Half a year ago, my friend from school lunch, Blake Smithey, invited me to church. We all knew he was Mormon but I was raised to have an open mind and to never be afraid of differences so, to his amazement, I gladly accepted his offer and came to church with him. During Young Women's, we talked about temple marriage. The teachers expected me to be scared off and they tried to explain these seemingly taboo beliefs to me in as gentle a way as they possibly could. But to their surprise, I agreed with every word they spoke. I knew I felt the Spirit that first day and I was eager to learn more. After a few more weeks of attending, I met with the missionaries. I slowly delved into the gospel and remained eager to learn. To the missionaries' dismay, I had a trip to France planned and I would be gone for a month. But when I returned, I found that my lessons had been completed so I wondered why it was that they wanted to meet again. When I walked in and said 'hello' we all sat down, the missionaries, Blake, and I, and they asked me if I would like to be baptized August 22, 2009. I paused, went blank in shock, looked up with watering eyes, and said, "Yes." We all felt the Spirit so strongly and it was the first huge monumental moment in my conversion. Blake had the honor of baptizing and confirming me and he is now at the MTC preparing for his mission in the Nebraska Omaha Mission and I am his girlfriend of half-a-year, at home waiting for him. I'm planning to attend BYU-Idaho and my faith in Christ is stronger than I ever thought possible, increasing steadily every day. Without Elder Blake Smithey and the missionaries Elder Pili and Elder Bermudas, I would be another lost soul on this Earth in desperate need for the gospel and for their service and guidance I am eternally grateful and filled with love.
Submitted by: Brenda Sykes
Missionary: Elder Blake Smithey
This is a missionary experience that happened to me over 20 years ago. It is very precious to me. I was the investigator. My missionary that was teaching me the gospel principles was Sister Pamela Meager in Carson City, Nevada.
I was married at the time to a man who was against the church and he had gotten some anti-Mormon tapes. On our next scheduled appointment, he shared them with the sister missionaries. Sister Meager sat on my couch and cried but she bore her testimony to us and I felt the spirit so strongly and insisted that my husband turn the tape off. That was the last time I saw Sister Meager...
Two years later, I had gone through a divorce and had decided to try and find a church that I could go to where the people had good morals. I went to many churches. One day the Elders knocked on my apartment door. I made an appointment and the rest is history. I joined the Church.
I met and married a wonderful man and we were sealed in the Washington D.C. Temple. We were living in that area of the country. We were very active in the friendshipping program in our ward and invited many friends and neighbors into our home to hear the first discussion taught by the Elders. We were trying so hard to share the gospel with our friends. No one wanted to hear more about the Church after the first discussion. We were discouraged to say the least.
We were blessed with a baby boy at the same time we were struggling with sharing the gospel. On a very hectic day, my husband wanted to go to the Temple to go through a session. My baby was just so little and it would mean being gone from him for 4 or 5 hours. I struggled all day with the thought of leaving my little baby with a babysitter for the 5 hours and all day long I questioned my own beliefs and just basically felt negative about going to the Temple. But my husband was insistant and we went to the Temple.
It was a session I will never forget my entire life. During the session, I just kept thinking about our struggles with trying to share the gospel with our friends and how no one was interested in joining the Church. I felt terrible through the session and thought "what is the use with our even trying to share the Church?"
I was near tears when the session was finally over. I went back to change my clothes to get ready to leave. As I came out of the changing area and went to turn down the hall, there standing right at that point was guess who? Sister Pamela Meager!! My first sister missionary! The one who bore her testimony on my couch 3000 miles away in Carson City, Nevada.
I was shocked to see her standing there and said "Sister Meager, what are you doing here?" Can you imagine her response? I learned so much that night. I know that what matters is that we just share the gospel and invite our friends and loved ones to listen. Even if they don't show an interest at that very point in time, maybe, just maybe later on they will.
Sister Pamela Meager Bazyk and I talked for quite a while and she said she and her husband had come all the way from Connecticut that night and that it was a struggle for them to make the trip, too. Was this a coincidence or was it the Lord's way of teaching a very confused daughter of Our Heavenly Father that sharing the gospel is what matters. The Lord's timing is perfect. Can you imagine how 2 people could come together in the Temple at exactly the same time at exactly the most important time in a new member's life? I feel so blessed to have had this experience.
By the way, that little baby boy who I was so worried about leaving that night is now a wonderful missionary serving in the Philippines Bacolod Mission. Sister Meager did make a difference in my life. Thank you Sister Meager.
Submitted by: Terri Hill
Missionary: Pamela Meager Bazyk
This was to be inspired tracting that required the Spirit. I had never done this before. I started sincerely asking the Lord every night before I went to bed to lead me to the places that I needed to go to find those that were prepared to hear the Gospel. The next morning, when I woke up, I would ask again. Then I simply pulled out a map, and listened to the promptings of the Spirit. Sometimes it would be nothing more than a warm, peaceful feeling about a certain area of town, other times with much stronger specific convictions about certain specific apartment buildings. I remember one interesting experience very well. I had just finished praying when the words "one-nineteen" came upon me very strongly. The still, small voice had spoken to me very clearly, almost audibly. As I searched the map and found building number 119 the conviction reaffirmed itself one more time, and I knew it was time to go. This was weird. I thought this stuff only happened in priesthood manuals and Sunday school lessons.
We went out to 119 to begin the tract. We had passed a lot of blocks on the way, but knew very well where we had to go. We finally arrived, and saw one of the oldest, ugliest blocks I had seen in Bulgaria. It was all alone, with not much else around it. We got to the main lower entrance, and it was locked. I think normally I would have just taken off, but with the surety I felt that morning there wasn't much that was going to keep me out. I pushed a random button on the intercom system next to the main door, hoping to think of something to say to the tenant to get them to buzz the door open, but ironically enough, they just buzzed the door open without even answering my call.
We entered the block and began our tract. Everything started out well, we were feeling really good. But things didn't stay that way. They turned for the worse. 119 was not receiving our message, at all!! Every slammed door, unfriendly look, or mean phrase shared with us by every single person we talked to seemed to jab us in the back. Somehow a group of the meanest Bulgarians in Bulgaria had all decided to live together in the same building!! It was discouraging. My new comp tried a few doors, but not much was happening. We kept our faith, and even went back to some of the doors that had closed to quickly before we could say who we were or what we were representing, but nothing worked. We were really getting slammed. We kept going, and finally after the last door in the block closed on us, we walked out feeling like a couple of trampled puppies. I think we managed to give away a couple of basic brochures.
I completely forgot about the whole experience. Last night we were on a member visit with a few other missionaries talking to a few of our great members in the branch. One was a woman named Rositsa, who was baptized about a year ago and is now in the church with her three kids. She had invited over another neat woman named Vicki, who was actually taught and baptized by me no more than a couple of months ago. She's a really great member, and is already very active in her calling and has a great testimony and light in her life that didn't exist a few months ago. Anyway, we were all just sitting there talking, enjoying each other's company, and the subject of conversion ďstoriesĒ came up. It's weird, because although I know Vicki pretty well and have talked to her a lot, I have never asked her all of the details about how exactly she found the church. I was the one that taught her all of the discussions and baptized her, but I had never even asked her who the first missionary was that she had contact with--how she was found.
