'There are people . . . waiting for you'

As Hugh and Betty Wigham opened a long white envelope from the Missionary Department, they hoped it would contain a call to the Singapore Mission.

They'd served a few months on a previous mission in Singapore until Sister Wigham's health resulted in them returning to Utah. As soon as she was well, they were transferred to another mission.When the eagerly awaited call letter arrived, they expected to be re-assigned to the Singapore Mission. Instead, they read that they were called the Oregon Portland Mission.

Later, their stake president sensed their disappointment. As he was to set them apart, Pres. David Glove of the St. George Utah West Stake felt impressed to promise them that "there are people in the Oregon Portland Mission waiting for you."

That was all the couple needed to be fully enthusiastic as they proceeded to their training and service in Oregon. The Wighams were assigned to the La Pine Ward, Bend Oregon Stake, in central Oregon where membership was about 180, with fewer than half attending.

Elder Wigham became the elders quorum president in the branch, and the quorum began holding socials to help unite the members.

"For 11 months we visited less-active members," he said. However, many of the less-active members lived in remote areas and were difficult to contact. So the Wighams concentrated on missionary work.

Members in the stake and ward helped them find people to teach, and soon new members were being baptized into the ward. "Glen and Lyndra Scott were our golden couple," Elder Wigham said. "They were found by Pres. Duane W. Halbleib, second counselor in the stake presidency. We taught them the missionary lessons, and Pres. Halbleib and his wife sat in with us.

"In one discussion, we asked them to make a commitment to be baptized. When they said they would be, everyone in the room began to cry. It was just a wonderful experience; we felt the Spirit in that home. It just radiated."

A highlight of their service came on Nov. 7, 1992, when the Scotts went to the Portland Oregon Temple. Brother Scott is now ward mission leader and Sister Scott is Young Women president and seminary teacher.

After 11 months in the La Pine Ward, Elder and Sister Wigham were transferred to the Cathlamet Branch, Long View Washington Stake, where they started regular socials and helped the branch become more unified.

They set a goal to have regular baptisms, and that "helped us keep in mind what we were there for. It was very hard to leave. Although we hadn't spent Christmas at home for four years, we could have easily stayed there," said Elder Wigham.

"The Lord certainly blessed us and watched over us and kept us healthy," said Sister Wigham said of their time as full-time missionaries. "While we were away, our family got along without us. They supported us, and they were glad when we came home. They realize this is what we worked hard for, so we would be able to go before we were too old."

Regarding their success, Elder Wigham commented, "We were in the right place at the right time. We're just messengers for the Lord."

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