January 21, 2014
matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch.
If you were not humming the familiar tune of Fiddler on the Roof as you read that, I suggest catching up on classic musicals as a worthwhile hobby this week.
Also, that song is becoming more and more applicable to me as a missionary. No, not like THAT, but because I often feel like a matchmaker for our investigators. --Let me explain.
People often have the desire to hear our message, but have a hard time accepting the commitment to come to church. Why, you ask? Because they feel uncomfortable going to an unfamiliar church in an unfamiliar building to attend a service that is currently unfamiliar to them. So we try to make them feel more comfortable. How, you ask? By introducing them beforehand to people that are going to be there. Who, you ask? (Wow, you are just full of questions today, aren't you?) The members!
But not just any member. No, we handpick the most ideally suited-to-your-needs-and-personality member that we know of, and set up a place and time where we can all meet together. Hence- I feel the thrills of matchmaking the investigators that I adore with the members I so admire. This is where my story begins today.
So we have this amazing family investigating the church. We've been teaching them for a couple months now, but we haven't been able to think of juuuuuust the right family to introduce them to. Then, during a lesson, the dad said something that sparked a name into my brain, and we immediately informed an amazing family that lives in our ward: we’ll call them the Ramos family.
Well, the day comes when our investigator family (let's call them the Hernandez family) and the Ramoses are supposed to meet at the Ramos home.
Enter stomach full of butterflies. I feel like this is a blind couple-date and if it doesn't go well then our investigators will never come to church and miss out on all of the blessings....but no pressure or anything.
So the Hernandezes come, and we walk them up to the door of the Ramos' house.
they immediately get along and-start-talking-so-fast-that-they-barely-have-pauses-in-between-words.
But this wasn't the best part. Better than them both being 27 and 33 years old (wives and husbands respectively), the same number of kids, kids the same ages, and the same life experiences (true story), was the most tender moment I think I have seen on mission.
Brother Ramos was talking to Brother Hernandez about how far he and his wife had come from a life completely different to the one they are living now. He emphasized their struggles and flaws and horrible situations that they had overcome through the gospel and joining the church. He then stops, looks at his wife, holding their month-old baby, and says to our investigators: "I love my wife. She is an incredible mother, partner, and person. I am SO proud of her and who she has become, I love her so much."
The wife's eyes filled with tears and I saw between them a love that had blossomed inspite of situations and events that I cannot even begin to describe. I could hear the pride in his voice as he professed how much she meant to him, and I could see an eternal tie between them. I wondered how they would have felt five years ago when their lives were completely different, to see that evening together, and how far they had come. I'm sure they would have thought it was impossible to change and grow so much, but with the miracle of the gospel, they have both changed completely. I am so grateful for that moment of such pure love, and for the gospel of Jesus Christ that makes it possible.