She told me that a few months ago a couple of missionaries had come to her house and knocked on her door. They wanted to come in and share a message with her about the church, but she was too afraid to let them in. She had heard things about the church, and was interested in learning more, but was nervous to let the foreign boys into her house. She said that she took a brochure from them, and felt a big desire to call the phone number on the back. The phone number just happened to be to my answering machine, and it was history from that point onward. The whole story kind of perked my interest, and I non-chalantly asked her where she lived. She told me that she lived in a little, old apartment building that just happened to be right on the outer edge of my area. She described the area a bit more in detail and my heart started beating really hard. I asked her what number her apartment building was. Vicki lives in apartment 119.
Submitted by: Paul and Janna Overly
Missionary: Devin Overly
When I was serving as a missionary in the Argentina, Resistencia Mission, I learned something about service. I was serving as a district leader at the time, going to another city for a baptismal interview. This city was small, and had a view of Brazil. I conducted the baptismal interview. All went very well and I returned to the bus terminal to await my ride home. The elders of this city had given me two pears to eat on my return bus ride. I ate one of them while I waited for the bus, then looked down at the other. I could hear several children begging for food on the other side of the terminal.
I was reminded of all the many times I had been approached by the poor on my mission. I thought about the way I had felt when I had turned them down, telling them, ďI don't have anything,Ē and how it would make me feel. I thought about the countless times that people had given to me, without expectation of return, while I was a missionary. Then, I thought of the Savior and how he gave everything he had perfectly. I thought about how important it is that we give, regardless of the situation of the receptor. Then the question came to mind, ďwhat if angels were sent to test us, just to see what we would do?Ē I looked down at the pear again and wished I had someone to give it to.
I heard some footsteps draw up behind me. I turned to see a little boy who looked very hungry and very alone. He looked as though he anticipated rejection. "Do you have any money?"
I was elated. "I don't have any money", I said. The little boy started to turn away.
"But - take this." I held out the pear. "Gracias!" the boy said and instead of running off, sat down next to me on the bench and devoured the pear. We talked for a while, and my bus pulled up.
"There's my bus," I said, and stood up. "What's your name, kid?" I didn't think about his answer until the bus had pulled away from the terminal.
His name was Angel.
Submitted by: Elder Mike James
Missionary: Elder Mike James
As a testimony that God lives, that He hears and answers prayers and that we
have the priesthood power to bless the sick now, as in Christ's day, I am
writing to our friends and family the story of David's miracle. The day
before we learned of this miracle I was impressed that the priesthood
blessings he had received were true - we would get our miracle- and that I
needed to witness this to as many people as I could. So, here is our
David has been living with the diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumor for
around 6 years. He has had the tumor probably since he was 4 years old. He
underwent two operations - one for hydrocephalus and the other for a
hematoma. Other than those operations, he led a normal life for those 6
When it came time for his mission call he was given a clean bill of health
to go - with the stipulation that he receive periodic MRI scans. After two
weeks in the mission field he had an emergency MRI that showed changes in
the tumor. He had to come home for radiation treatment. We expected this to
take 6 weeks - it took 7 months for him to feel well enough to go back on
On his last trip home for an MRI, we, and the doctor were surprised when the
MRI showed dramatic enhancement and enlargement of the tumor. This could
mean two things - that the tumor was growing rapidly or that it was dying.
Any activity appears the same on an MRI. The doctor believed it was growing
because, "If it were dying, David would be sicker. As the dying cells were
sluffed off, his brain would swell and he would have more symptoms." The
doctor told us he would now need to have more radiation treatments and
chemotherapy. We were all devastated because David hadn't looked or felt
this well in months. David and Randy left the office while I talked a little
more with the doctor. A short time later, David came back for me and said to
the doctor, "I know my church is true. Yesterday, I was given a blessing
that this tumor was dying. So it is."
David had received three blessings - one from his father, one from our Stake
President - Pres. Jibson - and one most recently from President Stepin of
the Rosemont Stake where he was serving. All three blessings promised him he
would have the health and strength to serve and complete his mission.
President Stepin told David in his blessing the day before his last MRI that
the tumor was dying and that he would have victory over it. On the other
hand, the doctor was so sure it was growing he spoke with both the
oncologist and the radiologist about scheduling David for treatments.
It was decided David would have a PET scan, which would show if the tumor
was growing. The doctor expected the scan to show a bright white at the
tumor sight, which means the tumor is very malignant. Our faith was being
tested. Our extended family, the ward and David's mission, all fasted and
prayed for him. His name was put on the prayer rolls of many temples.
President Stepin called to tell us he still felt his blessing was correct
and all would be well. David was calm but was worried about his parents who
weren't doing as well.
Three days before David's twentieth birthday, we received the news that the
tumor site was "stone cold". There was no activity. The miracle was
confirmed. As we left the doctor's office that day we said, "David had a
miracle." Our usually skeptical doctor's reply? "Yes".
Thanks to all of you who remembered us in your prayers and in your fast.
But most of all, we are grateful to our loving Heavenly Father and His son
Jesus Christ for our bounteous blessings.
Submitted by: Alison Wentzel
In 1999 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and my grandmother and mother urged me to get a blessing before I went to my next check-uo. The night before I asked Elder Anderson and his companion to give me a blessing. They came to my apartment and gave me a blessing. The spirit was felt intensley. After the blessing Elder Anderson felt prompted to promise me that if I read the book of mormon everyday at least 1 verse that the cancer would be gone.
Needless to say I did and when I went to the dr he ran another test and the results came back showing no sign of the cancer.I have a strong testimony Of priesthood blessings because of this.
Submitted by: Tonya Aghas
Missionary: Elder John Anderson
My son, Elder Joshua Adams, is serving in the
Guatemala City North mission. Several weeks ago
I received a letter from him and he mentioned
there was a family who had become very special to
him in his area. They just found out their 3-year
old daughter had lukemia and desperately needed
surgery. Joshua's heart was broken at the news
because he had become very close to this family.
The family was very poor and they needed 30,000
quets to pay for the surgery. Joshua said he
prayed about it, and decided to help them out by
giving them $100, which is about 800 quets.
Joshua shared this with me and apologized for
spending money he knew was intended for his
mission but he assured me he felt inspired to
make that sacrifice and he knew the little girl
would be blessed and that he and our family would
also be blessed.
I was a little upset with him, and gave him my
motherly advice that we cannot save all of the
people in unfortunate circumstances and he needed
to remember that in serving a mission in a third
world country. I did however, praise him for
prayerfully considering the matter and for being
willing to sacrifice for someone he cared about.
Sadly, this 21 year old missionary had much
greater faith than his mother.
The above incident occurred on March 12. This
week, almost a month later, I heard from Joshua
again. He said he got an interesting letter this
week from a lady in his home ward in Carrolton,
Texas. He mowed this family's lawn several times
before he went on his mission. Her letter thanked
him for being such a good example and for serving
a mission. She enclosed a Christmas gift that she
said she forgot to mail while he was at the MTC. She sent $100.
