I am Trying! (And a LDS Mission Story)

Concert/Parade/county play/holiday season= teacher overload! Until I can calm down, I give you story I DID NOT write but inspired me today. In the words of Bruce Horne:

A number of years ago, a baby boy was born into a Mormon family in japan. After a few years, the boy and his family moved to New York City. When he turned his mission papers in, he was certain he would be called to a Japanese mission to teach his own people, just like his father had done.

However, when the call came, it was to Colombia. Believing there must have been a mistake, he called the mission board and asked them to call President Kimball to find out if there had been some mistake. President Kimball reviewed the call, said there was no mistake, that he was called to go to Colombia.

The young man spent eight long weeks in the MTC trying to learn Spanish. At the end of the eighth week, he contacted President Kimball’s office again. “I do not wish to be a bother, but as hard as I try, I cannot learn Spanish. Please send me to a japan.” President Kimball said, “Young man, you are to serve in Colombia.”

This missionary spent 22 months in Colombia as a junior companion, always following, never saying much, and never really learning the language. Then one day, a few weeks before he was to go home, while he and his companion were waiting for a train, an elderly gentleman tapped him on his shoulder and asked, in broken Spanish, if they were the Mormon missionaries. The old man talked to the missionary and said, in Japanese, that he looked like a person of Japanese decent. The two talked in Japanese for quite a while. After the old man left, the Japanese elder turned to his companion and said they had an appointment at 6:40 that evening and that the older man had given him directions to his house. He had also asked if the elders would talk to some of his family and friends.

Upon arriving at the address, the Japanese gentleman invited them inside where there were 64 Japanese people who couldn’t speak any English or Spanish waiting for them. Finally, the elder had the opportunity to teach in Japanese!

How strange, he thought, that he had to come to Colombia to do it. He worked furiously, teaching the group of investigators and helping them understand the Gospel. The missionary baptized all 64 of these people before he finished his mission, including the gentleman from the train station.

The old man had been teaching this group about the gospel out of an old Japanese copy of the Book Of Mormon, they had had no one to explain the gospel to them before they met the elders, but they had readily accepted the message because they had been well prepared for it. Before the missionary left Colombia, they asked him to write his testimony in the old Japanese Book Of Mormon. After writing his testimony, the missionary turned the page in the well—worn book and read one of the deepest and strongest testimonies he had ever read, twenty-five years earlier, another missionary had recorded his testimony in this book while serving in Japan. The inspiring words had been penned by the young elder’s father.


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