I now know why the Lord wanted me to serve a mission here in El Paso, Texas, and to wait until I’m 25 to come. In our ward council meetings we discussed focusing our efforts on prospective elders and less active members. We felt it was important since there are so many of them in the typical ward.
Sister Rackley and I felt like we needed to focus on them this past Sunday, but we were not having any luck. They had either moved or just weren’t home. Finally, as we were on our last house… It happened. Carlos was home! As we introduced ourselves we asked him to share his story with us.
He said: “I was just thinking about going back to church these past few weeks, I can’t believe you’re here,” after he softly put his hands over his face, trying to hold back the tears.
He told us that he fell away from the church because he stopped doing the little things, such as prayer, scripture study, and church. Those are the things that keep us on the right path.
He continued, “I’m not active. I even served a mission to Concepcion, Chile.” I of course knowing that Coley (my Sister) also served there, I thought, what are the odds?? So I asked him, “What years did you serve?” He responded, “You wouldn’t know anyone; it was a long time ago.” So naturally, I asked again. And then the question, “Did you happen to know Hermana King??” Me thinking, nahhh, he probably won’t, buuut, it never hurts to ask!
He was overjoyed!!!! “HERMANA KING?! YOU KNOW HERMANA KING?!” And I said, “Of course I do… She’s my sister!!!!” We both couldn’t believe it. I shared with Him that I don’t believe in coincidences in missionary work. He agreed. I told Carlos that my being there in his home right as he was thinking about coming back to church, was to show him that Heavenly Father is aware of him, always has been, and still loves him. Carlos replied, “I’m ready. I know this Church is true; I always have. I just didn’t know how to come back.”
He’s amazing! I love him already! I told him that I already felt like I knew him, and I could feel the love Heavenly Father has for him. I also shared that finding him made waiting until I was 25 years old to serve a mission more than worth it! Even if he is the only reason why I needed to serve a mission–I couldn’t be happier!
My testimony grows stronger each day. Heavenly Father loves all of his children. And he knows them individually. If you think you’re not receiving answers to your prayers, or you think he’s not aware of you. He is listening. He does answer prayers. You have to ask yourself, “Do I have enough faith to act on the answer I receive?“
I know this church is true, I always have. I know it’s true because I’ve received that witness. For me it was through continuing to do the little things. It still is. So make it a priority. If you’re not doing it, then start now. If you’re struggling and you’ve never prayed, start now. The gospel, and blessings of it are for everyone.
Sister Ashleigh King