“Inspired Changes to Missionary Work Blessed My Family,” Liahona, April 2021
I have been a member of the Church for eight years now, along with my father and two of my sisters. Since being a member, I have seen the wonderful blessings that my Heavenly Father has prepared for my life and my family. The gospel has really blessed my life and helped me find that happiness I was looking for!
When I first started reading the Book of Mormon, the story about Lehi’s vision of the tree of life spoke to my heart (see 1 Nephi 8; 11). I could relate because I also wanted my whole family and everyone I love to be able to taste the fruit of the tree and feel the love of God in their lives.
For that reason, I prepared myself to serve a full-time mission and was assigned to labor in the Guatemala City Guatemala Mission.
During my mission, I got to see so many people change for the better because of the gospel. And it filled my heart with joy every day. But every time my companion and I taught families, I was reminded of my own family, especially my mother, who was not a member of the Church. Every preparation day, I tried to encourage her through my emails to meet with the missionaries. I prayed that Heavenly Father would prepare her heart to receive the gospel.
I was still on my mission when the inspired change occurred regarding missionaries’ communication with their families.1 When I first heard the news, the Spirit let me know that this was an opportunity to invite my mother to learn more about the gospel. I felt a lot of joy about that change and that feeling. During the week, I asked the Lord to help me know what He would have me share with her.
When preparation day arrived and I saw my mother through my computer screen, I had a strong impression that we should say a prayer. I expressed that feeling to her, and she agreed. During the video call, I explained to her the main message I was trying to share as a missionary: that the gospel of Jesus Christ had been restored. I testified with all my heart that I knew it was true. I also invited her to pray and ask God about these things to know for herself. We finished our conversation with a prayer that she offered. We both felt the Spirit so strong that it pierced our hearts. After the call, I sent a referral to the missionaries in her area.
I waited anxiously for the next week to hear from her again. Just as we had done the first time, we started our video chat with a prayer, and then I listened to the Spirit to know what to share with her. We did this for weeks. Eventually, to my surprise, she started to meet with the missionaries. And I noticed a new glow in her eyes.
When I returned home, I went with my mother to her lessons with the missionaries. In one of those lessons, she, with a smile on her face, expressed her desire to make covenants with the Lord. I was shocked to hear how she had received the answer that the gospel was true! Again, the Spirit filled the room and testified to our hearts that we were witnessing truth.
And so, just a few weeks after returning home, I witnessed one of the greatest miracles of my mission: my mother entered the waters of baptism and made a covenant with Heavenly Father.
Tears ran down my face when I saw her go down into the water. When I hugged her afterward, we were both feeling a lot of emotions, but mostly we felt God’s love for us. She looked me in the eyes and said, “I felt like God hugged me and welcomed me. I know that He was waiting for me.”
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that sometimes missionary work can be done when you “understand that it’s not your job to convert people. That is the role of the Holy Ghost. Your role is to share what is in your heart and live consistent with your beliefs. …
“Follow this path, and God will work miracles through you to bless His precious children.”2
As I heard my mother’s words, my testimony was further strengthened, and I knew then with all my heart that Heavenly Father hears our prayers and can help us share the fruit of the tree with others—especially our own family.