As Senior Missionaries, some of our first visits were to support The Sisters in teaching the Stop
Smoking Lessons to Daniel. Daniel had six months Parole left and the Sisters were handing him off
to us. This story is not about Daniel. It is not about us. It is about Daniels young friend.
Two visits particularly stand out in our minds with Daniel. Both were attended by an 11 year old
Hispanic boy named Jesus. He wore a bright red baseball cap two sizes too large! He was delightful.
He would visit Daniel and play games. It was not difficult to see this boy found a safe haven with
Jesus was immediately drawn in by the lessons. We were reading the Isaiah scriptures found in
the Book of Mormon. He took his turn reading just as we three adults did. He asked questions.
He innocently expected answers. As Elder Ellis and Daniel took their turns reading and discussed
Isaiah, Jesus leaned over to me, (Sister Ellis), and whispered,
“Are we going to pray again?”
“Yes, we will pray again at the very end.”
“Can I do it?” Jesus asked.
“Sure! Have you ever prayed before?”
“Does your family pray at dinner time together in your home?”
“No. Can I do it?”
When we came to the close of our meeting Elder Ellis asked Daniel to call on someone to pray. Sister
Ellis explained Jesus desire to pray. Elder Ellis and Daniel went through much the same series of
questions. Daniel was very kind. Like a Father he asked Jesus,
“Do you need some help?”
“NO. I think I know how. I saw you do it.”
Elder Ellis briefly explained the process of prayer, he referred Jesus to the little box in our pamphlet
and placed it on the floor before Jesus as we knelt.
Without hesitation or awkwardness of any kind, Jesus began to pray. He needed no assistance. He
spoke as if he had been praying all of his young life.
– Please bless my mom and my brothers and keep my family safe
– Please keep us safe
– Please do not let any bad things happen to me
– Please do not let any bad people hurt me or my family
We were witness to a sacred conversation between a soul so innocent and pure, speaking with
absolute faith and confidence God, his father was listening.
Our meeting about five days later with Daniel and Jesus was very similar. We gave him one of our
cards and said,
“Jesus, give this to your mom and dad. Tell them we will come visit you in your home!”
As we closed the second visit with Jesus present, we had prepared to ask for his address, and the
name and phone of his parents. But as soon as he had our card he was out the door and down
the stairs and long gone. We were not concerned. We had seen him around and we knew we
could catch up with him the next few days. But as quickly as he had appeared in our lives, Jesus
Every couple of days we stopped to visit Daniel. Jesus no longer appeared at Daniels for visits.
Daniel no longer saw him among his friends playing around the complex. We wondered if the card
we had given, sent Jesus and his mom and dad ‘underground.’ Maybe he was in trouble and they
wanted him to have nothing to do with “Mormon Missionaries.”
As we continued to visit Daniel and watch for Jesus, we had grabbed two of our personal DVD’s
of “The Testaments.” We planned to present them each with one as a gift. We packed Jesus’
“Testaments” around for about three weeks. After attending our first Zone Training Conference, We
dropped the Sister Missionaries off at Calloway Apartment Complex. Sister Ellis was so concerned
about Jesus. “We have got to find Jesus. He was placed in our path and we let him get away! We
have let him down. Let’s begin praying we can find him.” We said a brief prayer after the sisters
climbed out of our Yukon, asking to be led to Jesus. We began pulling forward and had moved
forward only a few buildings when we saw children climbing out of a school bus! One wore a bright,
beautiful red ball cap… two sizes too large. “That has got to be Jesus!” Elder Ellis wasted no time
pulling forward and beside those two beautiful young men.
“Jesus! Where have you been hiding out! We have a gift for you and your family! Where do you
Later that day, we visited Jesus and his mother.
“Watch this Jesus! This really happened! It is about your people and Jesus Christ when he came to
visit your people here on this continent after He was crucified and resurrected. Share it with your
brothers and your mom and Dad. You will love it!” The boys watched it over and over again. They
watched it in Spanish with their father.
We asked her to visit with her husband to have the lessons. She said she would. Elder Ellis felt
strongly that though the boys and the mother spoke excellent English as well as Spanish, as the
Father spoke Spanish proficiently, and English less, the Spanish Elders were who the Lord had
prepared this family to receive. Not only did the father agree to have the boys taught, we learned
the Father was a member, but had only been active for a short time following his own baptism in
Mexico a decade ago! We introduced the family to Elders Pittman and Kohler and the family fell in
love with them.
Yesterday, Jesus and his brother Joel were baptized! Today they were confirmed. Elder Ellis spoke
to Jesus and Joel’s father, “Thank you for allowing your sons to hear the gospel message and to
be baptized! I knew the first time I met you, you were a good man. I felt your strength. I felt the
goodness of your heart and the strength of your spirit, How blessed these young men are to have
you to guide them and protect them.” This has been an Awesome April for the Taylorsville North
Stake Missionaries!Sisters, then Seniors, then the Spanish Elders, working together… to gather…
these precious souls! We love the work! Blessings, Elder and Sister Ellis