“Called to My Dad’s Mission,” New Era, September 2015, 7
As I opened my mission call, I tried to contain my excitement.
“You are assigned to labor in the—” I gasped and exclaimed, “Dad, Chile!” as if he were the only person in the room. His eyes immediately filled with tears.
I knew I would go wherever the Lord sent me, but I’d never thought I would return to the land where my father had served more than 40 years before.
From the moment I received the call, my heart was full of love for a people I’d never met. My father shared his missionary journal with me, and I read page after page about the faithful people he’d met. I wondered where they were now, but I decided it was unlikely I would meet any of them because my mission didn’t include any of the areas where my father had served.
I loved my mission. The months passed like days. I met incredible people, and I filled my journal with faith-promoting conversion stories and my ever-growing testimony. I wondered if someday my children would read these pages as they prepared for their missions.
Then, while serving in Belloto, I met Brother Zanartu. I mentioned to him that my father had also served in Chile. A week later, he found me at church and said, “Sister, I have a surprise for you.” He introduced me to his mother. With tears in her eyes, she told me that my father was the missionary who had baptized her many years ago.
“I never forgot my missionary,” she said. “I have longed to tell him how he changed our lives. My husband and I raised our family in the gospel. Our sons served missions, and now our grandchildren are serving missions. All of this because of the seed your father planted.” We hugged and cried.
It is every missionary’s prayer that the seeds they sow will bring forth fruit (see Matthew 13:3–8). I was blessed to learn how my father’s mission not only changed his life and the lives of his children but also the lives of many people in Chile. I pray that my mission will do the same.