Their Season of Service

    “Their Season of Service,” Ensign, July 2000, 59–60

    Their Season of Service

    One Sunday at our ward meetinghouse, I was alone in my office praying, searching the scriptures, and pondering my responsibility as bishop. As I thought about several retired couples in our ward who were financially sound and in good health, I felt inspired about calling them to serve missions.

    When I opened the office door to head for home, there stood True Feild, one of the potential missionaries I had been thinking about. She had seen my car parked outside and stopped to see me about an item of business.

    “I have just been thinking and praying about you,” I said. “Come in, and let me ask you a question.”

    Sister Feild was obviously surprised. After she was seated, I said, “I know this is a little out of the ordinary because I would like to discuss this with you and your husband, but would you consider serving a mission?”

    She nodded her head and then began to cry.

    “What will Keith say?” I asked.

    “I don’t know,” she replied. “Why don’t we go and see?”

    We went out to our cars, and I followed her to her house.

    “Brother Feild,” I said, “I am here as a servant of the Lord to call you on a mission. Can you go?”

    “Certainly!” he exclaimed. “When should we be ready?”

    Within a few weeks, Keith and True Feild sent in their paperwork for a full-time mission. Soon they departed to work for a year among Native American people in Nebraska and South Dakota. The time passed quickly, and before long we welcomed them home.

    On the Sunday they were scheduled to speak about their missionary experiences, Brother Feild came to church quite ill. We felt particularly concerned because 10 years earlier he had gone through a bout with cancer. But they both bore wonderful testimonies about their labors. Sister Feild told a moving story of a troubled young woman who came to her for counsel and support. Brother Feild told about several opportunities he had to strengthen members who were straying.

    Within a few short weeks, Brother Feild was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The night before he died, I called him.

    “Bishop,” he said, “my wife and I have served an honorable mission. Now I am ready to go home. Thank you for giving me that opportunity.”

    I am grateful that the Spirit prompted me to issue this couple a call to serve a mission. Those small branches in Nebraska and South Dakota were blessed by their service, and I know that the Feilds were equally blessed.

    • Jon B. Fish is a member of the Orangevale Ward, Citrus Heights California Stake.