Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Book that changed a Mans Life

So Celeste and I were doing our thing on Sunday... when I get a call from one of my old missionary friends from my mission. And he is telling me the story of a less-active that was brought back to church through me, even though I had never met him. What had happened is 8 years ago a guy named Mike lived in Somerset Kentucky which is deep Southern Kentucky. He was put into jail for multiple causes.. drinking, gangs, drugs ext.... But while he was in jail in Somerset he met this guy that was also LDS. But during this time Mike was recieving letters from home and letters from family saying that you need to change your life around and come back to church.. Mike got to praying asking for guidance and a way to come back to church or at least back to reading the bible. So what he had was a chance to go to the jail library one day and he felt compelled to find a Book of Mormon to read. He had looked their mulitple times before for one their but he thought if God really wanted him to change then he would put one there some how. They only got a couple of min in the libray and Mike wasn't having any luck as he was praying he had the inspiration to look on the table behind him as he looked on the stack of books behind him at the very bottom was an old hard back copy of the Book of Mormon. He took it and as he was headed back into his cell he thanked God for the oppurtunity that he gave him to change his life. As he opened up the cover page he saw the name Elder Hess... he realized the name Elder and realized that this book was given away by a missionary. His friend who was also LdS found out that he was reading the Book of Mormon... and that Mike was trying to get his hands on a D&C and the Pearl of Great Price. His friend so happened to have just the D&C handy but it was a old hard back copy. So his friend decided since he wasnt interested getting back into church then maby mike could use it. So Mike got his hands on his friends D&C, as Mike was opening the cover page to the D&C Elder Jayson Hess was written on the title page with my first Apt phone number in Louisville. ASs mike realized that his new book and his Book of Mormon both had Elder Hess in the cover page that it wasn't a cowincidence. he knew that God worked miracles. Over the next one and a half year he prayed and pondered and tried to figure out how to get back into touch with the missionaries when he gets back out. But Elder Hess on the cover of both of his books gave him the hope and joy to keep going and gave him the light of the tunnel to keep going. As Mike put it to me the other day I was the rock that he started his testimony on. But as Mike got out of jail he moves to Lexington KY, for a year of rehab that he had to take when he got out of jail. As Mike was moving to Lexington I got moved out of Lexington. So the day after I got transfered my Greenie was trying to get a hold of me in my new area so i can send him the two bus passes that i had for him and his new comp. But as my greenie was calling he forgot to dial the area code to my new area. So he called the right number just forgot to dial the area code. Which happened to be Mikes new number in Lexington. So as my greenie called Mike piked up the phone and my greenie thought it was my new companion playing a trick on him. But mike politley said that their was no Elder Hess that lived their and hung up. My greenie calls again, the same number but with out putting in the area code. He gets Mike and my greenie asks for Elder Hess and to have me send him the bus passes... Mike politley said you have the wrong number, and asks him what number is he trying to reach. Mike politley said that you must dial the area code to get that part of the state. But Mike finally realized that My greenie was looking for Elder Hess... the same name that was in his books. He asked my greenie if he knew me and so forth.. and told them that he just got out of jail and needed the missionaries to come over and talk and to help him get back on his feet and back into church. Of curse my greeni went over and Mike just lived a block away from my old apt. So as they went over thier to visit Mike eagerly asked where did this Elder Hess guy go and where can I reach him at. My greenie said that I had gone to a other part of the state and wasnt allowed to give out my number. So from that time till a few days ago Mike had been trying to get a hold of me to tell me that his life has changed because of me. As he claaed me the other day i picked up the phone and he asked is this Elder Hess? I said well the formally Elder Jayson Hess ya? Why? He went on saying that I had no idea what i had done to his life. he goes on telling me the story that i just wrote down. and he said that he is now active in his branch and has recieved the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthood and is going to the Temple for the first time this month and is now taking the temple prep classes. ( let me back up) back in the my first week of my first area on my mission My comp and i decided to go street contacting but we happened to be short on Book of Mormons and we had one old hard back D&C so we wnt out and I had stopped this guy that was LDS but was not practicing it, and that it was useless for me to give him the D&C because he was going to jail that same day. i said you never know what might happened so I put my name and number in the book thinking of nothing of it. That guy happened to go to the same jail that Mike went to and the D&C book that he had recieved in jail from his friend was the same friend i talked to the first week of the mission. I was in tears............ because that area that i was in was the hardest are of the mission for me, with the most trials, I never had any physical success there. but you never know when you plant a seed how far it goes. But by me being a missionary and opening my mouth and putting my name in a book. It gave a man who was lost in this world hope and joy to keep fighting. he couldn't thank me enough for the work that i had done as a missionary and that he was greatfull for my life and that he wants to send this story to the ensign so his story might help someone else. He is now the Young Mens Pres in his ward. His life changed just because a missionary called the wrong number and because I did my job as a missionary


The Hodges Family said...

What an awesome, touching story. That is something you will never ever forget. Thank you for sharing it. Love you Jayson! Thanks for being such a good example to your big sister =)

Cam said...

What a very special gift to be given the opportunity to see the fruition of one of the seeds you planted through your faithful service to the Lord.I recommend recording this in a journal that will survive for your posterity in case this blog goes belly up.

Leslie Ann said...

Wow Jayson. Very cool. Thanks for sharing.

Heidi said...

Jayson, Your mom related this story to me last week when she was in Utah. She left out the part that the BofM was ALSO yours! That is just so incredible. I will have to tell Taylor this story. Isn't is nice to know you made such a difference. "How great shall be your joy..."

Holly Dunn said...

This is such an amazing story! What a blessing to know of the good you have done! (Maybe only in the next life will you know ALL of the good you've done!)

Kim said...

Jayson, thanks for sharing that amazing story with me. I still get teary over it (like now). Thank you for being a good missionary. Thanks for marrying in the temple. Thanks for those adorable boys (Celeste, you too of course!). Love you both soooo much.

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