Missionary moments: Gift of reading

I enjoy reading for pleasure and reading to my children. A few years ago, I was interested in finding a way to get involved in something where I could share the gift of reading with others. I soon joined an adult literacy program. I took the required training to become a volunteer. I was given a written profile of Susie Jackson, and I went to meet her, a 70-year-old African-American woman. From the start, we developed a genuine friendship, which made the learning process an enjoyable and enriching experience for us both.

Susie and I met each week to work on reading comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. As an assignment, I asked Susie to keep a journal to document and review her progress. I had the desire to share Church literature with her, but knew my instruction needed to stay on a secular level. However, I did tell her about my mission and family. And she did attend a ward Christmas party and homemaking meetings.

One year of tutoring passed. I had my second child and stopped being a tutor. However, we remained friends. We met for lunch and called each other on the telephone. One day, she called me and wanted to get together. I said, "Sure, what would you like to do?" She replied, "How about going to your Church?" I was pleasantly surprised. We attended sacrament meeting, met the missionaries and scheduled a discussion. As the discussions progressed, Susie began praying and reading the Book of Mormon.

I enjoyed those moments of discussion, sharing what is most meaningful to me with a dear friend. It was particularly enjoyable for me to listen to Susie read from the Book of Mormon. She read and understood in her mind and in her heart what prophets of old wrote for her.

Susie was baptized Nov. 3, 1996. Her three grown children and her grandchildren attended. There was a sweet spirit. Now Susie has completed the new member discussions and has a visiting teacher. Later, she called to tell me she had her "job in the Church." She worked in the library. She loved it because she said it was a great way to get to know the teachers. She was fulfilled in her Church calling. Today, Sister Jackson lives in Florida. - Jill Neilson Broberg, Sunset Ward, San Francisco California West Stake

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