As described in The Great Airport Challenge – Part 1, I was surrounded by people at my departing gate, when I received a planned phone call from my mother. A few minutes earlier I had sent her a text message asking her if she would call me, pretending to be a non-member friend, and ask me all sorts of questions about the church, to which I would restate and answer so all around me could hear.
This was a fun and successful experiment, in that all those within the sound of my voice heard me testify of the truthfulness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They heard a summarized version of Joseph Smith’s first vision, they learned why we certainly consider ourselves to be Christian, they learned of the importance of the family and how our lives and beliefs are all centered on Jesus Christ.
In that way it was successful, but it was also a good lesson for me to learn how beneficial it is to practice answering such questions! Even though it was all planned, I did not know the questions she would ask, so I was put on the spot and found it difficult at times to voice my answers. It was an opportunity for the listeners to hear a little about our church and an opportunity for me to practice answering basic questions about the gospel!
I recommend this simple and fun experiment! It takes courage – but we’re brave right?!!
I would not have had the time to indulge in this ‘Phone a Friend’ experiment, had our flight not been delayed due to fog. And I would not have had much of an audience had several people, including a young family, not come and sit by me just prior to the phone call. (I would have the chance to talk much more with the father of that young family in just a few short hours.)
It turned out that not only was that flight delayed, but so were the 2 next flights which we were all subsequently booked on. I, and everyone there, had a lot of time to sit at that gate. Hours. Many of them. But I was fine with that….I was on a mission! (And I had a great book to read between ‘discussions!’) In those next few hours, most of us got up, moved around and changed places frequently (mostly to share the seats which were near to the power outlets so our varied mobile devices could be charged.)
I saw the father of that family who was near me during my phone call, sitting by one of the coveted power outlets. He had his small son with him, but his wife and baby had already said goodbye. I took the opportunity to go sit by him again, asking him if I could share the outlet. He kindly made room and I plugged in.
It was easy to begin a conversation with him because he had a darling little boy with him who was behaving so well during the long and unexpected flight delay. I mentioned how impressed I was. The father agreed and the conversation easily flowed after that.
We talked about the usual things one might expect to discuss at an airport – where we are from, where we are going – and our families…..which is the golden topic for me – for I then have the perfect opportunity to mention the mission my son is serving. I was able to tell him that my oldest son is currently serving a 2-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
HE KNOWS I’M MORMON.
He knows this partly because I had just mentioned the name of the church. But mainly because….HE WAS ONE OF THOSE LISTENING TO MY PHONE CALL EARLIER THAT MORNING.
Over the next hour or so, I tried to share the ESSENCE of the gospel with him. I had already ‘told him’ about the restoration of the gospel and its purpose for families. Now, I had an opportunity to SHOW HIM A MORMON.
I was hoping he would SEE the ESSENCE of the gospel of Jesus Christ – kindness, charity and love.
This was easy….he had a little 4 year old boy. I just happen to love little 4 year old boys! It was easy for me to offer this sweet little, bored child my ipad and show him how to play a game on it. It was easy to offer them snacks from my supply. It was easy to offer to read a book to the boy. It was easy to agree to watch him while the father went to find something more to eat. (I was happy he trusted me to do so.)
Sharing the ESSENCE of the gospel – or sharing kindness – was not only easy. It was a pleasure.
I hope this young father left that day with not only information on the basics of the Mormon faith, but a good feeling about the Mormon people.
I hope he has learned that Mormons are kind.
Charity is the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We can share charity –
“But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whose is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” (Moroni 7:47)
The Great Airport Challenge!
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