“Teaching the Honest in Heart,” Ensign, Aug. 2013, 8–9
In 1955 I became an officer in the United States Air Force. My bishop at home gave me a blessing just before I left for my first station, which was in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In his blessing he said that my time in the air force would be missionary service. I arrived in church on my first Sunday at the Albuquerque First Branch. A man walked up to me, introduced himself as the district president, and told me that he was going to call me to serve as a district missionary.
I told him that I would be there for training for only a few weeks and then I would be assigned somewhere else in the world. He said, “I don’t know about that, but we are to call you to serve.” In the middle of my military training, by what appeared to be chance, I was chosen from hundreds of officers being trained to take the place in headquarters of an officer who had died suddenly.
So, for the two years I was there, I worked in my office. On most evenings and every weekend, I taught the gospel of Jesus Christ to people the members brought to us.
My companions and I averaged more than 40 hours a month in our missionary service without once having to knock on doors to find someone to teach. The members filled our plates so full that we often taught two families in an evening. I saw for myself the power and the blessing in the repeated call of prophets for every member to be a missionary.
On the last Sunday before I left Albuquerque, the first stake was organized in that city. There is now a sacred temple there, a house of the Lord, in a city where we once met in a single chapel with Saints who brought friends to us to be taught and to feel the witness of the Spirit. Those friends felt a welcoming home in the Lord’s true Church.