My Missionary Haircut

    “My Missionary Haircut,” Ensign, Mar. 1994, 56–57

    My Missionary Haircut

    I poked my straight, shaggy head of hair through the doorway of the new beauty shop and asked, “Does one of your hairdressers have time to give me a haircut?”

    “Sure,” the manager answered. She motioned to her chair and draped a plastic cape around my neck. “I’m Dottie,” she began. “Do you live in the neighborhood?” She was quick with her conversation, and I liked her right away.

    I told her that I badly needed a permanent wave but that I didn’t have time today because I had bread rising at home for family home evening.

    “What is family home evening?” Dottie asked. I told her about the family home evening program and about the new family in our ward, coming over to join us. I was baking bread so I could give each person a loaf to share with someone else. Dottie’s response surprised me: “I wish someone would do something like that for me. This is the most unfriendly place my husband and I have ever lived in.”

    I decided then that when my bread came out of the oven, one loaf would be for Dottie.

    After that, I would stop to say hello or wave each time I passed by the beauty shop. When I finally made an appointment for the permanent I needed, I brought my Relief Society manual and scriptures so I could study my lesson on Joseph Smith—and tell Dottie more about the Church.

    Over the next few months, we became good friends. Soon other sisters in the ward also started going to Dottie to have their hair done. Dottie watched them and listened to them.

    One afternoon, while we sat in the shop visiting, Dottie started asking me questions: “Where is your ward building? Is it close? What time does your church start?” Then I discovered the reason for her interest. Her husband, John, was a member of the Church. She had asked him about some of the things I had told her, and now John wanted to go back to church.

    Over the next year, Dottie and John attended church regularly. Dottie liked the people in the ward and enjoyed going to some of the activities. But becoming a Mormon was out of the question.

    When John found a job in Indiana, I prayed that they would locate the ward in their new area and that the members would accept my friend and fellowship her.

    Dottie and I kept in touch. They found their new ward, and John served as a stake missionary. Dottie gave free haircuts to the missionaries and saw to it that they were well fed. She also began to make new friends in the Church.

    One holiday, when Dottie flew back to Arizona, she visited me. We spent an afternoon walking around the Mesa Temple grounds and touring the visitors’ center, talking about the Church. I felt strongly that someday Dottie would join the Church. Two months after her visit, she called. “Can you believe it? John is baptizing me,” she told me.

    “That’s terrific, Dottie!” I exclaimed, tears of joy running down my face.

    That night I thanked the Lord for the members of Dottie’s new ward who had accepted and loved Dottie—and for my straight, shaggy head of hair that had opened the door to much more than a haircut.