Last month I sent my first child off on a mission, so I have missionary work on my mind these days as I think about my girl learning a language and how to serve and teach the gospel to strangers. Today’s Sabbath Revival post was written by Natalie in 2008. Have you had any missionary moments lately?
Frankie* is the mother of the little boy I take care of after kindergarten every day. We’ve become good friends since the morning she was driving to work and suddenly realized we were LDS–she called me up and asked, “Are you guys Mormons?” Something about my son’s “early morning church class,” my “volunteering every Tuesday night” (at the Family History Center) and my staying home with the kids–apparently, in Frankie’s mind, only Mormon moms do this– tipped her off, and that morning, she said, “It was like a boulder fell on me.”
Fortunately our being Mormon wasn’t a friendship deal-breaker for her. In fact, she was most interested”¦ it seems her best friend and her boss at work are both LDS, and they’ve set spectacular examples for her. Her best friend has a copy of the Book of Mormon that he and his girlfriend wrote their testimonies in, but hadn’t given it to her yet for whatever procrastinatical reason. Then she met me and found out I was LDS. “It’s like God’s trying to tell me something,” she said.
For me, it couldn’t have gone any other way. I’m a most reluctant missionary. My spiritual talents lie elsewhere. I know I should be more brave, but I’ve always been afraid of offending people. I like sensitivity and not stepping on toes. In the past I’ve been guilty of thinking, well, it’s not like people don’t know what Mormons are, and if they were really curious, they’d find out. Right?
This shouldn’t be my attitude (I mean, obviously). My parents joined the Church after being friendshipped and taught by their next-door neighbors in Springfield, Oregon, John and Cheryl Stewart, to whom I have since built a shrine in my living room. I love them for being brave, for opening their mouths. I love my parents for being sweet and humble enough to listen to them, and willing enough to follow and change their lives. I know it was scary for them. They are my family’s pioneers.
Because my family joined the Church and raised me as a member, I have had (aside from the requisite set of trials) blessings, protection, peace, and Joy with a capital J. When I think of John and Cheryl and how they helped not just my parents, but past and future generations of our family, it bothers me that I haven’t thought enough of my brothers and sisters around me to try to let them experience those same things. It’s not like people don’t need–or couldn’t use–the Gospel in their lives. So what’s my problem?
Since Frankie began attending meetings, my ward sisters have been adorable to her, and to me. Remember bringing a friend to Primary when you were little? Yeah – that’s how they’re making me feel. Praise, hugs, smiles all around”¦ it’s been great. If only I could take some credit for it–but Frankie just fell in my lap. The Lord knows me well enough to know that if I’m going to be a missionary, He’ll have to make it really easy for me to succeed.
I’m grateful, for Frankie’s sake and mine, that He tries.