For some time, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ran an offer on lds.org for free copies of the Bible. Sister Hawkins, an office missionary in the Botswana/Namibia mission, shares how the people of Botswana, in fulfilment of the prophecy that the gospel will go forth “unto all people upon the face of the land” (3 Nephi 28:23), heard about and responded to this message. Here is her story in her own words:
“One Monday, one of the guards who worked at the Botswana mission office complex requested a Bible, so I went out and gave him a Bible and a copy of the Book of Mormon. I told him a little about the Book of Mormon, and asked him to read it. Later that day, I had another person come into our office and request the same thing. The following day, several people who worked at a business nearby stopped in at the office with the same request. I then decided to write up my testimony to include with the Book of Mormon, with my contact information on it if they had any questions.
“It was really exciting because I had never had something like that happen in all my life. To share my testimony with so many people was truly a miracle. Within a matter of four hours we handed out around 120 sets of Bibles and copies of the Book of Mormon. I finally had to solicit the help of my husband and two other missionaries to attend to all the visitors. In each instance, I highlighted the invitation to read the Book of Mormon in Moroni 10:3-5, put marking tabs on that page for easy reference, put in a pass-along card, printed off my testimony, and spoke to the visitor about the book.
“Later that day we had a man come back and introduce himself as a pastor. He wanted to know if we would give his congregation a Bible. One of our missionaries spoke to him for about 30 minutes and told him that he could send those who were interested over to the office and we would give them a Bible. The following day, the pastor returned with a member of his congregation. By then, we were out of Bibles and we only had about half a box of copies of the Book of Mormon left. Since then we have only been giving out copies of the Book of Mormon. I have already had one sister call me to thank me for the ‘Bible’ I gave her, which was actually the Book of Mormon. Others are now specifically requesting the Book of Mormon. Every day we have had a few visitors come in to ask for a book.
“That experience was such a miracle to me and has been the highlight of my mission so far. My patriarchal blessing said that many would join the Church because of my testimony, but at the time I never really understood how that would be fulfilled. It was only after this experience that I realised how the Lord had fulfilled his promise to me and the people who came for a ‘free Bible’.”