Monday, December 17, 2012

The Less-Active - a Missionary's Gold Mine

Miguel (Dad), Ariel (18), Elder Carter, Elder Hernandez (Peru), Marlene (Mom - 20 yrs less-active), Paola (13), Nicole (17), Nicolar (boyfriend of Nicole - active member)
Nicolar introduced the gospel to his girlfriend Nicole.  She was baptized a few weeks ago.  The rest of the family didn't want anything to do with the church.  The family finally consented to meeting with the missionaries after Nicole was baptized.  The first time they met with the family was just to get acquainted.  That's when Marlene admitted that she had been baptized as a teenager, more than 20 years earlier!  The second visit they talked about repentance.  Sally and I went with the missionaries on the 3rd visit for a "noche de hogar" - family home evening.  Ariel (18) looked very uncomfortable when we started - like when can we get this thing over with.  We showed the Bible Video on the baptism of Jesus.  The Spirit was powerful and felt by everyone there.  Elder Hernandez invited Miguel (dad) to be baptized on December 15!  We thought, wow, Elder Hernandez, they haven't even had the lessons yet.  Miguel's response was, "I have to do it for my family."  WOW!  Then he invited Ariel (18), a more tepid "yes".  Then Paola (13) and another "yes".  Marlene (mom) looked shocked!  Her countenance started to change.  We then played games with the family and everyone was relaxed and enjoyed themselves and the Chilean refreshments (store bought cookies, potato chips, cheetos, & of course fanta - I came to really dislike orange soda pop when I was a missionary here).  When we left we complimented Elder Hernandez on having no fear in inviting the family to be baptized.  They were baptized about 3 weeks later on December 15.  Miguel's repentance has been sincere and deep.  He has wept openly in priesthood class as he prepared for baptism.  They have kept all of their commitments.  At the baptismal service the Young Women's President spoke of her commitment to continue to fellowship and help Nicole & Paola.  The Elders Quorum President spoke about his commitment to stay close to Miguel and Ariel.  The Bishop spoke about the commitment needed to stay faithful in the gospel.  Nicole gave the talk on baptism and another new convert gave the talk on the Holy Ghost.  It was a beautiful baptismal service.

The real message of this family's story is in how this changed Marlene.  She is so happy!  Her countenance has totally changed from that family home evening we went to.  Her 20+ years of inactivity are behind her.  The "golden families" are right in front of us among the less-active and part-member families.  In addition to bringing children and single moms into the gospel we can bring whole families that we can prepare for the temple.

One more side note.  Elder Hernandez and Elder Carter are both very obedient missionaries.  Good things happen to obedient missionaries.


  1. Doug, as I have always said the low lying fruit is in front of our eyes on those printouts of part member families. Especially less active ones. As for fanta, well at least there are more choices than we had which were limon soda, fanta, bilz and not sure what else! Had some of your stake members from Talca at the temple this last weekend. Seems you are making a difference at they all knew who elder and Sister Pulsipher were.

    1. I think it is the first time a couple has served in Talca. We hope we can make a difference. I went out with a local member last week to try to visit with the last 3 Bishops here in the ward I live in. They are all inactive. Lots of work to do.