“Of All Things,” New Era, June 2000, 54
We wouldn’t call missionaries sign seekers, but they do seem to discover the most interesting road signs.
Teaching tip: Elder Stephen Mwangangi of the Kenya Nairobi Mission shares a valuable lesson he learned while helping to teach Primary children: “If you want to teach people effectively, love them. Then they’ll love you and develop a desire to learn from you.”
Ten missionaries serving at the same time from the same Church unit might not sound all that unusual. But when that unit happens to be a small branch of only 222 members, the number is exceptional.
The eight elders and one couple currently serving from the Marshall (Minnesota) Branch are following in the footsteps of many others who’ve served from this missionary-minded branch. The influence of this small branch has been infinite as its missionaries have literally spanned the globe: branch member Troy Buer served as the Church’s northernmost missionary in Alta, Norway, just before his brother, Cory, served as the southernmost missionary in Ushuaia, Argentina!
The branch’s strong tradition of missionary work has been a big factor in producing so many missionaries: Aaronic Priesthood holders and their fathers regularly go team teaching with the full-time elders, and youth are called to serve as stake missionaries when they leave the Young Men/Young Women program.
Nearly 12 years ago, young friends Richard Moore, Mark Sandridge, and Graham McBride of the Memphis (Tennessee) Second Ward dressed in white as they prepared to make sacred covenants. The three boys were baptized by their fathers in the same baptismal service.
Last year, the three friends again dressed in white to make covenants, this time in the same endowment session of the St. Louis Missouri Temple. Their fathers were once again by their sides, and the session was officiated by Graham’s grandfather, a temple worker.
Although these three young men live many miles from each other now, they continue to dress in white as they baptize others while serving in the California Ventura, Japan Nagoya, and Honduras Tegucigalpa Missions.
“No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; … the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done,” prophesied the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1842 (see History of the Church, 4:540).
Today, the Prophet’s words continue to be fulfilled as approximately 60,000 missionaries now share the gospel in more than 49 languages, serving in 333 missions in some 141 nations and territories.
“Prepare for a mission all your life, not just six months or a year before you go” (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1986, 45).