“An Invitation for Ricardo,” Liahona, April 2019
When I hear about a Church activity, I always invite 10 people who are not members of the Church to attend. I have done this for years. I make invitations and place each in a white envelope and pray for the Spirit to guide me. Then I hand out the invitations. Rarely do all 10 attend, but even if only one attends, I feel I have been successful.
Several years ago, I prepared ten invitations to a fireside for married couples. I handed out nine to people at work and had one left. I didn’t know whom to give it to. Minutes later, Ricardo, a sales representative, passed by my desk. I felt prompted to invite him, even though he had declined an invitation from a co-worker to attend an event at his church. I didn’t think Ricardo would be interested.
But when Ricardo passed by my desk again on his way out, I felt the prompting again. However, he exited so quickly that I didn’t have a chance to talk to him. I prayed that Ricardo would return if I was supposed to give him the invitation.
After I had finished praying, Ricardo came back to ask me a question. Afterward, I said, “Ricardo, my church is having an activity for married couples. We are going to share experiences about how to live happily each day. Afterwards, there will be dancing. If I invite you, will you come?”
“Of course!” Ricardo said, but his answer didn’t convince me.
“At least I did my part,” I thought.
My wife and I arrived at the activity early to greet people as they arrived. Suddenly, I saw Ricardo with his wife, Regina. I introduced them to my wife and the others attending. All evening long, Ricardo and Regina looked like they were enjoying themselves. I was surprised when they said they would come to church on Sunday to learn more.
Ricardo, Regina, and their two children did learn more. Eventually, they joined the Church. Later, they were sealed in the temple. Ricardo once told me that he and his wife had been talking about a divorce, but then the Lord led Ricardo to my office.
I have since asked God to forgive me for thinking that Ricardo would not accept my invitation. I have learned that it is important to invite everyone. You never know who will accept.