Missionary moments: Tireless in efforts

Elder Gary and Sister Joyce Goodrich were mortal "angels" to the people living in the Mattoon Ward, Champaign Illinois Stake. Upon arriving in the ward in October 1992, as missionaries in the Illinois Peoria Mission, Elder and Sister Goodrich immediately endeared themselves to the members of the ward with their sunny dispositions and spirit of service. They were tireless in their efforts to reactivate the less-active members and seek out new investigators.

For a few months, they were called on a special assignment at the mission home, but the members of the Mattoon Ward "prayed them back" where they picked up their previous action-packaged pace without missing a beat.To build unity in the ward, they went to various members and videotaped interviews and informal activities. Then they sent these videotapes to their son who put the whole thing together in a full-length video movie that was shown on a large screen to a packed meetinghouse.

Elder Goodrich was also called as the ward mission leader. All his attention was focused on spurring the missionary effort. Concerning the Goodrich's efforts, Bishop Bill Phillips said, "The Goodrich's are two of the best things that ever happened to this ward."

Not only did the ward members love them, but non-members did as well. They visited nursing homes and did other volunteer work that kept the Church's name highly visible and synonymous with good. To broaden the missionary appeal, they set up booths in the area's summer festivals. Thus, interested people could sign up for Church literature and free Church videos. Through their efforts, more than 400 names were obtained for later referral.

Sister Goodrich was not a whit behind her energetic husband. Her optimism and musical talent were deeply appreciated by all who knew her. She and a non-member, Donna Whitaker, combined talents to enrich several sacrament meetings with piano/organ duets.

When Elder and Sister Goodrich left in early October 1993 to return to their home in the Bountiful (Utah) 37th Ward, they left behind hundreds of people who knew their lives had been touched by the Lord's messengers. Certainly "brotherly love" will continue, for the bond between Elder and Sister Goodrich and the people of east-central Illinois will continue into the eternities.

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