Missionary moments: Remembered words

My family moved to a pulp-and-paper-mill town called Ocean Falls on the British Columbia coast in 1957 when I was 7 years old. My father had been less active in the Church for many years and my mother was not a member. There was no LDS Church in the town, so Mom and I often attended a local church and read Bible stories together.

On day Mom spotted two young men in dark suits and distinctive hats on the other side of the river. She realized that they were LDS missionaries and sent me across the bridge to greet them. I raced down the road eager to have visitors to our house and told the two startled young men that my mom was expecting them. I've never seen or heard of the missionaries before and I was quite fascinated by Elder Woodward and Elder Bagley.Whenever they came to my house they took time to talk with me and they even played skip rope with my friends at my 9th birthday party. They took time to teach me the basic principles of the gospel and I remember some of the discussions so well that even today I can picture where I was sitting in the room and the flannel board pictures with which they used to teach. Eventually my oldest brother was ordained a priest, and he baptized me in the local swimming pool. I was confirmed by Elder Bagley on May 31, 1959.

After the elders were transferred, new elders met with little success and Ocean Falls was closed to missionary work. Before they left, one of the elders took the time to teach me about the Book of Mormon and testified to me of its truthfulness. I remember his words so vividly as he testified to one little 9-year-old girl. It was years before I was able to attend an LDS Church again, but the seeds planted in me created a compelling desire to seek out the Church as I grew older.

I married a wonderful returned missionary in the temple in 1972, and in 1980 my mother was baptized. A year later our family was sealed in the temple. Today, my son serves as a missionary, and I remind him that he may not know the far-reaching results of his mission in this life but to bear his testimony often, for the powerful witness of the Holy Ghost teaches truth and changes lives forever.

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