My True Purpose as a Missionary
February 2009

“My True Purpose as a Missionary,” Liahona, Feb. 2009, 44–45

My True Purpose as a Missionary

I had been serving as a full-time missionary in Argentina for only two months when word arrived that my younger, and only, sister was engaged. Rebecca and I were close growing up and had dreamed of each other’s weddings, but now I would miss hers.

My parents sent me plans, pictures, menus, and schedules, but I still felt left out, alone, and far away. Missionary work was hard and slow. I found myself wondering what I was doing so far from home, and I became confused about what I was supposed to accomplish.

Nevertheless, I knew that the Lord had called me to serve, and I had a strong testimony of prayer and the power of the priesthood. I received a blessing of comfort that promised me I was where I needed to be.

As missionaries we often shared the exhortation found in Moroni 10:4–5. I believed firmly in the promise of those verses—that if I asked God, my Eternal Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, I could know the truth of all things by the power of the Holy Ghost. I prayed diligently to know whether I had done the right thing by coming to Argentina instead of remaining at home, where I would have been helping my sister prepare for her wedding. As her wedding drew closer, my prayers became increasingly heartfelt. I felt the reassuring influence of the Spirit, but I still hoped for an answer.

Two weeks before the wedding, my companion and I were walking home from a lunch appointment with members of the branch in which we served. The branch was in a little town in central Argentina, where people observed the midday custom of siesta. At that time of day there was usually no one about.

As we walked along, however, a young man called to us. Because many young men teased us, we ignored him and continued walking. When he called again, I felt a prompting to answer him.

His name was Horacio, and he wanted to know if we were friends with two young women who had been reading the Book of Mormon with his cousin. He told us he had felt something special while the sisters, who also served in our branch, were reading. He wanted to know if he could come to our church.

As we taught Horacio with the help of local members, he quickly grew to love the gospel. He changed his life as he grew in the gospel, but his family raised objections and his friends rejected him. Nevertheless, Horacio felt the love of the Lord and desired to follow Him. I had some of the most special experiences of my mission teaching Horacio.

As my family sat in the Oakland California Temple watching my sister complete one of the ordinances that would help prepare her for the celestial kingdom, I sat in a little chapel in General Pico, Argentina, waiting for Horacio to complete an interview in preparation for receiving his first saving ordinance—baptism. My sister had been able to prepare for her ordinances without my help, but Horacio might not have been able to do the same. He needed my companion and me to teach him the gospel, and I needed him to remind me of my true purpose as a missionary—helping bring souls to Christ.

As I prepared to leave Argentina at the end of my mission, Horacio was preparing to serve his own mission. Through him, Heavenly Father had answered my prayers and then sent Horacio to answer the prayers of others.