Thursday, September 25, 2014

“Heathrow Delivers Jobs and Ionut Alexandru Antonie” by Elder Phillips

I had been praying for ways to bless the Britannia Ward and use the gifts and experience Father has given me for His work and His children. As I prayed I was impressed to write an email to the CEO of ECI, the company that bought my company, Digital Gateway. My impression was that they would have employment opportunities for our YSA, given they had three of their acquisitions in Europe and one in London. That email was generated on a Wednesday to the CEO and I got his reply two day later. He opened his email by saying that my timing was perfect because he was coming to Heathrow the following week and he’d love to see me. He did wonder how my email could be so perfectly timed. I reminded him of the heavenly help that I’ve always enjoyed (like the sale of DGI to ECI) and we both had a good laugh.

I know Heavenly Father’s impression had purpose far beyond what I supposed. I took the tube to Heathrow Terminal 4 and got off and went across to the Hyatt Hotel where Ron was having his meetings. We started our meeting at 1:30pm and completed it at 3:00 pm. I told them about an entire army of 200 YSA that we’re working with and indicated that we had some super talent here in London. They disclosed that they have 18 open positions that we’ll get the opportunity to fill through our London Employment Center. The ECI crusty CFO/ HR VP responsible for all hiring walked up while we were in the meeting. I asked him what are his most pressing needs regarding hiring the right people in Europe. He said without hesitation that he needed a top HR consultant to lead his hiring activities and work with all their European Companies. He knew I had done business in Europe with Procter & Gamble and IBM and had HR friends in high places. I had credibility with him and that’s not easy to do. My people at Digital Gateway had proven to be ECI’s strongest and deepest team of all the 14 companies they’d acquired. I used that credibility to suggest sending all their needs regarding employment to our Hyde Park Employment Center. I gave him the brochure for our center and Glenn commented that it was impressive what our Church does to help our members. 

As we were completing our discussion on this subject a girl’s name came into my mind that we’ve been reactivating.  She hasn’t been active for 10 years and is just returning to the kingdom. It just so happened that I had a conversation with her days before regarding her HR background and what she had done in her career. That discussion allowed me to suggest her as a candidate for consideration for his number one priority, the HR job. It interests me how Father knows his children better than we ever can. Since that impression I’ve come to know this talented sister very well and of course Father was right to put her name in my mind. She has since had several follow up conversations that I believe will lead to a year contract with ECI leading their HR Development role here in Europe.

Lesson: One of Father’s children decides to turn back to God and the parable of the Prodigal Son unfolds right before me. The minute the son decides to return to his family, the Father runs to him and brings him home as a returning Prince. This is what I’m watching with this very talented young woman. I am reviewing her one year proposal that ECI requested today that will very likely be the foundation client needed to build her Consulting Business she started this year. She just had to “knock and repent and the Father has flung the door wide open”. I bear witness that Father is deeply concerned about the “one”. He knows us by name and wants to be involved in the important decisions of our life if we’ll let Him.

Speaking of decisions let me now tell you the rest of the Heathrow story. Ionut Alexandru Antonie arrives at Heathrow Terminal 4 from Italy where he’d been living. Alex has been on a personal journey for the last four years to find the true church in Italy. One day as Alex was praying to know what to do the inspiration that he received was to pack up everything he had and move to London. All that he had in the world fit into a carry on suit case. He obeyed the prompting he’d received to buy a plane ticket to London that left him with 30 pounds in the world. He deplaned and went straight to the Terminal 4 tube station to London. He said that he prayed to know what train he should get on. Two trains left before he got the impression that this was the right one that would take him to where he needed to go. Of course that was the train I was on. I witnessed this young Rumanian Boy almost begging a lady sitting in front of him for the right tube station to get off at for Central London. I was five seats away witnessing this conversation and hearing the desperate need for directions. I moved just across from Alex and asked him if he was from Rumania and he looked at me and said yes. I then asked him if he was trying to come to London to find work and he said yes again. He indicated that he needed to find a hostel in downtown London. I told him to follow me when I got off.

We arrived at South Kensington Station and Alex was right behind me following my every step. I took him to Cromwell Road so I could point him to the hostel called Baden House, the original home of the Boy Scouts and its founder. As I gave Alex the directions he looked at me and said, “I only have 30 pounds.”  He told me he’d find somewhere else to sleep. I asked him did he know anyone in London and he said no. I asked him what he was going to do for work and he said he’d go door to door in the restaurants and tell them that he is a cook until someone hired him. I stood all amazed at the faith he was exhibiting. I told him again to follow me and took him to Hyde Park Chapel with me. It was Thursday night so Sister Phillips was cooking and I invited him to dinner. This gave me a chance to call Marius, another Rumania, that had also left his homeland of Romania and had just came to London. I told Marius that I needed him to help me with Alex. Marius dropped everything and jumped on the same bike that he rode for 11 hours to get to the temple and back. Marius rode an hour to Hyde Park Chapel to meet with him. Alexander my “rain man” that sets up our tables and chairs perfectly for Thursday night dinners was keeping Alex busy speaking Italian with him. By the way this is only one of the four languages Alexander my “rain man” and friend speaks. 

Marius arrived during dinner and I told him what I needed him to do with Alex and the rest is history. Marius made sure he got to a hostel for the night and met him the next day to help him. They spent the day together and Marius called me and said I could trust Alex. Alex had told Marius his life story and found out that they were born the same month and their fathers were born in the same city in the same month also. These Romanian brothers at heart had to find each other in London and have been inseparable since.

Marius just baptized Alex three weeks after he arrived from Heathrow. After I gave Alex the Holy Ghost he hugged me and said this is why I came to London. I saw Alex on Thursday night and he came up and hugged me and said, “ I will be going on a mission in one year.” He proclaimed that he would learn English better than his big new brother Marius that was standing there smiling. These two are brothers from a different mother. Marius is using Alex in his remodeling company and living with his partner. They will both start attending my Mission Prep class that starts in October. 

Lesson: Obey the voice of the Lord because it will tell you all thing you should do.
I thought I had the impression to go to Heathrow for jobs for the YSA but the Lord had a different agenda. I like his so much better. May we all be swallowed up in the will of the Lord and obey his voice even if it   doesn’t make sense to us. 


  1. What an incredible story. It makes me realize that I need to be more aware of the people around me and promptings of the Spirit. There may be people all around me that simply need me to open my mouth and help them out. Love you Pap and the unconquerable missionary that you have always been!

  2. I LOVE THIS!!! What an incredible story!