My Almost-Missed Missionary Experience
February 2016

“My Almost-Missed Missionary Experience,” New Era, February 2016, 27

My Almost-Missed Missionary Experience

Anne Laleska lives in Sergipe, Brazil.

I wanted to share the gospel, but which of my friends might be interested?

young women and a map to church

Illustration by Michael Mullan

For a Personal Progress goal, I started praying to have a missionary experience. I tried to figure out which of my friends would be most willing to join the Church.

Months passed, and I thought I wouldn’t have the experience that I sought—until I met Brenda. It was her first year at our school.

As the year progressed, we became close schoolmates, but it didn’t occur to me to invite her to church until one of our friends invited Brenda to her church. I thought, “I don’t believe it! I should’ve thought of that.”

The next week Brenda said she enjoyed going to our friend’s church and wanted to go again. I thought, “I’ve lost out.” Not that it was a competition, but I wanted to take the gospel to Heavenly Father’s children.

At that time our meetinghouse was being renovated and was scheduled to be rededicated in a few months. The bishop handed out invitations for an open house and the dedication. I invited all my friends who lived near the meetinghouse. The only one who accepted was Brenda. I was excited.

A few days before the open house, Brenda said she might not be able to go because her mother didn’t want her to. I was disappointed, but I understood and told her there would be other opportunities to learn about the Church.

At the open house, however, I was surprised to see Brenda there. She had talked to her mother, who ended up letting her go. I introduced her to the missionaries. We went to each room in the meetinghouse and heard a brief description of each Church organization. Finally, we went to the cultural hall and picked up pamphlets about the Restoration, family history, eternal marriage, and other gospel topics. Brenda said, “I believe in this!”

On Sunday she attended church. On Monday she attended a Mormon Helping Hands service project.

The seed that was planted in Brenda’s heart grew with each passing day. She started changing her habits to conform with the commandments and was soon baptized.

Now, a few years later, she still tells me how happy she is to have found the true gospel and how grateful she is that I helped her find it.

Many times it is difficult to talk to people about the gospel, but if we pray, study the scriptures, listen to the Holy Ghost, and are willing to talk to someone, the Lord will help us.