Tonight we attended a wonderful Latin celebration at the LDS Conference Center in SLC, a “Light of the World” type production, entirely in Spanish, with music and dance and performers of all ages. A couple of months ago, Adam wrote to us about a family they’d met and were fellowshipping. They had been inactive for years, the father was a former Stake President. They were trying to encourage them to come back, to gather again with the Saints there. He wrote often of their two sons, who he grew to love. The older was 15 and he wanted to come to Salt Lake to dance in this performance. Adam asked Dad to help with the visas and arrangements to help get him here. He was able to come last month to prepare for this weekend’s performances.
On Monday, just a few days ago, Adam said good bye to this family in Santiago before leaving for the airport. They came with good news– they had been able to arrange their affairs to emigrate to America, and they would also be leaving this week–they arrived here Yesterday! They had sold all of their belongings and the father found a job here, cleaning carpets. They were also on their way. Adam was thrilled for them and was able to say “see you soon.”
Tonight as we found our seats, Adam was slow behind us, scanning every row, looking for their faces. He found them sitting in the section right behind us. Mother, father, and younger son–rushed to greet him and embrace him and when we joined them, I learned very quickly how much they love Adam. I could see it in their tears and smiles and feel it in their embraces. It was like watching a scene from a perfect missionary movie.
The little boy clung to Elder Lewis like a long lost friend and kept telling us in Spanish how much he loves him. The mother was beautiful, and she embraced me with tears and tried to tell me how dear Adam is to them. They only know a few words in English, not enough to really communicate, but we did just fine. I felt their love and deep gratitude. I felt their desire to be here and to be a part of this. I got a strong feeling that Adam was the means that changed the course they were on and they know that and are profoundly grateful. It was sweet and pure and dear.
After the wonderful event, as we were walking out of the Conf Center, down the street, we heard someone calling to us. Here came (breathless) the lady who’s house we went to a year ago to watch Adam’s Skype baptism–she recognized Adam as he walked by, and ran after us–almost a block–to say hello and to thank Adam for teaching and baptizing her aunt and grandmother. She wanted to meet him and thank him. She Skypes with her relatives almost every day and continues to encourage them in the gospel. It was another priceless reunion, heaven sent. Wow, what a gift to see Adam interacting (in Spanish) with these people who’s lives he’s changed.
After we got in the car, Adam commented on how he had that perfect joy feeling again that he thought would end when the mission ended. It was sweet. A pretty perfect evening for all of us.