Last night we hosted an open house for the missionaries in our stake to bring their investigators. In the picture you can see five of the elders that were with us, (three from the states, one from England and one from Haiti) and behind them, a young man who was recently baptized.
The young man was introduced to the church by a friend, who initially invited him to a dance, then to church on Sunday, and then to hear the missionary discussions. As the young man became more interested in the gospel, his grandmother decided that she and the boy's mother needed to find out what he was up to. They did, and the mother was baptized on the same day as her son, while the grandmother is being baptized May 28.
And all because one boy invited his friend to a church dance.
But there is another story I learned last night that touched me even more.
It was the conversion story of the Elder from Haiti.
When he was only 11 years old, and his younger brother 5, their parents both died, leaving the two boys orphans. Since none of their extended family members were able to care for them, they lived on the street for a year before being placed in an orphanage, where he said the only real change in their lives was they had a place to sleep at night.
Then a woman from Salt Lake City, Utah moved to Haiti with her two daughters. They bought a home and invited eight boys from off the streets to live with them. They fed, loved, clothed and educated the boys. And taught them the gospel.
The woman also spent time helping in the orphanages where she met this Elder and his younger brother. A bond quickly developed between them, and she invited the two boys into her home as well.
Not able to adopt all ten, these two boys were adopted by the woman's friend while she adopted the other eight.
It has been six years since then.
All ten boys have since joined the church and this Elder is the seventh to serve a mission. The other three have plans to serve when they are old enough.
I was so touched by that story! As this young man told of the poverty, loneliness and desperation he once faced and then beamed with joy for the happiness he now felt, I was overwhelmed.
Because of the gospel, his entire life has changed, and now he is helping to change the lives of others.
And all of this became available to him because of the generosity, love and Christlike life of one woman.
The power of one.
I guess we should never underestimate our potential to make a difference.