceded to tell us that same story he just explained repeating it detail for detail. We tried to come in a few times but we couldn’t catch a break. Then he finally finished. My companion began to talk but mid-sentence the old man’s son very loudly said, “I have been married for twenty five years and my wife still won’t listen to me.” The way everything happened and the caricature of the two just made this all hilarious to me. But we did see that this was probably not the best use of our time after the old man recounted his history again. We tried to end the lesson and finally after 10 minutes we succeeded. It made our day just a little more interesting.
Thank you for all your emails and encouragement. Love you all.
– Elder Orton