Sometimes a door opens . . . and you may never know why.

on June 5, 2011

My sister’s family have been planning a trip to Disney World for several years.  Her husband promised all six kids that “when the house is paid off” he would take them all for a week.  They thought the house would never be paid off !  But the time finally came when it was and the trip was planned.  My sister invited me and my mom to come and we jumped at the chance.  I was so excited to have a real vacation that didn’t involve Girls Camp.  Now I LOVE Girls Camp — some may say I’m a Girls Camp junkie — but for the last few years that’s how I’ve used my vacation time.  But now — it’s some “me” time AND family time.

A few days before the trip my niece Camille called me and asked if I would pick up a couple of paperback Book of Mormons for her.  She just felt that she should take them on the trip in case she had the opportunity to share one.  I picked up 2 and gave them to her before the trip.

Vacation day was finally here and we boarded the plane bound for Orlando Florida.  The seating was arranged so that  2 of my nieces would be sitting together and I would sit next to the other one.  As we got to our seats that were 3 across the guy by the window asked if one of us would trade so his friend (sitting on the row ahead next to my other nieces) could sit next to him.  I told Clarissa to go ahead and sit with her sisters and I’d sit back with the 2 guys.  I was feeling a bit chatty (although my sister would say “flirty”) and struck up a conversation with them before we’d even taken off.

I asked their names (although I can’t remember them) and found out they were here with a group from South Africa learning how to improve coal mining in their countries.  They had been to West Virginia, Wyoming, New York, and now Florida.  They only had a ten minute layover in Salt Lake City.  The one next to me was from Johannesburg and the one next to him was from Cape Town.  I asked about their families and the one next to me said he was married with a little girl.  The one by the window said he was single.  I said I was single too and perhaps the married guy should sit next to the window.  We chuckled and in his thick African accent said that he thought he she keep us separated.

The thought flashed through my mind “Book of Mormon”.  I have it on my I Pod and I could read or listen to it — but I knew what the thought meant.  I tapped my niece Camille in front of me and said “do you have THAT book I can read”.  She knew what I wanted and dug the Book of Mormon out of her bag.  I planned on just reading a couple chapters but before I had even really opened the book the one by the windows said “what is that book?”.  I explained that it was a book about Jesus Christ and the people on the American Continent and how he visted here after his resurrection.  They looked puzzled.  I asked if they were Christian and they both said they were.  I explained further that after Christ died in Jerusalem and was resurrected he visited the people here in America and taught them.  Then “window guy”  pointed at the book and said “Can I have that book?”.  I said “sure, I have another at home” and I handed it to him.  He flipped through it and they both looked at the pictures.

Then they bombarded me with questions.  “So is this like the Bible?”  “Did Christ just disintegrate after leaving here?”  “Are you saying he died again after he was resurrected?” “Don’t people think that you are making an American Church?”

I explained about Joseph Smith and shared my testimony.  They had more questions “Why isn’t it the book of Joseph?”  “Who is Mormon?” I also told them that the cool thing about the book is that it tells all readers to pray and find out for themselves whether it is true.

They had wide eyes and shook their heads. I smiled and said “do you think I’m crazy?” They both said with their accents “I have never heard of this before”.  (Did I mention I loved their accents?)  They asked if I believed it was true and I told them I did and that knowing it brought me a lot of joy.

The one next to me (named Sifa-something-or-other) said he wanted a book too.  Camille had packed it in her checked luggage though.  I wrote out the web address for the Church and also gave them my email address.  I told them that they could find the church in their country.  “Window Guy” recognized the churches logo on the back of the Book of Mormon and said he had seen it. They both were going to look it up.  They just smiled – completely intrigued.

We had a flight that was over 4 hours.  We all chatted and laughed over other things –  talking like old friends.  As we exited the plane my sister commented on what I flirt I was.  I told her and my nieces and nephews that it was my new plan “flirt to convert”.

It’s been 4 days since I gave them the Book of Mormon that I later found out my niece had written her testimony in.  But I keep thinking about it.  I have no doubt that the Lord had plans for that Book of Mormon and introduction to the church for these men.  My niece asked for the book and put in her testimony.  My friends had an amazing trip to the United States paid for by their work, that was not something they would have normally done.  They had a ten minute lay-over in Salt Lake and we sat next to them going to Orlando.  I pray for my new friends that they will feel the Spirit of the Lord and see His hand.  If the book does not stay in their hands – I have no doubt that it will go to someone else who needs it.

That book had a destination and the Lord opened the door for us to deliver it.  All is good.

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4 responses to “Sometimes a door opens . . . and you may never know why.

  1. Laurel says:

    oh, i love this!
    and welcome home!!

  2. Michael says:

    “Flirt to convert” … 🙂 Good work! I love it too.

  3. Erin says:

    I love this. It makes me think I need to listen to the spirit better in my life. Thank you for being such a great example!

  4. Cassidi says:

    This is awesome!!!

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