When we started this blog, we wanted to share Elder Teals missionary experiences, mainly with family and friends. It wasn’t long before people we didn’t know, started reading along too. Some readers are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and we always try to give background to what Elder Teal is doing and why. We also set up a Facebook page to allow people to easily get Blog updates and the page now has 250 Followers. From time to time we also share some of our experiences as missionary parents.
Just a little over a month ago I was in the grounds of the Preston Temple and I received a Facebook message from a young man in Greece. He assumed that the message would go directly to Elder Teal. I explained I was Elder Teals Dad and I could pass a message on.
We chatted for about an hour (his English is excellent) and my friendship with Efthimios began.
Efthimios is not yet a member of the church, he lives in area of Greece approximately 4hrs drive from a church congregation or missionaries and is aged 20. About a year ago he acquired a Book of Mormon by requesting one from the churches Greek website. He still has never met missionaries face to face, but has chatted to Utah based ones online.
Over the months since reading the book he has started reading more church literature and has come to realise some important things. In our month long friendship I have been able to pass his details to Elder Teal and they now chat each week on the phone. I have also been able to post some church materials to him and we message each other quite often, sharing our favourite gospel videos and thoughts.
I asked Efthimios if he would share his thoughts about the gospel and favourite scriptures, so I could share them on the blog. This is what he wrote…
My name is Efthimios ! I am from Greece and I have discovered before 1 year what the Book of Mormon is and how wonderful are the answers about Christianity based in the Mormon theology! I have made a long journey to find out what exactly Mormonism and Christianity are! I was baptised as an Orthodox but I never was consciously! So I decided to convert to Tibetan Buddhism! And then Mormonism came to my life! From a simple video about Mormonism.
Different aspects of the LDS Church came to find what I have thought that Christ is and how we can be saved through Him and our Heavenly Father!
''For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.'' [ 1 Corinthians 15:22 ]
It is a great chance that I've found out about the LDS Church and a greater one that I want to be baptised. I know that our path to our Heavenly Father would be very difficult but as Latter Day Saints we have to consider what a big sacrifice was made by Jesus in the cross and from the pioneers to establish the Zion and build up the Temple in Salt Lake City, the New Zion.
''Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. [ John 19:29-34 ].
We have our Prophet that cares for us and leads the Church that Jesus Christ established with our Prophet Joseph Smith. The General Authorities are true disciples of God and his beloved Son and our Saviour Jesus the Christ. May we have deep faith in the Living Prophet and the words of Christ to guide us:
''And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.'' [ John 14:3 ].
''Now, therefore, hearken, O ye people of my church; and ye elders listen together; you have received my kingdom.'' Be diligent in keeping all my commandments, lest judgments come upon you, and your faith fail you, and your enemies triumph over you. So no more at present. Amen and Amen. [ D&C 136:41-42 ]
The Book of Mormon changes lives, without any missionaries. With just a determined desire to find out if the Book was from God, Efthimios has gained a testimony that it is. Missionaries don’t go out to convert people they go to share a message and allow them to discover truth themselves. We are not sure how soon it will be, before circumstance will allow Efthimios and the missionaries to meet, but he continues to study, learn and prepare to be baptised , He also continues to read our blog, so to you my friend Hello and thank you for sharing…and you still remind me of Vincenzo di Francesca :)