We Listened to the Spirit
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“We Listened to the Spirit,” Ensign, Jan. 2011, 67

We Listened to the Spirit

Michael Angelo M. Ramírez, New Zealand

One morning my missionary companion and I decided to go tracting in a small community in our assigned area in the southern Philippines. While we were busy knocking on doors, a man approached us and asked what we were doing. We could tell that he had been drinking.

Thinking that he was not really interested in our message, we handed him a pamphlet about the purpose of life. We then told him that if he would read the pamphlet and not drink that evening, we would come to his home to explain the purpose of life. He nodded and said he would wait for us. We hurriedly went on our way to a scheduled teaching appointment.

We really had no intention of returning to teach him that night, but every day afterward as we passed his house, I felt an impression to stop. I would immediately disregard the feeling, however, and justify my decision by telling myself that he was probably too drunk to listen.

After a few days the prompting became so strong that I could no longer resist it. As we knocked on his door, we were met by a startled lady who asked us why we had not returned earlier, as we had promised. She said her husband had waited for us that night and that for the first time in their married life, he had not been drinking.

We were embarrassed and apologized profusely. We set an appointment to return that night to teach her and her husband. Soon afterward Brother Gumabay (name has been changed) repented of all his worldly vices, was baptized, and became a pillar in the community.

A few days after his baptism, I was transferred to another area and lost contact with the family. All I could do was hope and pray that they would stay active in the Church.

Later I learned that the small community where the Gumabay family lived had a branch and then a ward. Brother Gumabay was called to be the bishop of that ward. I also learned that most of his relatives had joined the Church.

When I eventually returned to visit my old missionary area, I learned that many people had joined the Church there because of the good example of Bishop Gumabay, who had put his life in the hands of the Lord and placed Him at the helm of his family and daily activities.

I am so grateful we listened to the promptings of the Spirit to visit the Gumabay home. Through this experience I came to comprehend what the Lord meant when He said, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” (Matthew 9:12).