They Knew I Was Coming

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“They Knew I Was Coming,” Ensign, Oct. 1981, 66

They Knew I Was Coming

I was president of a small branch twenty miles from my home when a Spanish-speaking family from South America moved into the branch. They were strong members, converts of several years, who spoke little English—and I spoke less Spanish. Although both parents were educated professionals, the language barrier forced them into low-paying menial jobs. They managed to earn a humble living for their family, but they had no money for frills—not even a telephone. They lived many miles from the chapel and had no Latter-day Saint neighbors; however, they attended church regularly.

One Sunday evening, after a long day at the chapel, I felt strongly impressed to visit this family. I had been fasting, as was my Sunday custom. I was anxious to go home, and visiting them would mean a long drive and a late night; but I had learned to follow spiritual promptings. I turned the car in the direction of this family’s home. As I entered the small town where they lived I felt misgivings; it was dinnertime, and they would probably invite me to eat with them. I hated to add another person to their closely budgeted family meal. The aroma of a just-cooked meal at their front door confirmed my expectation and my concern. I considered leaving, perhaps to study the scriptures awhile in the car and return later, but the Spirit said to knock. So I knocked.

The door opened immediately and I was greeted by smiling faces. The family invited me to eat with them. I tried to decline, explaining that I would be happy to study in their living room until they finished. Then the sister explained in her beautiful Spanish-English that the family needed very much to speak with me but had been unable to drive to church that day. They had prayed for me to visit them. They felt assured that I would come, and so they had prepared a place for me at the table. They had waited to eat until I arrived.