It’s a Thursday afternoon. The view out of the bus window is surprisingly sunny for Buffalo, NY, even though there are layers of freshly settled snow covering what seems like endless crunchy gray piles of ice. The constant lull of the bus is calming, and aside from the occasional bump in the road I sit quite still, observing those around me. Besides three of my fellow missionaries, the bus is relatively unoccupied–a few people sitting here or there, involved in their own lives, living their own realities. Anyone else might see these people as typical, ordinary people riding a bus. I? I look at these people and see divine children of God. I see people who Jesus Christ suffered infinitely for. I see people of value who each have strengths and weaknesses, trials and triumphs, and who would be blessed immensely by knowing that Christ Himself still lives and has a plan for their individual happiness and exaltation.
Kind of a big deal!
How much is one soul worth? (Doctrine and Covenants 18:10) Is anyone, then, simply ordinary?
Do you start to understand now why as missionaries we talk to everyone, wherever we go?
Out of the corner of my ear I hear one of the Elders we are with talking to the man next to him, teaching him about the Restoration of Jesus Christ’s Gospel on the earth today. I smile, thinking how amazing it is that God trusts us, these 18-25 year old kids, to declare His truth to the world. As I observe the older gentleman listening to Elder Klumker, I notice another man covered in tattoos and piercings a few seats away in the corner by himself, quietly looking out of the window. Hmm. I wonder what his story is.
I tune in to the former conversation more intently. The man who had been listening declines the invitation to learn more; Elder Klumker just smiles at him and turns back to us. No defeat, I think. At least he gave him the chance. The bus ride continues. The older gentleman comes to his stop and steps off to go about the rest of his day. Moments pass, and the man in the corner turns to the four of us to ask, “Do you put on some kind of Bible study or something?”
Aha! I smile in my head. I knew there was a reason we were on this bus today.
As Elder Klumker spoke with him, it turns out that he had been tuning in the whole time to their conversation. He opened up about how he loves God and loves reading the Bible. He has been going to a few different churches for awhile and was quite interested in learning about what we had to teach! Without any of us asking, he wrote his number down, and later that day the two Elders met with him in his home, sharing with him perhaps the greatest message this world could ever hear: that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to a young boy prophet and restored Their church once again to the earth in it’s un-corrupted form.
I KNOW THAT NO DAY IS ORDINARY. I know that each and every one of us are precious in God’s eyes. I know that more often than not, our miraculous experiences will begin with small and simple things–like a typical bus ride home on a Thursday afternoon.
So the next time you see an opportunity that may seem small and simple–take it! You never know, it may just change someones life forever!