The letter was dated March 13.
What a testimony that Father in Heaven knows our
needs and blesses us for our willingness to listen
to the Spirit. And he usually blesses us by
using friends and family who are in tune with
the Spirit to know just what our needs are at the
very moment we are in need. How grateful I am
for a son who is willing to be used as an
instrument in the Lord's kingdom and for our
Father's hand in all that we do.
Submitted by: Carolyn Adams
Missionary: Elder Joshua Adams
Our son is @ the CTM in Sao Paulo Brazil. He arrived on
July 18, 2001, and is learning all that he can before he is sent to his
mission in the Brazil Ribeirao Preto Mission. He is working so hard to
learn Portugese and the discussions and is having a wonderful experience.
I wanted to include a portion of one of his letters, dated August 3,
2001...mind you, he had only been @ the CTM for all of 14 days when this
letter was written...
"Today we went to Caxingui. It is on the Temple grounds in Sao Paulo.
They kind of have a Mormon community with a church building and
distribution center...kind of like a Temple Square in S.L.C.. Anyways,
we went to talk with members and practice the discussions in Portugese.
I met a 16 yr. old boy. His name was Wesley. He was baptized and sealed
when he was 10 yrs. old. He asked why I was on a mission. At first, I
wasn't sure what he was saying, but then he told me that he was scared to
leave his friends and he loved music. I explained to him about the
Atonement and what Jesus did for us. I asked him, if Jesus could do this
for us, could you go on a mission for Him? He started to cry, and I
teared up, and he said to me that there is no way he can not go on a
mission now. I felt the Spirit so strong. I was just grinning. After
we left, I realized I had had the conversation in Portugese. I believe
now in the Gift of Tongues. It's awesome! But now I can't speak like I
was. So, I surely know that I was given the gift for that specific time
and place. But, I am learning Portugese faster and easier now, so I am
Joe is doing fabulous, and while he very much misses home in America, he
is loving the mighty work that he and so many others are engaged in. May
God bless us all in our endeavors to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and
help to move His work forward here on the earth!
Submitted by: Esther Cahoon
My cousin, Elder Randal Harmon is serving in the Arcadia, California Mission. He wrote me a letter to tell me about a neat spiritual experience that his companion and he had on Saturday April 27, 2002. He and his companion got the the impression that they should go and visit this guy named Bob that they have been teaching the discussions too.
They went to go and visit Bob. Bob was outside talking to his friend, Erik. Bob was drinking a beer. He finsihed his beer and soon went inside. My cousin and his companion got talking to Erik. They found out that he was a member who had become inactive for several years. Erik told them that he had got involved with the wrong crowd and the wrong things. As they continued talking with Erik, he told them that he wanted to straighten out his life and join the church again.
My cousin and his companion are now going to help Erik join the church again. At first my cousin didn't realize that it was the Spirit telling him that he needed to to talk to Erik, until afterwards, He had no cluue. He thought that Bob was the person that he and his companion were supposed to go and visit.
My cousin told me that it was awesome to him to know that he was being guided by the Spirit to help do the Lord's work. This experience has helped to strengthen his testimony.
Submitted by: Rachel
Missionary: Elder Randal Harmon
Mason shared a great experience from Sat. June 30th, 2001. In his own words:
"All 16 missionaries in the zone set out in the morning towards a busy street near the town square. We set up chairs along the sidewalk and put up signs "Free Shoe Shine". We all started bringing people over and shining their shoes for free as we talked to them of the gospel. The people just couldn't understand why we were doing it and were totally blown away.
One farm man on his rare day into town came by and I convinced him to take a seat. He commented that where he lived they don't wear shoes working and he only did to come into town, so I told him "Why not shine those puppies up then on your only day into town and enjoy the day." What a humbling privilege when I grabbed his foot and saw the torn and tattered shoes around his feet. It didn't matter how bad they were I was going to make them look their best. He couldn't believe why we'd do such a humiliating act and in white shirts and ties kneeling on the sidewalk.
Another lady that was in town visiting said she heard the people blocks away talking about how the "gringos were shining our feet on a Lima street when we should be shining theirs." So she came over with her daughter-in-law to believe it herself. So we shined their shoes also.
The most rewarding thing was to look the people straight in the eye and tell them we were doing it because we love them and that's what Christ taught us.
As a result many referrals to hear the gospel came out of it!
Submitted by: Fonda Nicholls
Missionary: Elder Mason Nicholls
My son, Benjamin Ambler, is serving in the Santo Domingo West Mission. His companion is Elder Rodriquez. My son and Elder Rodriquez were teaching a family that was supposed to get married and baptized Friday, October 26. However, they were an hour late for their baptism and the elders began to worry. Elder Rodriquez went with the zone leaders in their truck to see what happened. When they got to the investigators' house, the mother was in a panic and all the neighbors were worried because the mom's 7 year old son (a twin) had been missing for three hours. My son--Ben--continues: "This child had just gotten out of the hospital the night before because of a severe asthma attack. Elder Rodriguez asked if they could say a prayer together. So they went to the back of the house and told everyone to leave the room. Then Elder Rodriguez said the prayer. All he could think of to say was: "Please Heavenly Father help us find him. . ." At the same time Elder Grow and I were at the chapel, praying. So anyway, right after the prayer the mom, Madiline, walked out of the room, out of the house, and went straight to this ally way and found her boy on the ground...white and lifeless. She screamed, then the dad saw him and looked away, and pushed our zone leader, Elder Draney, in to see. He felt no pulse, no breathing, cold, stiff, dead. So my companion, Elder Rodriguez went in, picked him up, and said a little prayer in his heart and the child started to cough and breathe. By now the ambulance was there. They rushed him to the hospital and he was still unconscious. So Elder Draney asked the doctor if they could give him a blessing, and the doctor said, "Right after I examine him." Elder Draney said, "No. God has more power than you. We're giving him a blessing now!" So they did, and right after Elder Rodriguez finished, the kid sat up. He said they weren't his words. He told the kid to get up, and he did. Then he was fine. Breathing normally, everything good. Later, the Zone Leaders came and picked up Elder Grow and I and told us the whole story. We were like, "Wow, no wonder we felt the need to pray!" So then it was 10:00 P.M. and we did the baptism the next day. But wow! The priesthood is real, the power of prayer is there, we only need to have faith and do it. I wish I had been there, but it's O.K.--I got to hear it all! Love, Elder Ben Ambler"
Submitted by: Marcia Ambler
Missionary: Benjamin Ambler
Dallen was sharing a discussion with a woman were he is serving in Brasil. He hasn't been out very long so most of the talking was done by his companion. The subject of babtisms for the dead came up and the woman had a tough time with it. She wanted them to explain it to her so she asked them, and of course his companion began to anwser and she said no, I want to hear from Elder Mckee. Dallen began to talk and just thought of words he could remember. When he was done the lady responded but Dallen didn't understand everything she had said. He thought that she had said she didn't understand him. Dallen felt a little down hearted. When they left the woman's house Dallen asked what the woman had said, his companion replied that she had said she knew when Dallen spoke those words it was true and it was the most beautiful words she had heard. This one will definately be a good one to mention on his homecoming talk!
