by Brad Wilcox and Russell Wilcox
Missions change people! One young boy and his twin brother heard their parents fighting again in the kitchen. When they heard their father hit their mom they rushed in to try to defend her. She worried that they would also get hurt and so she pushed them out the door and locked them outside. These little boys didn’t know what they could do to help their mom so they prayed to God. As they finished, two young men with white shirts came walking down the street. The boys rushed up to them and told them what was happening in their home. The two missionaries hurried to the house and courageously knocked on the door. That was the beginning of big changes for the family. Now both those twin boys are grown up and serving their own missions.
A convert from Argentina first became interested in the Church when a friend at school kept giving him the coffee flavor candy he didn’t want. When asked why, the friend said, “I’m a Mormon and we don’t drink coffee so I don’t like that flavor.” That simple explanation opened the door to this young man attending Church, meeting with missionaries, getting baptized, and later serving a mission.
Two missionaries made a contact with a couple in the street. After visiting for a minute, the one said, “Have you ever met Mormon missionaries before?” The man said, “The truth is that I was one about ten years ago.” Turns out he was an inactive RM who married outside the church. His wife didn’t even know he had been a missionary. As they began attending church together, he became active again and she got baptized.
A pair of Elders was walking down the street and greeted a woman they passed. Several blocks later the one looked at the other and said, “Are you feeling what I am feeling?” The other said, “Yes. We were supposed to talk to that woman.” They ran back to talk to her. She ended up giving them an address, but it turned out to be one she just made up to get rid of them. The Elders weren’t too upset—especially when the people who lived at the made-up address ended up joining the Church.
These are just a few examples of thousands of stories of the differences missionaries make. Can we name the most recent winners of the Nobel Prize without looking them up? Can we name the person who makes the largest charitable donations? How about the one who has won the most gold medals or Academy Awards? Who has the longest career as a professional athlete? Perhaps a few know such answers, but we don’t. However, we can tell of missionaries who made a difference in our lives. Some were from early Church history. Some have served in our ward. In one way or another, directly or indirectly, we have all felt the impact of missionaries and we are all better for it. Missions are hard on the shoes, but good for the soul.