Saturday, at the Teaching Resource Center (TRC), my companion and I taught our second forty minute lesson to a native Korean (who isn’t our teacher). Forty minutes in Struggle-in-the-Language Land can be intimidating, especially because our whole lesson was on the power of prayer and how Heavenly Father can give us revelation and guidance when we pray. We were afraid we wouldn’t have enough to talk about. As we prepared our questions and scriptures, we hoped that we were preparing enough to edify and lift her up and encourage her in her efforts to be closer to Christ. But, how can you really know when we’ve never met this person before?
We went to the TRC at 3 o’clock and waited with our district in a room with some couches. As I sat down to wait, I was overcome with a powerful feeling, almost like nervousness but with more drive and focus. I didn’t understand what the feeling meant, I just knew it was the Holy Ghost, a confirmation he was with me and ready to go with me to teach someone. We walked into the little faux living room where Sister Park was waiting for us. We learned that she moved here six years ago to get an art degree from Utah Valley University. We could tell that something was weighing on her mind, but we went about asking her questions about her prayer and her relationship with Heavenly Father. We could tell she had a lot of faith. One of the questions we’d prepared (a.k.a.: made sure we knew how to say) was, “What concerns and problems do you tell the Lord in your prayers?” She said, “If he knows everything, then I can tell him anything and he knows what I am going through.” She also went on to say she’d been having a hard time recently knowing what Heavenly father’s plan was for her. I told her I know he gives us guidance if we ask Him and shared a story of a time when I got lost and separated from my parents. I kneeled down right where I was and asked for help to find them and as soon as I said “Amen,” I knew where to find them. She said it was especially hard because she felt like she was following the counsel he’d given her, but she was only faced with adversity. I told her that since coming to the MTC, we’d learned all about how to teach the gospel, but it was hard to know what the Lord wanted us to do. In that moment I thought of a scripture I’d written down for our lesson, but I couldn’t find it in my notes! She told me to take my time, but I couldn’t remember the reference, so I summarized it for her. The scripture was in the Doctrine and Covenants and it is Christ comforting Oliver Cowdery (Joseph Smith’s scribe when he translated the Book of Mormon) by telling him that every question he’s asked in prayer has been answered and will always be answered. As soon as I said this, I found the reference in my notes: D&C 6:14-15. She began reading from her Korean scriptures and as she did, she had to stop every few words because she was so overcome with joy and tears. She looked at me and said, “This is the answer I was looking for.”
What we better understood after she explained it in English is that after graduating, she went back to Korea, but ut just wasn’t right. So, she prayed about it and decided to come back to America to find a job. There was even a lady who offered up her basement and to help her job search. It turns out that this lady really just wanted a below-minimum wage custodian, so Sis. Park found herself in a terrible situation being treated as scum and not knowing what to do. That week she had been praying to know if she should leave and find a new residence and job, one where she was using her talents. In two sister missionaries she found her answer.
Even more so, I now know I am on the Lord’s errand. I had nothing to do with answering Sis. Parks fervent prayer except to have been guided to her and to show her the answer. What an amazing experience to see the love, understanding, and clarity in her countenance as she received an answer; evidence of Heavenly Father’s love for her.
This experience also reaffirms my testimony of the calling of living prophets. The scripture was in the Doctrine and Covenants, revelation given through the prophet Joseph Smith, and I found the scripture when reading a talk by one of today’s living apostles, Richard G. Scott, from the April 2012 General Conference. General Conference happens twice a year and it is the time when the apostles and prophets of today speak to the world, giving us the direction the Lord would have each of us to hear. I know they are called of God, just as ancient prophets and Christ’s apostles were called to bear witness and teach us eternal truths. I also know that prayers are answered, we just need to be open to recognizing the answer. It could be through a feeling, a voice, another person, the scriptures, a song, and a million other ways. Remember, Heavenly father loves us and will never leave us unaided.