We have a testimony that every soul placed in our path….
Is placed there by God for us to find….
Because Sister Ellis rarely makes the run into the Market Late at Night!
About 9:20 on Saturday Evening, having completed visits, Elder Ellis suggested ice cream to end our evening. Sister Ellis wanted a piece of Chocolate Cake! We pulled up to the grocery store and Sister Ellis, with a rare burst of energy at this late hour, said, “You wait here. I will just be a moment.” Normally, quick runs into the store are Elder Ellis assignment.
The bakery and meat sections were in shadow. Lights were dim and not a soul in sight. “Whoa! I could be snatched and no one would be the wiser!” Sister Ellis thought.
As she selected a particularly delicious looking single slice of chocolate cake, a woman, (closing deli and bakery departments) popped her head over the counter! We were both surprised to see each other and obviously thought ourselves alone to this point.
“You are a missionary?” It was a question, posed with surprise.
“Yes, I am a missionary!”
“What kind of a missionary are you?” “Where are you from?”
Sister Ellis could see the woman was curious and puzzled. It was hard to know if she were a member.
“I am a Senior Missionary. My husband and I are serving for two years here in Taylorsville. We are from Idaho. “
A few more questions and the sister definitely appeared to be LDS and asked,
“How are you different than the young Elders and Sisters?”
“Well, we are here to visit the homes and families of those Less Active. We invite them to come back, help teach them Gospel Lessons they may need to brush up on, and unlike young elders and sisters, we are here in one location, for 18-23 months. We are here to help these wonderful returning friends, navigate into their Ward Family, in what can appear to be an uncomfortable and awkward journey. No one has to make it alone! We are here to make the journey with them.”
With tears beginning to form, this sweet woman, said, “That is me. This is who I am and where I am. I need to make the journey back. And I have a terrible confession to make. A few weeks ago, a man and his wife knocked on my door. I think they were Ward Missionaries. I don’t know. I wasn’t rude to them, but I told them I was too busy. This was not a good time. Then, two weeks later the Elders knocked on my door. I was frustrated and annoyed. I knew the couple had probably sent them. I wasn’t awful, but I let them know I was annoyed. Then a few weeks after that, two more missionaries knocked on my door. I didn’t yell at them, but I was not kind. I am very unhappy with myself and how I responded to them. But I also felt awful because I think, “God gave me three opportunities to accept the invitation to come back…. And I turned them away. I may not get another chance.”
Sister Ellis smiled and reassured our new friend, “I think maybe this is one more chance! Maybe I could help you with this. Would that be okay?”
“I know you are not serving in the place where I live, but can you help me find someone like you, to help me where I live, to come back? I know where my building is, but I don’t know my Bishop or my meeting times or anything.”
“I think I can help you with this! It is not an accident we ran into each other tonight!” Sister Ellis said.
“I don’t think it is an accident either!” This sweet sister was so happy and so relieved. She had bravely and humbly come forward with her story thus far! Together we can help her write the happy ending for the rest of her story!
We are serving and the field is white!