Submitted by: Mandi Mecham
Missionary: Elder Dallen Mckee
My Best Friend, Elder Alan Swick, is serving in the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo West Mission. He had A really cool experience, and this is what happened in his words:
You'll never believe what happened to my companion and I! About a week ago, we got into a publico (a publico is a taxi). Anyway, we got in the publico which was stuffed with four in the back and two in the passenger seat. Everything was crazy, everyone was complaining and moving around, everyone was very squished. Well, the car starts driving and all the sudden it turns off onto another road and they start taking us to who-knows-where, but we started to get worried. We were wondering where they were taking us. All-of-a-sudden, one of the guys says, "I can't do this. Drop them off and let them go." They gave me back the money I had paid and they let us out in the middle of no where. Come to find out, they were trying to pick-pocket us, and they had tried to steal my companion's watch. They did get my companions utility knife thing, but that was it. Later we found out from one of our investigators, that her daughter was robbed the night before, in the exact same way, under the exact same circumstances. Our story was exactly the same as hers, the car, the people, everything, but they didn't do anything to us. I know it was a miracle that the guy all of the sudden said "I can't do this, let these guys out." The Lord protected us just as they were taking us who-knows-where. Awesome huh? how the Lord was looking out for us. I love Jesus Christ, I'm so thankful for him. He blesses me everyday. What a miracle, huh?
Submitted by: Tiffany Lowe
Missionary: Elder Alan John Swick
One day we were on our way to an appointment. The man we were going to teach was a great man. We passed in front of a hair salon on the way but I didn't notice it at the time. We started down another street, and as we were approaching his house, out of nowhere my companion said, "I don't think he'll be home!". "Why's that?!" I asked. "I don't know. I just feel that we need to talk to that lady." "What lady?!" I asked. "The one in the hair salon." he replied matter-of-factly. As it turns out the man wasn't home. "So, let's go check out your inspiration" I said jokingly. We introduced ourselves and she invited us to teach her. Her business was slow so we started to teach. We had been talking about 10 minutes; Elder Adam finished explaining about God the Father and Jesus Christ. It was my turn and I began to testify of them and the love they have for every one of us. The Spirit was strong and she began to cry. She stopped us and explained to us that she had been praying, asking for some guidance, help & comfort. "I believe your coming and talking to me was an answer to my prayer!" I looked at my companion in awe. Even though he didn't understand Portuguese very well and wasn't understanding the conversation fully, he had heard, understood, and obeyed the still small voice that guided us to her. I learned a great lesson that day. Later we went to her house and blessed her and her Mother. As we left that night my companion and I were jumping inside with happiness of the Spirit.
Submitted by: John Westover
Missionary: Elder Kris Westover
Our son is currently serving in the Argentina Buenos Aires West Mission. They have had a difficult time finding people to teach because of the political and civil unrest in the country. Trying hard not to be discouraged, he and his companion were walking down a street in the town of Castillo. Suddenly, they were approached by a woman saying, "I'm so glad I found you! I've been looking all over for you"! They were taken off guard and didn't know exactly why she was looking for them. He said anyone else in that area that looks for them usually wants to rob them! She explained that about 2 years ago she had talked with other missionaries serving there. She had gone on vacation for a few weeks and when she came back, the elders were gone and the area had been closed. She began to go to other churches looking for the one that would fill the void she felt after her husband's death. She ended up looking quite a while because she went to 14 DIFFERENT CHURCHES! She was pretty determined to find the truth. After telling my son and his companion all of this they taught her the first discussion. When they were through she told them she knew right then this was the true church. She was agreed to be baptized at the end of the month!
Submitted by: Kelly Bluth
Missionary: Ethan Bluth
My son is currently serving in the Brazil Manaus Mission. He was still in Sao Paulo at the MTC when he had the following experience. One day the elders were taken downtown Sao Paulo by bus and dropped off to practice their proselying skills. He said they had spoken to a few people when suddenly he heard loud shouting coming from around a corner and an obvious confrontation. He and his companion stepped around the corner to find about 5-7 20-30 year old males making life miserable for another Brazilian man in a wheelchair, obviously very poor and very handicapped. They were yelling insults at him and moving his wheelchair off the curb and onto the street and then they would pretend to want to help him onto the curb so they could do it again. Then to add injury to insult they took the wheels off his wheelchair altogether so he couldn't move at all and continued their jabs and shoves. He was becoming very frustrated and many people were walking by and watching but no one did anything. My son said it make his "heart hurt" to see people treat their fellowman in a like manner. Finally as a last resort, the man began to spit on his tormentors and about that time Danny told me, "I just dived in." He ran over to the group of men and shouted what little bit of Portugese he knew and basically told them to STOP and mentioned Jesus Christ. They stared at him in amazed silence and poor Danny was expecting the worst when suddenly they turned and went on down the street! They helped the man to the curb again, put the wheels back on his wheelchair for him and he was very grateful and in Portugese was trying to ask them something. Finally, Danny figured out he wanted to know their first names and told them he knew about the "Elders" and knew they did "much good." It was an incredible and ever memorable experience for him!
Submitted by: Tamara Clark
Missionary: Daniel K. Clark
I am 18 years old, and I recently moved to Kentucky, and shortly after I moved in, I had Elder Bonnett and Elder Hirsche knocking at my door. My sister is an inactive member so they came over purposely. They began asking me if I would be willing to take the discussions and I told them I wanted to wait until I was ready, because I did not want to let the Elders down. They started stopping by pretty much everyday and asking me if I was ready yet. They even told me they would make me an invitation along with a pretty pink pillow to present it on. They had me memorize their apartment phone number so I could call when I was ready. About 2 weeks after I first met the missionaries, I felt I was ready to learn. I called them on a Monday night and four missionaries showed up at my front door with a pink pillow and an invitation sitting on top of it. Near the end of the first discussion, they shared with me the vision of Joseph Smith and I began crying. The spirit was so strong and I knew right then that I needed the gospel in my life. I took one discussion each night for the rest of the week, and on one of the discussions they asked me if I would prepare myself for baptism and I did not even hesitate. The Sunday after my first discussion, less than a week later, I was baptized. That was at the end of August of 2002, and since then I grown so much and I continue to grow everyday of the week. I am so thankful for the persistence of Elder Bonnett and Elder Hirsche, and for the great lessons that Elder Schneider and Elder Martinson took part in. Without these great guys I do not know where I would be in my life.
Submitted by: Sarah
Missionary: Elder Bonnett, Hirsche, Schnei
One morning I was sitting at my desk at work and answered a phone call. I was surprised to hear the voice of Elder Barrus on the phone, since it was his P-Day, and missionaries do not normally call me during the daytime on those days.
He informed me that he and his companion, Elder Rowland, had just completed the second discussion with a young man, and that the young man had committed to be baptized on the upcoming Sunday.
