“My Missionary Summer,” New Era, Sept. 2009, 46
I had prayed strongly for a missionary experience ever since my first year at girls’ camp. Each young woman was given a Book of Mormon to write our testimonies in and was encouraged to pray for a missionary experience. For four years, I looked to give someone my Book of Mormon.
One Sunday as we set up for Young Women, my leader asked me if I would befriend her niece who was coming from Texas to visit for the summer. I didn’t know what to do, so I did just what she asked me to. I started being a friend. After a while, I forgot about giving away my Book of Mormon. I had a new friend. The more I got to know Gianna, the better friends we became. It wasn’t long until we started discussing our different religions. The more questions she asked, the more I wanted to share. I found myself turning to the scriptures all of the time. I could tell the things I read were truly words from God.
I started getting more out of the scriptures. Not only were those questions helping Gianna, they were also helping me to gain a stronger testimony of truths I’d grown up with. It wasn’t just my scripture reading that improved, I also had more meaningful prayers. I prayed fervently to find the answers, and be the friend she needed. As a result, I came closer to my Heavenly Father.
I never had to send in mission papers. I never had to go tracting or teach any lessons. Nobody even accepted the offer of the Book of Mormon. But I think I had one of the best missionary experiences anyone could have. Like many missionaries, I was strengthened in the gospel as I tried to share it. I became closer to Heavenly Father and learned to study the scriptures as I tried to answer questions. I came to appreciate people of other faiths. Best of all, I gained a friend I will always love while sharing the dearest thing to my heart.