Sometimes on the mission you meet GOLDEN INVESTIGATORS. In Portuguese we say that they are "eleitos" or the elect of God. But anyway, it is every missionaries goal, dream, objective to find these people who the Lord has been preparing to find the truth and you get to be a part of their journey to find the truth. So, how do you know when you have found a golden investigator? What are some of the signs? I´ll share a few.
- It is usually a miracle that they are home when you knock on their door because you have already gone to their house many times to teach them and no one was home. (You have to be persistent in these circumstances).
-There is usually bad weather outside, a crazy dog that wants to eat you in the front of their house, or you can´t find the address.
-When you finally get in the lesson there are at least three major distractions that could be one of the following... dogs, cats, birds, crying babies, screaming toddlers, loud neighbors, food, television, an 80 year old person that says things randomly that have nothing to do with the lesson... etc.
-You say the opening prayer and then a scripture comes to your mind that you haven´t thought about in a while and you feel like you should share it.
-They pay attention to every word that you say and seem very interested.
-You see their eyes light up when they hear things that they didn't know before (that we have a prophet today, that there is another book of scripture other than the Bible, that families can be together forever, that we lived with God before our life on earth began... etc.)
-They have the perfect answer to every question that you ask or at least try to answer. They also ask questions when they aren't understanding something or if they are just curious to know more.
-They say the closing prayer and thank God for sending the missionaries to them. (Doesn't always happen, but is even more of a sign that they are ready.)
-When you mark a day to come back they look excited to learn more and are excited to read what you left with them. (their homework)
-When you go back they did their homework and sometimes a little extra. They have questions and want to go to church.
THIS ladies and gentlemen is a golden investigator. C~ is one of them. She is 13 and is perfect. In May Sister L~ and I were teaching an older couple and M~ (C~'s grandma) stopped by to talk to them. We got her address and planned to go visit her that week. We went by her house a few times and NO ONE was home. We ended-up forgetting about her until last week. We were trying to find new investigators and I found her name in my old planner. We went to her house and she said she didn't have time so we planned to go back the next day. We went back and she wasn't home so we talked to her daughter and marked to go back the next day. Well, the next day it was raining cats and dogs. Seriously, talk about rain. Three sisters, one small umbrella, one broken umbrella, a super muddy road and a mission to complete.
We arrived at their house SOAKING wet. C~ was there with her grandma (M~). We said the opening prayer over the noise of her loud little brother and the dogs barking outside. When we finished the prayer I opened straight to 2 Nephi 32:9 about prayer. We talked to her about the importance of prayer and how it can help us. She shared an experience that she had had and then began asking about when we had church meetings. I then did something I don't usually do and explained to her about the Book of Mormon. When I did that something about her eyes changed, there was a spark. She wanted to read that book. I didn't even have to ask. She said the closing prayer and thanked God for sending us. It was great. She said that she wanted to go to church and was super excited when I gave her a Book of Mormon.
So... After you find these people and know who they are Satan does too and he does everything he can to stop them from finding the truth. We stopped by her house to see why she didn't go to church and she told us the that her mom said she cannot switch religions, she cannot talk to us anymore, and she cannot even visit the church. When C~ told us this I almost cried. She said that her mom doesn't understand her. C~ is so open to learn more, try new things, and her mom is [not]. Hopefully a miracle will happen and something will change her mind.
These people are out there. There are people READY to be baptized, READY to accept the gospel, and it is our job to find them at any cost. That is what being a missionary (and a member) of the Church of Jesus Christ is all about. I know this church is true and that it has the power to change lives. Let's share it with others.