Dear Brother Albright,
All this snow in Chicago is not slowing us down one bit! This week we were spiritually re-energized and felt more motivated, partially because my companion and I were both waking up exactly on time every day and working out hard each morning. On Wednesday as we were trudging through deep snow on the sidewalk after another big snow storm, I felt prompted that we needed to stop right where we were and wait on the sidewalk in the cold wind. So we stopped and my new junior companion asked me what I was doing.
I just looked at him and said we need to stop here, but I don’t know why. He thought I was crazy and after standing there in the snow for about 30 seconds, we saw a Ford Focus driving slowly up the icy road. I just knew we had to talk to the person, whoever it was, driving that car. I felt an impression that he would be very interested in our message. So I told my companion that I am going to act like I’m reading something in my notebook and you go talk to him when he stops. I explained to him that if I keep my back turned, it won’t look like we are standing here stalking him or intentionally waiting here for him to pull up.
My junior companion asked how I knew the driver would stop near us, but I didn’t reply. Soon I heard the car pull up to the curb and park behind me. I didn’t want to stare or appear conspicuous in any way. My companion couldn’t believe it. I then heard the driver get out of his car. It sounded like he was walking through the ice and snow across the front yard to his home. My companion was shocked and didn’t know what to say. He just stood there starring in disbelief as our newest golden investigator was walking away! So from about 150 feet away, I turned around and yelled out: “Hey have you ever heard of the Book of Mormon before!”
The man just stopped cold in his tracks and looked at us like a deer caught in the headlights. Finally he said, “Yes!” He quickly turned and walked over to where we were standing. It turns out that he is from Idaho. He grew up with a group of Mormon friends before moving to Chicago. He really liked his LDS friends, they were certainly good examples to him, but none of them had ever shared with him a copy of the Book of Mormon or shared the restored gospel with him. He has recently been feeling the need for religion in his life, and our questions stirred something deep within his soul. He happily accepted our invitation to take some lessons. We set up a return appointment to explain our message about the restored gospel to him. He then headed inside to get warm. We are excited to see him again soon!
It was a great experience heeding the promptings of the spirit, telling us that this man was prepared to hear the gospel and that we needed to stand still on the sidewalk and not keep on walking down the road. If we had walked just a little bit further, we would have missed the opportunity to talk to our newest investigator!
Elder Matthew Painter
Elder Matthew Painter, third from left.