Faneva the Missionary

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“Faneva the Missionary,” Friend, October 2020

Faneva the Missionary

Friend Magazine, 2020/10 Oct

Illustrations by Shana Keegan

Faneva looked out the window at the busy street outside his house. He could see people pulling carts of vegetables, rice, cloth, and other goods to sell. He could hear car horns honking and dogs barking. Then he heard another sound.

“Mama, someone is knocking!” Faneva called out. Mama opened the door. Two young men wearing white shirts were on the doorstep. Faneva had never seen anyone dressed like that in his neighborhood in Madagascar before.

“We are missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” one of them said. “We teach people about Jesus. Can we share a message with you?”

Faneva was excited when Mama invited them inside. The whole family gathered to hear about Jesus Christ and how His Church was on earth again.

After that day, the missionaries visited Faneva’s family many times. They brought a book called Book of Mormon Stories. Faneva loved reading it with his family!

Someday I will be a missionary and share the Book of Mormon with others, Faneva said to himself.

Another time when the missionaries came, they taught Faneva’s family how to pray. Faneva learned that he could talk to Heavenly Father anytime, anywhere.

Someday I will be a missionary and teach people about prayer, Faneva thought.

One day the missionaries had an important question.

“Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized?” one of them asked.

Faneva felt happy in his heart. “Yes!” he said.

“Yes!” his brother and Mama said.

Papa said that he wasn’t ready to be baptized yet. But he was OK if the rest of the family was baptized. And so they were! Faneva was baptized by one of the missionaries who had taught him about Jesus.

Someday I will be a missionary and help people get baptized, Faneva thought.

One of the best parts of being a member of the Church was going to Primary. Faneva loved the activities and meeting new friends. But his favorite thing of all was singing Primary songs. One Sunday in Primary, they were singing songs about sharing the gospel.

“I want to be a missionary now,” Faneva sang. “I don’t want to wait until I’m grown.”

I can start doing missionary work now, Faneva realized. I don’t have to wait until someday!

From then on, Faneva looked for ways he could share the gospel. He tried to be a good example. He invited people to church. He helped his neighbors. After a few years, he was old enough to go with the missionaries to teach people in his city. In a few more years, he served a mission himself—meeting new people and sharing the gospel, just as the missionaries had shared with him.