Unexpected Guest
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“Unexpected Guest,” Ensign, Dec. 1982, 13

Unexpected Guest

Monday morning is usually taken up with washday chores. But on the Monday before Christmas my thoughts were on the lovely Christmas centerpiece I wanted to make. I felt compelled to drop everything and make the journey to purchase the materials.

Preparing to cross the road to the bus stop, I suddenly changed my mind and decided to walk. I had gone two-thirds of the way when I saw a lady coming toward me in a self-propelled wheelchair. She was not a member of the Church, but I recognized her as the spokesman for the elderly citizens of the borough in thanking our ward for the yearly concert we presented for them.

I greeted her, and as we chatted I learned that she would be alone at Christmas. So that was why I had felt prompted to go out that morning! I invited her to join with our family. The decorations were unimportant now, though I did continue on and purchase them.

Then, having committed myself to an extra guest, I panicked. What would my nonmember husband say? We had already invited six relatives to come (two were elderly and two were children), in addition to our household of four. How would they all respond?

At first my husband was not comfortable with the idea at all. Christmas is a time for family, he reminded me, and this lady was a complete stranger. Yet I felt she had been sent to us by inspiration, so I fasted and prayed about it and asked my Relief Society visiting teachers to do the same. By the next day there was a sunny atmosphere in our home again, and the coming of our special guest was accepted by all.

We enjoyed sharing our Christmas with her. She brought a sweet spirit into the house with her testimony of the Savior. As she testified to our nonmember relatives of her belief in the second coming of Christ, I was able to concur with her faith and to explain much more of the gospel than had ever been possible before. Our new friend had paved the way.

  • Elsie M. Rock, mother of four, serves as music director and Primary teacher in her Mitcham, Surrey, England, ward.