I expressed to Elder Barrus my surprise that he and his companion had been teaching on their P-day, and I asked him why they had done so.
Elder Barrus answered that the investigator had requested that particular date and time to meet with them, not knowing it was their "day off."
He went on to say that they were glad to sacrifice the time, and although the missionary handbook does specify that P-Day activity should conclude at 6pm, it does also encourage missionaries to take advantage of opportunities that arise to find investigators.
So these faithful elders taught the discussion and received a blessing in the form of a committment to be baptized.
(D&C 42:6-7) "... ye shall go forth in the power of my spirit, preaching my gospel, two by two, in my name, lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump, declaring my word like unto angels of God. And ye shall go forth baptizing with water, saying: Repent ye, repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
I really appreciate the selfless spirit these two elders gave towards their committment to serving the Lord. I am especially proud of them when I observe so many other youth their age who have hardened their hearts towards service to their fellow man and also to God.
I am also truly saddened by the number of people who speed through the course of their days and do not take the time to get to know God.
I am reminded of my studies in 3 Nephi: "Yea, there were but few righteous men among them." (3 Nephi 7:7)
However, I am comforted by the strength of the righteous, as I learn of the selfless acts of love performed by the Servants of the Lord.
Submitted by: Bro C
Missionary: Elder Rigel Barrus
About four months ago I first met the missionaries at church. I was going with my best friend who had been a member her whole life.I went to church even though I was apprehensive; I was still willing to meet people. I remember my mom took a picture that morning to document me being dressed up for once. Looking at my face in the picture I could see the look of hopelessness and depression. Then that day at church I met the Elders and they asked if they could meet with me and I thought "oh gosh". I quickly then tried to avoid church and the missionaries. Finally I began to meet with them because I knew I was not happy and I needed something; so I thought that this might be it. We met the Elders at the library and they began to give me the first discussion, then Elder Lamb told me the first vision and I felt the spirit so strong. Now that I think about it, it was probably the strongest that I have ever felt the spirit and I didn't even know what it was. As he told me the words Joseph Smith had written I felt so amazing. I felt like I had finally found something new and real. Over the next few weeks I met with the missionaries about two times a week and by the third time I met with them I knew that it was something more, something right. I remember the night Elder Lamb asked me to be baptized my best friend was there and she began to cry as she bore her testimony of the gospel and the power of baptism. I was so happy, I didn't know everything about the gospel but I knew that it was true. I followed the directions of the missionaries to pray to know the things they were teaching me were true. I had finally found the one thing that was missing my whole life. We got a picture at my baptism and the hope that had been missing before was in my eyes. The depression was gone and replaced with the biggest smile I have ever seen. I was so happy that day and it was all thanks to Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ's atonement made it possible for me to recognize Elder Haskin's teachings and Elder Lamb's spirit filled testimonies. I know that without mission work I would still be that hopeless depressed young man I once was. I would not be writing this with tears in my eyes. I have a testimony of the power of mission work and it's affects on a person's life, happiness, and faith. I love missionaries and the spirit that they carry with them. When I go on my mission I hope to have the spirit with me as my Elders did.
Submitted by: Kevin Delgado
Missionary: Elder Lamb & Elder Haskin
Scott has always been one of those guys that just made you smile when he walked into a room. He always knew how to play and how to have fun when the occasion called for it.
Whenever I was down and needed a shoulder to cry on, naturally, he was there.
I myself am not LDS, but I am Christian, and unfortunately, have lost much of my faith over the years. I decided I was going to start a personal conquest to regain my faith again. I asked for help, and Scott lent a hand. Even though we had some barriers, he helped me in any way he could. Mostly, it was just small, baby steps. Well, they seemed rather small to me. Pray, read from the Bible, etc. It was the conversations we would occasionally have that I loved the most. They always seemed like they were a big step to getting closer to God.
I went to see Scott a week before he left for his mission. I just wanted a chance to really talk to him again, because I, myself, was leaving the state to finish some training. I had to be honest with him, and tell him that I didn't want him to leave. I mean, my best friend is leaving for two years! What ever would I do without him?! And Scott started talking, telling me how he couldn't wait to go out into the world and teach people the things he knew. Then he started telling me the things he knew. I can't even repeat what he said....it's just not the same when I say it. I just keep it in my mind, and in my heart. What he told me really hit me, and I started crying. He stopped and smiled. "You're crying, aren't you?" he asked. I just smiled back and wiped my eyes. He hugged me and I thanked him for inspiring me more than ever. Although I'm not really looking toward conversion right now, he picked up a Book of Mormon that was sitting on his piano and handed it to me. "You can do what you want with this," he said. "You can keep it or throw it away, but just take it. If you read it, you can learn more." I still have it. And while I may not read it everyday, I still pick it up and read a few pages before I go to bed.
Whether or not I do convert in the future, I just feel better knowing that somewhere along the path in my personal journey, I had help from one of the greatest people God sent to Earth, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to be his friend.
Thanks, pal! You did a lot to help. I guess it's up to me and the Big Man upstairs, huh?
Submitted by: code name: Piper
Missionary: Scott Clawson
I was in my first area, Barinas, in the state of Barinas, in the Venezuela-Valencia mission in the fall of 2000. The weather was always hot and it was the dry season. My trainer and I were on our way to a correlation meeting. We hadn't had much food left and we were very tired and very hungry. We passed this older man on a bike and thought nothing of it. We just waved hello and kept going. We hadn't gotten 20 feet when he circled around, came back to us and gave us this big, fresh loaf of bread he had just bought from the panaderia (bakery). He just told us he wanted to give it to us and then he rode of, leaving us in shock. We had never said a word even to each other about our mutual hunger and exhaustion. He didn't even give us a chance to thank him. He just gave us the bag, and rode off on his bike. I don't think we ever saw him again. But we never forgot it. Not because that bread was fresh and the size of a football, but because some random guy on a bike somehow decided we needed his bread more than he did. I've been home now 8 months and I'm still amazed by it. I don't think I'll ever forget it and I KNOW Heavenly Father provides for his servants when they need it.
Submitted by: Beth Forson
Missionary: Hermana Forson
My brother, Cody Hayes, was preparing to go on a mission. Cody played basketball, football, golf, and many others. His favorite was golf. He was coming home from a state golf tournament in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Cody's car swerved off the road and rolled. Sadly Cody passed away 4 hours later at the hospital. It was said that Cody fell asleep behind the wheel, but my parents knew he never went to bed before midnight and it was only 11:00 p.m., so they thought Cody was reaching for his cell phone planning his party to open his mission call. When he reached for the phone he unbuckeled his seat belt. Cody was ejected from the car. Later on that day Cody recieved his mission call, but we decided not to open it until the funeral. Two thousand people were in attendance at Cody's funeral including the local newscasters. So when we went up on the stand I started crying seeing all the faces and realizing how many lives my brother touched. Cody was called to serve a heavenly mission. On his paper it said he was called to San Juan, Puerto Rico. For Christmas, my family is taking several hundred Books of Mormon with outr testimonies translated into spanish, glued in the front, to Puerto Rico and we are going to share the gospel to those my brother didn't have opportunity to touch the lives of. My brother was needed on the other side of the veil as the guide in the beehive house said. I love you Cody.
