“Success in Sharing the Gospel,” Liahona, Oct. 2022.
When a new family moved into their ward, Eddie and Christina Brouse decided to get to know them. After church, Christina approached Brent Vickers and struck up a conversation. Soon, Brent’s girlfriend, Jessica Espinoza, joined them. Because they both had newborn sons, Christina and Jessica instantly bonded.
Eddie said, “Brent is this tall guy that some people might find intimidating, but I just felt that he was such a nice guy. I remember thinking that this is someone that I really want to get to know better.”
As the Brouse and the Espinoza/Vickers families became friends, they often invited each other over for dinner. One evening, Brent and Jessica explained Brent’s history with the gospel. Brent had received the missionary lessons a few years prior because Jessica was already a member of the Church, and though he had enjoyed meeting with the elders, he decided not to be baptized at that time.
With the encouragement of Jessica and the Brouse family, Brent decided to meet with the missionaries again. He progressed far enough in the missionary lessons that he and Jessica decided that they needed to be married. The Brouse family was supportive of this decision and continued to support Brent as he met with the missionaries. Brent and Jessica were married in July 2019 by their bishop, Eddie Brouse.
Taking safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the families were able to get together again. Jessica mentioned to the Brouses that Brent thought that he was ready to be baptized. Brent’s smile confirmed this statement.
Christina said, “We immediately called the sister missionaries and told them that Brent wanted to be baptized. That was on a Wednesday, and by Saturday, he was baptized.”
She continued, “On the day of his baptism, Brent gave us the biggest hug. I remember being so grateful that they had allowed us to be a part of this journey with their family.”
Shortly after Brent was baptized, Jessica expressed interest in going to the temple. After talking with ward leaders and participating in their ward’s temple preparation class, Jessica was able to receive her endowment in the Orlando Florida Temple after COVID-19 restrictions lifted.
Jessica’s parents were also able to renew their temple recommends and be in the temple with Jessica. Jessica and Brent’s older son Eli was also able to receive the Aaronic Priesthood.
As Brent started taking the new-member lessons and participating in family history work, he was able to find the names of his family members to take to the temple. Brent’s father recently passed away, so Brent is preparing to do his father’s temple work.
Jessica prepared the family history work for her biological father and other family members to make sure they received their temple ordinances. Jessica’s son Eli was proxy for his grandfather’s baptism.
The Brouse family exemplified how natural it can be to share the gospel. The Brouses’ daughter Abbie said, “Being friends with them first was what helped us to share the gospel with them.” Christina agrees, “Talking to them about the gospel was so easy because we love them so much, and we wanted nothing more than to see them get closer to the Lord.”