I remember speaking to someone who asked me, “Why are you serving a mission for your church in a country where we already believe in Jesus Christ? Why don’t you go to a country where they have not heard of the Gospel, instead of preaching in the predominately Catholic country of France?” It’s a fair question.
As a representative of Jesus Christ’s Church, I was set apart to preach the restored Gospel. I was indeed there to teach and preach about Jesus Christ, but not just to those who had never heard of Christ, but to all who would listen to my words. In the Bible, the Apostle Paul would not only teach those of other faiths, but he would teach the fellow-believers. He would correct them, lift them, and strengthen them through the good word of the gospel.
This past week I was able to go and visit some of the areas in Nebraska and Iowa where my daughter Julienne served as a voluntary full-time missionary for 18 months. As I met a variety of people she served, I couldn’t help but notice that they were all very different. Their needs were different. Their level of faith and backgrounds were very different. In the midst of the heartland and midwest of the United States, there were people who needed to hear the gospel. There were people who needed to be uplifted. There were people who needed hope. There were people who needed help. There were people who needed a missionary to knock on their door and pray with them. Missionaries are needed everywhere! Even those strong in the faith can be uplifted and strengthened by meeting with the missionaries and hearing the word of God.
As a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our mandate was to preach the gospel unto every creature. We followed the example of Jesus Christ and the apostles and tried to serve and love all whom we met and to bless their life however we could. There are so many out there who just need someone to talk to who can help them through a hard time or a difficult trial. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ provides hope. It provides clarity to many of life’s questions. Missionaries invite people to follow Jesus Christ, to keep the commandments, and to be baptized.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” St. Matthew Chapter 11
One sweet lady who we met during our trip said, “I’m so very happy that you came to visit today! I knew immediately that there was an awesome blessing from God on my porch that day when I came to the door and I met the most beautiful angels. I knew God had sent you Sister (female) missionaries. He had sent you right after I had just asked Jesus for help.”
More than 70,000 full-time missionaries are serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Most missionaries are young people under the age of 25, serving in more than 400 missions throughout the world. (source: https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/topic/missionary-program)
Missionaries work with a companion of the same gender during their mission, with the exception of couples, who work with their spouse. Single men serve missions for two years and single women serve missions for 18 months.
I am thankful for the missionaries who are serving across the world. They do a marvelous work and serve selflessly trying to teach all of God’s children about Him and our purpose on earth. My daughter has made dear friends whom she loves in Nebraska and Iowa.
Please take the opportunity to meet the missionaries and invite them in your home. They will bless your life and you may just make a new lifelong friend.