Submitted by: Abby Hayes
Missionary: Cody Hayes
This is a missionary experience i would like to share with you that i had. I had a friend by the name of Kevin Munk, who was a wonderful friend to me and we had been friends for about 7 years. He was a Baptist and i tried several times to get him to come to church with me. It seemed like a never ending battle; something always got in the way. He loved his church and he assured me there would be no way he was joining the Mormon church. One day i was pondering on the statement that Kevin had made, when suddenly i felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to get on my hands and knees and pray to my Father in Heaven for i knew i would soon give up on Kevin. Heavenly father answered my prayers in a way that i was so lucky to receive. About 10 minutes upon praying, Kevin called and told me he wanted to come to Church with me. I was floored. Could that really be happening to me? I was so touched i began to cry and i again proceeded to get on my hands and knees again to thank my Heavenly Father for what he had done. Kevin came to church and he loved it. He said he wanted to take discussions and all i could do was say "Ok, I'll set it up." So he took discussions. He was absolutely in love with the gospel. One night he called to tell me all about the family night he had just had with his parents and siblings. I was eager to hear why he was so excited, and to hear him talk of the gospel made my heart very joyous. We had to end the conversation because he was going along with his mom to get the family pizza. He assured me he would call the minute he walked through the door to tell me of his excitements. I waited by the phone and when it rang i picked up and said "OKAY, SO TELL ME EVERYTHING!" Sadly the voice on the other end was Kevin's dad, telling me that Kevin had been in a dreadful car accident, and that he was in a coma. I rushed to the hospital, and nothing could have prepared me to see all these machines around him, keeping him alive. I held his hand, and told him everything would be fine. Kevin's mother was also in the ICU. Kevin died on March 17th 2001, exactly one week before he was to be baptized. His mother has survived and Kevin's temple work has been done. His whole family has joined the Church. Just one little seed that i planted into Kevin's heart changed my life, his family's life, and not to mention his own life. I know i will see Kevin again one day. What a joyous day that will be! Young people should always take the opportunity to share the gospel with friends. Its truly awesome. I know it is a blessing in my life. God lives and he loves us each and every one of us. Stay strong in the gospel.
Christina J. Brown
Gaffney, South Carolina
Submitted by: Christina Brown
I was serving in the Pusan Korea Mission, in the city of Taegu. It was P-Day, and we were off to get our mail. I was serving in the North section of Taegu(Daegu), which was mostly factories and industrial companies. We had to actually travel out of our assigned area to get the mail. Well we traveled to the Post Office, only to find it was closed due to the fact that it was a holiday. Luckily they did not lock up the Post Office. We had traveled over a half hour, and we needed our mail. The girl at the front counter was telling me that I could not go to the back, but after attempting to explain our circumstances, she finally let us. There we met a man who was sorting mail. I apologized for barging in to the Post Office. After retrieving our mail, the gentleman inquired as to whether we were Mormon Missionaries. We told him that we were. He said that he had been searching for quite a while to find a religion that he could believe in, and asked if we could talk with him. Well, my first instinct was that he just wanted to practice his English skills, as we got that a lot. But something whispered to me that we should set an appointment, so we did. We taught him the A Discussion, which was a unique discussion to our mission. In it you start from the beginning and teach about the creation and continue to the apostasy. They you teach about the restoration and Joseph Smith. At the end you issue a baptismal challenge. As we concluded the discussion with this man, the Spirit was stronger than I have ever felt it before. We asked him if, after learning the truths we had to share, if he could commit to being baptized. Without any hesitation, and with a tear running down his cheek, he emphatically said "yes." We taught him for two weeks, after which he was baptized. He never did attempt to learn English from us, and became one of the most spiritual members I had encountered in my mission. The Lord led me to this man this day, and It was a high point of my mission.
Submitted by: Robert Jacob
Missionary: Robert Tyler Jacob
I remember in 1991 here in Minnesota; it was called the "Halloween" winter. I had come from Seattle Washington, born and raised a Catholic. I was living in Minnesota and good grief it was snowing like crazy! I heard a knock at the door and my first thought was 'what fool would be out in this weather?' My second thought was 'they will not be out there long', so I opened my door and grabbed both elders by the coat and pulled them in the house. Never having seen missionaries, I just looked at them and said "Whatever your selling I'll buy it just sit down and have some coffee!" They kindly told me they were not selling anything, but they did have a message to give me, and that got my curiousity. That was in the year 1991, it is now 2007, I have a husband who is a member, my kids are all members, in fact my eldest child is a Priest, my daughter is Beehive, and my youngest as of next month will be a deacon!!! All because mom wanted some crazy men out of the snow, I will truly never forget Elder Grover and when I was endowed and we were all sealed as a family I dug out a very old and bent card and dialed a number and I received Elder Grover's mom on the phone she gave me his number and I called and asked if he remembered tracking in the snow and being pulled in to a house being offered coffee he replied that yes, he did. I told him the good news about my whole family and the line was so quiet I wondered if dropped the phone. Finally he said I always wondered what did happen and boy it is nice to receive a call like that!!
Submitted by: Theresa M. Smith
Missionary: Elder Kenneth Grover
My older brother is serving in the Provo, UT. spanish speaking mission and he related this story to our mother in an email.
He and his companion met this girl who was intrested in the gospel and she invited them over to teach the discussions. She was 19 yrs. old and 8 months pregnant, living with her fiancee, in her mother`s two bedroom apartment, with her 4 other siblings. One night when they went over they heard awful arguing and screaming and cussing. Wondering whether or not they should go in, they decided to knock on the door. When in the apartment they were overwhelmed with the loud fighting and were not sure what they should do. They soon found out that the Mother had just told her daughter and fiancee that she was kicking them out. My brother said they weren`t sure what to do but they asked if they could leave them with a message. So the other children went into the back bedroom,(still fighting) and the mother (who didn`t like the missionaries at all)stayed with them to hear what they were saying. My brother and his companion taught of the Atonement, they taught that the lord has already paid for our sins and if we would but come to him, and accept the Atonement, and live rightously the rest of our lives, he will embrace us and love us as though we had never sinned at all. As they were teaching this the kids came out from the back room, one by one, and sat on the floor to listen to them teach. He said that the spirit soon became very strong and that there was not a dry eye in the room. After they had taught, the mother asked how they had brought this feeling into her house that made the constant fighting cease and had changed the feeling of her home. They quickly explained about the Holy Ghost and the spirit that it brings. They explained how they could always have this spirit in there home and then asked them to consider being baptized, and without even thinking twice everyone said yes! It is truly amazing to hear this story coming from a(reformed) bully of an older brother. It just goes to show how real the power of the spirit is and how it can change our very lives if we will let it!
