Mark Albright is the president of the Washington DC South mission and shares these missionary stories with Meridian Magazine. This letter comes from John Eastin of Seattle, Washington.
If you want to share a missionary story, send it to President Albright by clicking on the “email author button” by the title of the article. Please note the names of new converts and investigators may be changed to maintain privacy.
Dear President Albright,
I remember when I was called to be a stake missionary in Las Vegas while I was in graduate school at UNLV. I told my bishop that I simply did not have enough time for such a busy calling since I was already carrying 12 credit hours and working 50 hours a week.
My bishop, however, insisted that the Spirit had prompted him to call me to be a stake missionary in spite of my busy schedule. I finally told the bishop that if he felt that strongly about it, then I would accept the calling.
After going through my old missionary trunk looking for items that might be helpful in my new assignment, I came across an old paperback copy of the Book of Mormon that I had found in the Salt Lake Airport which originally converted me to the Church. Unfortunately, I left this special book on my kitchen counter for a little while and my young son JP colored in it and tore out a few pages. Reluctantly, I wound up throwing my old torn Book of Mormon in the trash bin located outside of our apartment building.
A few weeks later the assistants to the president of the Las Vegas Nevada Mission asked me to go teach an investigator with them. We went to a man’s house named Jim Knotch who lived in the same apartment complex that my family was living in. Jim was receptive to our gospel message and after several appointments, I invited him to be baptized. To our joy, he accepted the invitation. When I asked Jim who he would like to baptize him he said, “I want you to do it John.” When I asked him why, he said, “There were a lot of times during the course of the discussions that I was ready to say forget it, but you believed in the gospel so strongly that it kept me going until I was ready to be baptized.”
I thanked him and then asked Jim how he first became interested in the Church. He reached behind where he was sitting to his book shelf and handed me an old copy of the Book of Mormon. He said he had found this special book in the trash outside our apartment complex. Upon closer examination, I found it to be the very same copy of the Book of Mormon that I had thrown away with the trash several weeks earlier.
I baptized Jim the next weekend. The unknown member who wrote her testimony in the cover of a Book of Mormon to be placed in the Salt Lake Airport will never know that it ended up converting not only me, but Jim Knotch as well.