I just might have made history! I have possibly become the first person to have given away a bottle of wine and a Book of Mormon at the same time to the same person! Looking back on my experience today actually seems a little bit funny and ironic at the same time.
We had a very nice, humble, Christian man come to our house to install new ceiling fans. He's come before and we enjoyed conversing with him, as well as the fact that he's very reasonable in terms of pricing. So we called on him again.
Well, long story short, we've had this bottle of Chardonnay sitting in our pantry ever since our anniversary. When the folks at the Marriott found out it was our anniversary, they very graciously surprised us in our room with chocolate covered strawberry's and an ice cold bottle of Chardonnay wine. We called to thank them for the gesture, and gently explained that we actually don't drink, so perhaps they would like to take the bottle back. (We thought maybe they'd switch it out for sparkling cider.) They just said, "Oh, that's okay, take it home with you and give it away". So we packed it away and enjoyed the strawberries.
Today as we conversed with our ceiling fan installer he mentioned something about he and his wife drinking wine, and we realized that here was the perfect person to give away the one and only bottle of wine to have ever graced our home! I thought he'd especially appreciate it since he was already giving us such a great deal on the installation of the ceiling fans. Plus, it wouldn't cost me any extra!
Well, an hour or two later he brought up the topic of religion. He asked if I was Christian (presumably because of all the pictures of the Savior hanging in our home). That got us started on another great conversation and I enjoyed learning about his experience with finding a church, but lamented with him about how he still feels confused. I took the opportunity to share some thoughts and some of my beliefs with him--specifically how we can go to God directly in prayer and the method of how God answers us. His faith has been growing as he's experienced this kind of prayer. I shared some thoughts that Alma shared in chapter 32 of the Book of Mormon about how we can experiment with certain aspects of the gospel, like prayer (or with the scriptures), and how our faith begins to grow, helping us to be less confused and to have a more sure knowledge. He was genuinely intrigued with comparing the word to a seed, trying the experiment to see if it is a good seed, and then how, if we nourish it, it begins to grow; then we know that it is a good seed. I realized that here was somebody who would be open and happy to receive a Book of Mormon.
He also agreed that it made perfect sense that Christ would have had prophets among other lands to teach His gospel to His "other sheep". He asked me to show him that scripture in John 10:16 after I quoted the Savior and explained that the people in the Book of Mormon were among His "other sheep". So I got out my Bible as well. It felt so good to have somebody interested in what I had to offer instead of not being interested at all, or interested only in debating! Here we were standing in the kitchen talking about Jesus and about our beliefs--and it was great!
As he gathered his things up to leave, I paused to take in the funny picture of a bottle of wine, a Book of Mormon, and his cash payment sitting together along with his tools. He's one of the most humble, nicest, and most interested guys I've met here. The ceiling fans work great, and today he went home glad and with a little bit more than he expected. And I have to smile as I think of the Spirit that was there--along with a bottle of wine and a Book of Mormon.
"The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it."