Elder Bumgarner came to the Scottsdale Mission from the Ukraine Donetsk Mission last May never expecting to use his Russian again. But the Lord knows where He is and had a different plan….
So here is the story of the miracle that happened to me. We went to the visitor center with our investigator and he loved it. when we were waiting in the for the movie about God’s plan for familys i heard a voice in the back say ‘do you speak Russian?’ Then it got louder and then more people were asking around saying do you speak Russian and can you help us. Then out of nowhere a hand rested on my shoulder and i heard the voice of my old ward mission leader say ‘Elder we need your help; you speak Russian.’ and I’m like so… and he then explained the story to me that there was a family that does not know English and they wanted a tour of the visitor center so they needed my help to understand all that was going on. I then walked over to them and I knew the guy or well the look of the guy like he just looked Russian, he had that look i guess and i walked up to him and said (in Russian) ‘Good evening.’
Then he said it back! it was like music to my ears i have not heard those word in so long it just made my day. Then the Russian flood gates opened I just started asking him questions like where are you from and why are you here and what do you want to know and all kinds of things. He said that he and his wife were visiting a friend that his wife once worked with and that she wanted to take them to the visitor center. He said his wife is a member and that she goes to the temple in Kiev about every 3 months or so, which is a lot for someone who lives in Russia. Then she kinda butted in and asked if I could help her husband understand all the things in the visitor center and I said well I will do my best.
So we went over to the table with all the Books of Mormon on it and I showed him the Russian one and i read my favorite scripture to him and he said he has a copy and that he is reading it and that he likes it. We walked over to the windows that view the Mesa temple and that have little pictures near them that show the temple being built and whats inside and all that and I explained a little and his wife would confirm what I said and explain the rest so it was good I had a little help. We got to the part where it has the testimonies of the little kids and the Mormon messages and i told them everything about that and he looked over to the room with the prophets and asked about that and I bore testimony of President Monson and all that he does for us.
Then there was a family in line to see the little nativities in the room and the dad asked my what language I was speaking and I told him Russian and he was shocked and asked why and I told him that this family flew in from Russia and wanted to see the visitor center and he said that’s great well do they want to see the nativities? and i said I’m sure they do and he was like ok they can cut in front of us. They were in the front of the line so that was awesome! I felt like i was on a VIP tour🙂 i was talking to the wife and telling her about my first time in that room i was looking for the nativity from Russia or Ukraine and she was like do they have one and i said yes it over there and she rushed over and took a picture of it and came back and said thank you so much! Then when we got out of that room we went over to the statue of Christ and we took a seat and I translated what the sisters said and how they love being missionaries and all that and I was kinda stumbling because a few of the words they used were not in my vocab so I had to kinda muscle my way through it.
Then the voice of the Lord came over the speakers and I started translating and it came out perfect. i was blessed with the gift of tongues right then because I don’t know biblical Russian but I spoke it perfect with the correct grammar and everything it was amazing. He looked at me and said “thank you, I felt something powerful as we were talking.” I was told by his wife that they were nervous in coming to the visitor’s center because they don’t know English and their friend doesn’t know enough Russian to help them that much so they didn’t want to go because it wouldn’t be that great for them. But then their friend said well if we go I know the Lord will provide someone who can help us. So they went on their faith. They told me that when they got here they still weren’t sure if they would like it and then they started asking around for help and they found me. They said the Lord sent me to them and that I was their miracle. it was so great to be able to help them out as much as I could.”