Submitted by: V.ROHM
Missionary: Elder S. Rohm
I want to share with you a spiritual experience I had as we were filling up the baptismal font Saturday (12-9-06). We began to fill the font. The water here has a lot of dirt in it so there was a lot of residue from the last baptism. My companion was cleaning as I was calling all the members to remind them about the baptism. Everything was going great. We had just reached a little above the first tile when the hot water shut off. We began to call the leaders of the branch to figure out how we could fix the problem. The Branch President arrived and he did all he knew how to solve the problem but nothing occurred from his efforts. Well, he left to take care of some family situations. My companion and I were left to continue to fill the font. We started to fill the font with cold, glacial (literally) water. All was going well again. Then suddenly the water stopped. We had no water pressure in the building. We were pretty worried by that point. We had an hour and a half to finish filling the font and we had only reached the second tile. Wow, we didnít know what we were going to do. My companion was thinking about postponing the baptism because there was no time to run to the other chapel and fill the font there in and hour and a half. Furthermore, there was no time to call all the members and tell them the baptism was being moved. We were stuck. So, I did all I could do. I went to the bathroom and kneeled and asked Heavenly Father to help us according to his will. After my prayer I went to the room where all the pumps are and began to examine the situation. I was faced with many levers and switches. I had no idea. As I sat looking at the controls and levers, Elder Montes called to me and told us we had a visitor. I left the control room and to my surprise and American was standing there giving me the biggest smile. He was in Ushuaia, Argentina for the day with many other tourists who had come in on a large cruise ship. He told us he had served his mission in Uruguay and that the sort of problems we were dealing with in that moment had occurred to him during his mission. He told us that all the members are praying for us and that all will work out. His words were definitely reassuring and uplifting in such a hectic situation. His words brought comfort and hope to the situation. I returned to the control room with a new attitude. The Lord had sent us a little pick-me-up if you will just in the time we needed it. As I was looking at one of the many circuit breakers I was impressed to copy how the breakers were aligned on one of the circuit breakers with the one we were having trouble with. As I copied the form in which the circuit breakers were aligned the rumble of machines began to occur behind me. I turned around and to my surprise the pumps were on. My companion began to yell and I ran out of the control room to find gallons and gallons of water gushing out of the pipes. The baptismal font filled in 8 minutes!!!! It went from almost 2 tiles (10 inches) to completely filled in 8 minutes! I really learned that the Lord wants us to succeed. As we go to him in prayer having faith he will help us. I was also reminded that having faith just isnít praying and hoping everything will turn out well; itís doing something about the situation. Itís trying to do everything you can and receiving that what you canít do. He even sends us those who give us a new perspective. As we listen to spiritual promptings we will be blessed abundantly even if it isnít quite what we were looking for because the water was absolutely freezing! However, the baptism was absolutely wonderful. The water was a few degrees above freezing but Iím sure Damian felt warm inside.
Submitted by: Jennee Lane
Missionary: Elder Adam Lane
My name is Veronica I was baptized December 11th 2007!!! Okay from the beginning I come from a family where my mom and sister are members of the church and my dad is not. Growing up we always had access to scriptures, but did not attend church. I was 4 when my mom was baptized and I was 15 when my sister was baptized. The two of them were always amazing examples, and my dad too even though he is not a member he is one of the greatest people I know always serving others and upholds all of the churches standards, and taught and raised me with great standards and expectation, I always had amazing examples all around me!!When I was either 14 or 15 I met a guy through a website, his name was Taylor, we talked on the phone all the time and he always shared his testimony with me and we always had great conversations about the church, one day he suggested we read scriptures together, so I went in and grabbed my moms scriptures to this day I can tell you what we read, we read the first chapter of The Pearl of Great Price! Taylor was an amazing example to me and still to this day I have NEVER met him in person, but we talk about it frequently. I lost complete contact with him for about 3 years, back when we used to talk he had made me a promise, he promised me he would not miss my baptism for the world. So now we can jump ahead to this past August, and I will tell you what happened in my conversion and you will know of some of my witnesses and my testimony. In August I was living in Nevada but came up to Utah to get away for a while, while I was in Cedar city I got into a car accident, and being in Utah I had been pondering life and the meaning of it and really wanted to read some scriptures but I didn't have any available. Well I am a photographer so later that night after the accident my friend and I were going to the "scene" to take some pictures, as I walked outside I noticed two missionaries walking across the street, I told my friend I was going to grab something inside even though I didn't have anything to go grab, the thought crossed my mind that I needed to talk to these missionaries. I started to think well they could be going across the street for anything and it could take them a while I might as well just forget it..I walked back outside and the missionaries were crossing the street so I waved to them and walked to the end of the drive way and they started to talk to me, I told them a little about myself and how I knew of the church and that I had interest but didn't really feel like I was ready to commit to anything. The elders asked if they could come back to my house and meet with me, I told them sure but it had to be before a certain day because my dad was coming up to get my truck and it is a respectful agreement we don't put my dad in any situation with the elders. The elders agreed to come over, when they did they brought me a set of scriptures I was so happy, well I had SOOO many questions for them that we ended up talking well over an hour, and I still had more to ask. They asked me as all missionaries do if I had thought about baptism and I told them of course I had thought about it but it wasn't for me, and I had so much confusion on it. They then challenged me to whole heartedly pray on my knees that night about baptism and they promised me that I would receive an answer about baptism. I thought about it and decided I would love to, that night I knelt down and prayed to Heavenly Father asking him questions and I asked him for guidance in the scriptures about all my questions and baptism. The spirit was so amazingly strong and I began to cry, I grabbed my scriptures and I opened randomly to 2 Nephi 31:11 the most clear scripture I could read and for those of you who don't know it states "And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son. " Now for many this would scream to them GET BAPTIZED, I felt the spirit so strong and I still do when I tell my story, but I didn't go and run and get baptized I knew I needed to do it, but that Heavenly Father was aware of me and he would help me get there when I was ready. A few days went by and the elders had asked if I would continue talking with missionaries from home when I went back I told them yes. When I got home I did NOT do what I had said, instead I started reading on my own and pondering and praying about everything. I started to get really frustrated with it all and I talked with my mom about it she told me to pray about it and to just put the scriptures away for a while and not think about it so much. So that night I prayed for comfort and that if it was okay to put away the scriptures for a while that I could just put off everything because I was stressing out and trying too hard for answers. The next day my roommate came back to my room and said there are two cute guys at the door for you, I was pretty excited wondering who these two guys could be, when I got to the front of the house I was shocked to see two missionaries standing there, they asked if I was Veronica and I said yes, they said that they had received a call from someone in Utah referring them to come see me, of course my first thought went to the elders I had talked with. As a matter of fact it wasn't them at all, the call had come from temple square, my friend had referred me at the temple and they received that referral. I knew right then that my prayers had been answered and I was NOT able to have that break I had asked for, I took the first few discussions blowing the missionaries away with my deep questions, that they sometimes struggled to answer, but still managed. Well in the beginning of October I decided to move to Cedar City, I continued discussions then the elders asked me to set a goal date for baptism and I told them no, I would let them know when I was ready. By the next discussion I was ready to set a goal date, I set it for the 8th of December, but for many reasons I changed it to the 15th, then about two weeks before I told the elders I was not ready for that date, I wanted to wait until after the new year but a conversation with a close friend helped me realize Satan was coming in and was helping me put off the baptism as long as possible, I prayed about it and the next time I saw the missionaries I told them December 11th was the day I wanted to be baptized. Of course some of you may be wondering where Taylor fits back into this story, well I had lost all that contact with him and I was signed into my messenger when to my amazement he signed in, I had been praying I could find him so I could tell him the news, because he was such an important example I wanted to share with him, he signed in and I immediately messaged him, he said he hadn't been on his messenger in years and was just messing around and signed in, I asked him if he remembered the promise he made to me, and he said "yes, I promised you if you ever got baptized I wouldn't miss it for the world", I was astonished to know he truly had remembered his promise meaning that it was a sincere promise, although he did not make it to my baptism I know he would have if he could have. He is a great "missionary" even if he doesn't serve a mission he definitely has greatly helped in my conversion and is an amazing missionary to me. I know Heavenly Father knows all of us and he hears us, my testimony is built firmly upon scriptures and prayers. My baptism was the most amazing day of my life, my brother in law baptized me and my elders confirmed me all in the same night, I would not be who I am today without the experiences I have had even if it is only 3 months later, I am so grateful for the gospel and the opportunity I had to be baptized, the blessings I have received are more than I could ever have imagined! I hope you enjoyed reading my story. I do say all of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen!
