“Signs of the Spirit,” New Era, June 2011, 5
Serving a full-time mission in the Dominican Republic, I had just been transferred to a new area that had a reputation of being difficult to find people to teach. When I arrived, we had only one investigator. His name was Oriviades. He had attended church before, but because he was deaf and communicated using sign language, previous missionaries hadn’t been able to teach him.
One day my companion and I decided to fast and pray for a miracle that would allow us to teach Oriviades. We set an appointment with him at a time when one of his family members would be available to help translate, since neither my companion nor I knew sign language.
When we arrived to meet with Oriviades, however, none of his family members was there. When Oriviades briefly left to get a chair, my companion and I took the opportunity to pray that the Spirit would guide us. Before we had even finished the prayer, I felt the Spirit’s presence strongly.
Oriviades began signing, but we couldn’t understand him. We simply smiled at him and looked at each other, trying to figure out what we should do. We decided to write a note indicating a time for our next appointment, hoping that next time we would have a translator. But suddenly both of us felt strongly that we should stay and try to teach him. “Let’s at least try—the Spirit will help us,” I told my companion.
We tried using drawings and rudimentary hand signals as we taught the lesson. Gradually we started understanding Oriviades’s signs and were able to sign in reply to him. He seemed to understand us perfectly.
We felt prompted to share our testimonies with him. We showed him a picture of the First Vision, and I wrote on a piece of paper, “I know it’s true.”
Then, using signs, Oriviades responded, “I know it’s true—God told me. I prayed and know it’s true.”
My companion and I left the appointment with tears in our eyes. I knew that God had allowed us to testify of the restored gospel to this investigator and that the Holy Ghost had carried our message unto his heart (see 2 Nephi 33:1). I learned that we don’t need to speak perfectly or eloquently when we share the gospel—sometimes, we don’t need to speak aloud.
It’s incredible how simple things like fasting, prayer, and faith can work mighty miracles in our lives and in the lives of those we serve.