June is the Europe area Month of Invite. Stakes, wards, branches, and missionaries are focusing on inviting investigators and less active members to attend church. Most wards have detailed plans regarding how they will accomplish the goal. The missionaries have spent many hours visiting less active members and inviting them to return to church.
The sister missionaries in Catania visited with a man who had been inactive for nearly forty years. He told them they were too young and inexperienced to talk to him and that he wanted to talk to someone who had been in the church for a long time and lived somewhere where the church was established, someplace like America. They called President and asked if he would speak to him since we were in Catania for zone conference. He was booked with interviews until 7:30 pm but said he could do it after that. President said he thought he could remember that name from his mission 45 years ago.
The sisters called the man back and he said he was busy and didn't have time to meet with them. They told him their mission president was in town and that President Waddoups had agreed to meet him. He hesitated for a moment and said "Anziano Michael Waddoups"? They told him that was the one and he told them he remembered him because he was one of them that taught him the gospel. He made arrangements to change his plans and agreed to meet that night.
When he showed up for the meeting, he was carrying a picture album and a Doctrine and Covenants. Inside the binder was an old mission card with a picture of the Swiss Temple on the front and the Articles of Faith on the back. Printed on top of the card was "Anziano Michael Waddoups". He had kept the card all these years. Inside the book was President Waddoups signature from when they had autographed the book 45 years ago.
Turns out President Waddoups hadn't baptized the man, but he helped give him the followup lessons afterwards. He only served in Catania for a short time before completing his mission and returning home.
Unfortunately, the man nor his wife had stayed active in the church. He's totally lost his testimony and has been investigating many other churches since then. The fact that President Waddoups is now serving as a Mission President in Italy and was in Catania at the exact same time that the sisters knocked on his door is a testament that Heavenly Father is very aware of his children.
Plans are already underway to meet again and have another gospel discussion.