This past week, I taught an epic lesson with my companion. We were walking down one of the bigger streets in our area to find some people to talk to before the evening would end and got called out by this man sitting in front of a Domino’s Pizza place to run across the street and come talk to him. When we got to him he didn’t even give us time to introduce ourselves or really say anything past “hi”. He told us his name was Mike, that he had been meeting with Missionaries for nearly 20 years, that he was 100% confident that he had read the Stand Works all more than my companion and I had together, that he loved the Missionaries, and that he would convert to the Church the moment he felt that burning in his bosom from the Spirit. Now with both of us trying to discern how to handle this situation, we just decided to casually talk to him without appearing intimated, which we weren’t, but assumed that that was Mike’s objective in telling us all of that before letting say anything more. He also told us that he was sure he could ask questions that we never even thought investigators could ask. I quickly and without my companions consent told him to just ask away since this sounded like the kind of person who I would be perfect for since I enjoy discussing the Doctrine on a more complex or difficult level. His first questions was whether or not we, meaning our selves as individuals and not as representatives of the Church, acknowledge or see our beliefs as a Monotheistic Church or as a Polytheistic Church. I paused for a moment because I had to first remember what those 2 words even meant, when my companion just busted out and said Polytheistic which caused Mike to put on an expression of surprise. I was surprised too since my companion isn’t one who has the largest vocabulary and yet was able to as were the question so fast and boldly. Unfortunately though, he didn’t follow up with anything more. It seemed like he had just blurted that out because the Spirit told him to. Immediately after my companion said that, I remembered the definition of the 2 words and gave my answer as well which was also Polytheistic. I explained to Mike that in the Church it would be very easy to think that we would be a Monotheistic Church since openly saying we believe in more than one God would seem weird or saying we worship more than 1 God, but I explained that in the Church, we Believe that their are many Gods, namely, Heavenly Father, The Son or Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, but that we only worship 1 God being our Heavenly Father. I continued to go into a little more depth and quoted a few scriptures from the Bible and Book Of Mormon to support this statement and my companions original answer. After I finished talking, Mike was dumbfounded for a moment with a look of amazement and told us that there had not been a single Missionary in the past 20 years that had been able to give such a clear, confident, and powerful answer regarding that question and that most Missionaries either couldn’t answer and told him that they would get back to him, or they would say one of the 2 answers and not be able to support them very well, or Mike would be able to catch them in their words and explain to them why they were wrong on either answer. Although that was the Spirit talking through me when I answered, I did feel very good about myself for having studied so many things that I have been told many times would be near useless on the Mission. He then asked a few more questions and my Companion and I were able to answer all of the follow up questions with the same level of confidence and power of the Spirit behind us. We were in perfect unison and the Spirit was present. By the end of the conversation, Mike told us that he didn’t care that we were Spanish Missionaries and that he wanted us and only us to be his new teachers since he does want to be Mormon and get Baptized eventually. He explained to us that he thinks that us 2 would be the only Missionaries that would truly be able to convert him finally after all these years solely because we know the Doctrine and scriptures so well and so confidently. He told us he would take us out to eat this next week and that we could begin reteaching what he has been taught countless times already.
When Elder Stevens and I left and began walking back to our apartment close by, I told him that that lesson we had just taught had probably been my 2nd favorite lesson in the Mission so far, and he told me that no matter how he felt about some of the deep things we were going into, the Spirit just kept telling him to keep talking. My companion is not used to teaching about the Gospel on a deeper more complex level since he had been so thoroughly taught that we need to teach clearly and simply, not clearly and complexly. We both learned something different from this experience. He learned that there actually are times to teach with less simplicity, and myself that studying all aspects of the Gospel, even while serving a Mission is beneficial instead of just studying what we are expecting to teach.
The most humorous part of the conversation with Mike though, was when he sarcastically brought up Kolob by saying, “. . .And don’t even get me started on Kolob, that’s a whole nother Galaxy from what you guys are supposed to teach to investigators, right. . . Oh wait, I forgot, Kolob is kind of a more secret thing in your Church. . .Shhhh”. It was so funny when he said that and it left my companion and I both laughing very hard.
I am beginning to come to the realizations sometimes when I teach certain people that I am literally The One Person to teach some of the people put in front of me by the Lord. Mike was definitely one for me.
The Spanish Group in this area also had 42 people in attendance yesterday for Sacrament meeting from 18 people in attendance the last week. A lot of mine and Elder Stevens efforts are finally beginning to pay off in this area. It got both of us so excited since there hadn’t been this many Hispanic people at Church in over 6 months. This number included investigators as well which there were 4 of each separate from each other in our teaching records which was so uplifting for us after 5 weeks of feeling as though the work in this are was progressing so slowly.
Happy Father’s Day to everyone since it will have passed by my next P-Day.
Elder Adam R. F. Scoville