Monday, June 14, 2010

Ft. Myers Week 7

Each week goes by quicker and quicker! It is kind of scaring me to be honest. I'm realizing more and more that this time is so short. It has made it even more clear why it is important to follow every prompting that you receive. Just one little funny thing, we were driving by the highway and I saw a Spanish women sitting at the bus stop off the side of the road and for a split second it popped in my head that we should talk to her. So I kind of had to step on the brakes rather hard and very awkwardly as I pulled off the side of the road. This surprised my companion and she looked at me like I was crazy. Well, I said, "There is lady at the bus stop back there, maybe we should go talk to her. I mean it popped into my head." So we did, and I wish this was some awesome amazing story where this women is going to get baptized and what not. Unfortunately, it's not in the least. What happened is that Sister Baum went up to her and started to talk to her and she was probably one of the rudest Spanish women I've ever met. She made fun of us for our lack of Spanish abilities. Walking back to the car I couldn't help but laugh. I thought in my head, "My poor companion, I just made us pull off the road like that, and we just got torn apart!" It was so funny! We laughed so hard when we got in the car! Well, I've made a commitment to do all I can to follow all the little things. This is just a funny consequence of one. :-)
 
Feliz is one of our investigators that has taught me more than I could ever teach him. If anyone believes that miracles do not happen in these days, they are wrong. If someone believes that the Book of Mormon doesn't have the power to change a person's life, well it does and Feliz is that example. We found Feliz at an address that we got from someone when we were street contacting. We found him sitting in a lawn chair on a cement slab under an awning with beer cans scattered around. Out front was a bus that the "pickers" ride out to the crops to pick melons and there was a mobile home on the back of the lot. (It is harvesting season right now. There is nothing like eating ice cold watermelon picked fresh from the fields. I'm just saying :-) )

Feliz was a little bit under the influence of alcohol. He seemed to be somewhat interested so we asked him if he had a few moments that we could talk to him. He accepted and we sat on pieces of split wood in a circle. In my head I'm thinking, "Is this guy just like all of the other drunk men that we talk to (ther e are many)? What could we teach him?" I looked over at Sister Baum and it was a moment where neither of us just didn't know what to do. Well, the next 15 minutes I will never forget for the rest of my life. I kind of took the lead, and I was like, "Alright, Feliz, we have a message that is going to change the rest of your life. You will not be the same person that you were before we came here tonight. I promise." Then we sang to him, “I am a child of God.” After that we listened to a little bit of his story. He is from mexico and has worked to support his family since he was 12. He is now 35, single, living here alone. We asked him the question that we already knew the answer to. "Have you been drinking?" he said, “Yes.” He said he hasn't stopped drinking for a week and hasn't been to work for a week (he is a picker).

I couldn't count how many times we have stood and talked to completely intoxicated people and tried to share something, but we always knew that they would forget it. Often we would say, "Call us tomorrow," or something like that. But I sincerely felt something different about Feliz. There was something in his eyes, a sadness, but also a hope. I can't explain it sufficiently in words. It is one of the most spiritual and personal experiences I have ever had. Reflecting back on it now I felt like I finally had the “spectacles of Christ” on and saw Feliz for the person that he really is inside. Not the "borracho" that he looked like on the outside. Leaning over resting on my knees I looked him square in the eyes. I testified that he was a son of God, that Heavenly Father wants him to be happy. I felt like my heart was going to explode it was sooooo full!!!! The only thing that I could think of that has the power to help him is the Book of Mormon.

Before even really explaining what it is, I said "we are going to give you something that will give you strength and will save your life. I promise you. But you need to read it. You need to take the action and have the desire." There was more but I can't describe it all. We gave him the Book of Mormon and we read through Alma 36 and from the beginning. He said he had the desire to change. I told him that I believed in him with all my heart and that I knew he was going change and that I had faith in him and that he was going to do it. We tried to set up a time to see him again, but we couldn't really settle on a time and since he doesn't have a phone we told him that the next time we were going to be in the area was in three days. That worried me, but we told him that he could do it.

When we left and got in the car, I turned to my companion and said, "I have no doubt in my mind that he getting baptized and will not drink another drop of alcohol." I don't know if she thought I was crazy or not. I wouldn't be surprised if she did. Three days later we stopped by once and left a note. It wasn't until the next night that we got a call from Feliz. Oh, I will never forget this! Can you guess what happened? That night he stayed up reading. He said he promised God that if he would help him he would stop drinking. Feliz has been to work every day since and has not had one drop of alcohol! He is a different person. We taught him two nights ago and I have never seen someone radiate with so much light in my life! He was changed just like Alma the Younger! Oh my, I have never felt so much joy in my life!
 
I love this work!!!

Hermana Vaughan-Schultz

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