Someone to Listen
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“Someone to Listen,” New Era, Aug. 2004, 38

Someone to Listen

My roommates and friends ignored my missionary efforts. But I continued to pray for a chance to share the gospel.

It was a noisy evening in my dormitory at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. There was a downpour outside, and a cool breeze blew through the window. Music of different sorts came from many rooms on my floor, and girls were singing and calling to one another.

My older sister had gone to visit friends, but I chose to stay and prepare supper for myself and my roommates. I couldn’t explain why, but I had a strong feeling that I should stay behind.

As I began making soup, Ifeoma came in. She was a missionary for a church that met on campus. A discussion ensued between Ifeoma and my roommates. She preached to them for some time and invited them to attend her church. My roommates willingly accepted her invitation.

I was disappointed because my invitations for my roommates to attend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had been unsuccessful. The first time I invited them, they ridiculed me and the Church. Subsequent attempts during the following three years were also failures. I felt like a poor member missionary. But a voice within me insisted, “Don’t give up.” So I often fasted and prayed to meet someone in school who would listen to the gospel.

“Hello!” Ifeoma said, turning her attention to me. “Would you mind listening to me while you cook?”

“Not at all,” I answered.

“Are you born again?” she asked.

“Yes, if you mean by ‘born again’ what Jesus taught Nicodemus,” I said (see John 3:1–21).

“That’s interesting,” she said. “May I know which church you attend?”

“I attend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” I answered.

“The Mormons?” she asked in amazement. “I understand they use a different Bible.”

“It is not a Bible but the Book of Mormon,” I explained. “It is another testament of Jesus Christ.”

“Would you tell me what your beliefs are?” she asked.

“Certainly,” I answered with confidence. I told her about the Articles of Faith and the Book of Mormon. I told her about faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, and baptism. She listened quietly. Then I bore my testimony and gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon I had intended to give to someone else.

“You mean I can keep this?” she asked.

“Yes. It is a gift from me to you,” I said. Then I asked her to open the book and read 2 Nephi 25:26. She did so gladly: “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”

When Ifeoma finished reading, her countenance had become sober. I sensed she was convinced that what I had said was true.

“And I thought members of your church didn’t believe in Christ,” she said softly.

I invited her to attend church the next Sunday, and she agreed. “Thanks, Ngozi,” she said. “I have never felt such a warm feeling as I did today while talking with you.”

She left, and I understood why I had had the strong impression to stay rather than go with my sister. I had been led by the Spirit and had at last succeeded in sharing the gospel with someone who was willing to listen.

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  • Ngozi F. Okoro is a member of the Ibadan First Branch, Ibadan Nigeria District.

Illustrated by Roger Motzkus