Submitted by: Veronica
Missionary: Elder Freeman & Elder Burtin
I just wanted to share an experience that I had and will never forget. First off, I want to tell you that I have not served a mission yet. Three years ago I was asked to serve as a mini-missionary on splits in Ufa, Russia. It was a very hot day! The Elder and I went out tracting at 9 AM and were pretty excited to meet people on the street who might be interested in hearing the Gospel. We got up to the 6th story of one building and, as we were going down the stairs, we knocked every door. Almost no door was answered. Of course, we were tired and upset, especially me because it was my real chance to feel like a missionary. On the 3rd story of the building we stopped at a very weird, old door. The Elder knocked on it. As he heard someone beyond the door answering, I came to the conclusion that the person beyond the door did not understand the Elder's Russian. So we switched roles, and I began sharing a message. Suddenly, the person opened the door, spilled a whole bucket of cold water on us, and then shut the door. I felt cold and shocked. I wanted to quit and we left the building. The weather was hot that day as we sat on a bench and started praying. I felt like we needed to go back to that door again. Isn't that crazy? So we went to that door again, and I knocked with fear overwhelming me. The person appeared to be a little old lady who now answered the door again. She was surprised that we came back after her "cold showering." We told her that we were missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ and offered some help. She let us in! It has been 4 years since then and that little old lady is still a great Relief Society sister in my ward. She is so happy we came back that day. Always trust the Lord.
Submitted by: Eric
Missionary: not available
Long story, short...I joined the military after a long absence, went through my training, and served in Kuwait. I had no calling while over there, but I did take it upon myself to serve in any way I could. The Lord made it clear to me that His church was not just an American church, but it was a church that had a lot to offer a great many throughout the entire world. Often, as I walked to the chapel, I would hear the still small voice whisper a reminder of a period in church history when Joseph Smith told a small gathering of brethren how little they knew of the church. He told them the church would fill North and South America and even the world. I felt inspired to place Books of Mormon on the shelves from many different lands and ended up with 13 different languages on the shelves concerning the Book of Mormon. Not many were taken, but there were 2 in Hindi, 1 in Arabic, 1 in Japanese, and 1 in Korean that were taken from the shelf as well as a few in English. Later, I felt promptings to also order DVDs to place on the shelf. The few I placed on the shelf disappeared so fast that I decided to buy the DVDs by the box and ended up giving away over 400 DVDs that I had ordered from the distribution center. Everything from Legacy, to The Mountain of the Lord, to Together Forever, Christmas DVDs, DVDs about family and so much more. Most of these DVDs could also be listened too in many languages other than English and since Camp Virginia was a hub of activity for international soldiers it worked out quite well. I remember two instances in particular that have touched me. In one incident, one of the chaplains assistants was from Africa. He took a DVD about families and we talked later about the DVD. He said it was wonderful and he sent it to his wife to listen to. We talked about the LDS church and he told me that he had often seen the missionaries in remote area's of Africa, usually in the poorer parts of the land, walking two at a time. In the other incident I was restocking the LDS shelves with DVDs and after placing some on the shelf a Christian who was Indian (a man whose native tongue and land is India) walked up to the shelf and saw the DVD "Joy to the World". He just stood there and stared at it for the longest time until he finally approached me and asked if he had to pay for the DVD...I told him no, of course, and he just continued to reverently look at the picture on front of Joseph, Mary and Jesus and he kept saying thank you. He wanted to give it to his parents as a gift for Christmas. In these cases, I have no idea what good if any was done. Some may have joined the church or none may have joined the church. I had no calling in the church, but I served where I could and hope that I may have made a difference even in a small way. Sometimes this is the way it is with missionary work. We can serve for 18 months or 24 months and give out many materials, give lessons, speak with hundreds of people and we may wonder if we did anything at all. We are asked to do the work. During and after the work we are asked to have faith in Him...sometimes we hear of the difference we have made and sometimes we don't. We can't worry about it because after doing the work it is all in His hands.
Submitted by: Charly
Missionary: Sister Meaghan and Sister Land
My son Elder Olsen is currently serving in the Argentina, Mendoza mission. He left October 22, 2008. Shortly after he received his mission call one of his best friends, Matt, found out that his brain tumor had returned. It had been in remission for 2 years. These boys were neighbors and did so many things together. Matt was a year younger than Adam and they would often talk about when they would serve missions and where they would be called to go.
The cancer came back so aggressively that Matt only lived 2 short months. He passed away just 4 days after Adam left for the MTC. Matt was one of the bravest young men I've ever had the pleasure to know. And he had the most outstanding testimony. Several missionaries in our ward have written home and said that shortly after Matt passed they felt as if he were there with them, helping them. They said that they all of a sudden they had so many that wanted to hear the Gospel and be baptized.
About one week after Matt passed away I wrote this poem for Matt and Adam.
Called To Serve
Two young men who were the best of friends
Talked of the day they would go on missions
and serve the Lord in far off lands
They played basketball and drove to school together each day
They loved music and played in the band with their friends
Then one day one of them became very sick
And the time soon came for the other to go
and serve the Lord in a far off land
To teach the people there of Heavenly Fathers plan
As he said goodbye to his very dear friend
He knew in his heart his friend was nearing the end
Then just four days later, after his friend had gone,
The sick young man was called upon, to serve his mission
But not in a far off land as he once had planed
But beyond the veil he would serve the Lord
And teach those on the other side of Heavenly Fathers plan
Both young men, such very good friends,
Serving the Lord on missions meant just for them
These two good friends will never forget
the time they shared as two young men
And both look forward when the day will come
that they will see each other again
and the Lord will say to them,
ďA job well done, my two young men.Ē