“Sewing Classes and a Second Chance,” New Era, September 2016, 20–21
When I was 18, my family moved from southern Argentina to northern Argentina, where my father served as a mission president. The first few months were a difficult adjustment for my family and me. We hadn’t made friends yet, so we started looking for activities to participate in. I signed up for piano classes.
My piano teacher, Mabel, was the best teacher I’d ever had. I greatly enjoyed the classes, and I began to advance rapidly in my ability to play. However, Mabel was ill with cancer and was having a hard time. She spent a lot of time traveling to visit healers, doctors, and priests in different places. She had to be hospitalized several times, but she would recuperate and come back to teach with the same good spirits and dedication.
Day after day, class after class, I wanted to share with her the hope of God’s plan, the hope that Jesus Christ gives with His power, but I didn’t know how.
When classes started up after summer vacation, Mabel was ill again. After some time of not hearing from her, I called and left a message asking how she was doing. The next day her daughter told me that Mabel had passed away. I fell into a profound sorrow. I knew that I should have shared the gospel with her but had put off that moment for so long that I lost the opportunity.
I began taking sewing classes, and I had another wonderful teacher. She believes in God but belongs to a different religion. In one of the classes, the gospel came up, and when she asked me what religion I belonged to, I replied that I was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She seemed confused at the name, and I clarified, “People also know us as Mormons.” She immediately got excited and said, “I love the Mormons!” with a smile on her face.
She continued, “I can tell you’re a Mormon,” and she began to list the reasons why. I was happy that she noticed I strived to live the gospel. She asked me a little about baptism in the Church. As I explained it, she said right away, “I can’t get baptized into your church because I was raised in a different religion.” In hearing her tell me about her beliefs, I learned a lot about what I could share with her. I felt the quiet but firm feeling to give her a Book of Mormon, and I knew it was the Spirit speaking to me.
I obtained a Book of Mormon, grabbed a sheet of paper, and wrote her a short but sincere dedication with my phone number on the other side, in case she had questions. I put the paper in the book, wrapped it up, and put a bow on it. I gave it to her the next class. She was thrilled to receive it and thanked me.
All week I wondered how she had reacted to opening the gift—if she liked it or not. The next class I arrived a little late and was surprised with her reaction as I entered the room. She hugged me and said emphatically, “I loved it, loved it, loved it! The book you gave me is lovely, beginning at the introduction when it talks about the plates. It is so true! It has lovely scriptures. I started reading, and I’m halfway through. I can’t stop reading it!”
Hearing so much excitement, the rest of the class turned around to see what was going on. One of my classmates, whom I had been talking to about the Book of Mormon, asked if this book brought peace. My teacher replied, “It made me want to weep, not from sadness but from being blessed.” She couldn’t stop smiling and hugging me.
I felt very happy. At that moment, I came to understand that we cannot judge who is ready to receive the word of God. We cannot know how open a person’s heart is. If God inspires us to share, we need to take action because He knows better than we do.