One day the sister missionaries called me and said they want to bring someone who was investigating the church and wanted me to share my testimony with him. I thought that was strange, but the sisters said that they felt what I would say may help George (name has been changed). They told me that he has a problem with self esteem and believing that God loves him.
When the sisters walked in with George I was shocked. I could smell cigarette smoke on him from a distance, he had long hair (to his waist), was wearing torn Jeans and a leather jacket and had earrings on. He said he rides a motorcycle. He also said he had two children from two different wives that he does not associate with anymore. My first reaction was, there is no way this person could join the church. Then I pictured George in white clothes, short hair and a tie. I saw him surrounded by good people...It was then that I saw potential in him...
We went into Pres. Millar’s office and talked for a little bit. As he spoke I saw the goodness of his heart. I saw his amazing faith in God and felt he knew His savior. He had values. He recognized the evils in the world and wanted to be away from them, but did not quite know how. He valued families, virtue and goodness. I was amazed that under all that strange shocking exterior was a good person. How often do we judge too fast!
But, George did not believe God loved him and did not consider himself worthy of God's love. George was also bitter towards his ex-wives which is probably why He has not completely been forgiven himself. I felt Heavenly Father direct me as I shared with him some of my experiences. I told him how my life changed after learning about the gospel and how I came to know that God answers my prayers and loves me. He mentioned anger towards others and I told him about my experience of loving my enemies and how liberating that is. I told him that he should be part of his children’s lives and that they need him. I also told him that just as his children need to feel his love, he needs to feel Heavenly Father’s love and I testified to him that Heavenly Father will help him feel that love if he prays.
I also shared my experiences of going to church and told him that when we obey the commandments, we are blessed and strengthened and told him that as he tries to quit smoking Heavenly Father will help him as well.
We started speaking about trials and why heavenly Father does not stop all the evil in the world. I told him that sometimes the hard things around us and what others do to us strengthens us, builds our faith and brings us closer to God.
I noticed many times when the sister missionaries were talking that George was not paying attention. His mind was mostly somewhere else. It made me very uncomfortable. They would talk for 5 minutes or so and not notice that George was not even listening. I stepped in between what they were saying and asked “what are you thinking?” And also tried to refocus and see what he was looking for and what he needed to hear. I think he has had a lot of challenges in his life and making a big change is hard for him and he simply needs time.
I suggested to the sister missionaries that they should invite him to repent of his sins, but first to try to forgive his ex-wives. Then I asked them to give him time...to just love him, listen to him and pray with him and help him feel the spirit and feel Heavenly Father's love for him. That is all they can do at this point.
I did not hear from the sister missionaries for weeks. I thought that they stopped teaching George and he would never join the church. Yesterday I got a call from one of the missionaries saying that George will be baptized in May. I testify that the Gospel does change hearts and lives and transforms people.