Missionary moments: Eager for Christmas

As a young girl growing up in the early 1920s, I somehow knew in my heart that the Lord Jesus Christ is my Savior, and my faith in Him has been an ever-present force in my life.

I married a man whose chosen career required frequent moves to various parts of the country, and during this time I tried to find ways to serve my Lord with the American Bible Society, the Animal Rescue League and various charitable organizations. We also listened to religious programs on television.

One day as we listened we heard an invitation from the Church to request a Book of Mormon, which we did. Soon after, we were contacted by missionaries who came to our home in a rural community in Mississippi where we had retired. They taught us the gospel, and we were baptized in 1991 when we were in our mid 70s.

Over the years, we had lost contact with our sons. During those years, I spent many hours trying to locate them, with my sadness growing more profound each passing year. Then, the thought came to me that I should try to locate them through the Social Security system, which I did. The people at Social Security responded that if I would send their full names, dates and place of birth and write a letter to each that they (the Social Security people) would send the letter to the current address of each son.

Within 10 days, after a 30-year silence, I heard from my sons. And now the second miracle: In that 30-year interim, two sons had been contacted by other missionaries and were also now members of the Lord's true Church. My joy knew no bounds! One son had been sealed to his wife in the Mesa Arizona Temple and the other to his wife in the Albuquerque New Mexico Temple. My husband and I were sealed in the Atlanta Georgia Temple a year after our baptism.

What I consider to be another miracle is that as we attended the temple we felt sad that we would never have the privilege of being workers in the temple because we were older and lived several hours from any temple. However, the past two years at ages 88 and 89, we have had the blessing of being called as workers in the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple one day each week.

As we learn from the Book of Mormon (Moroni 7:37): "For it is by faith that miracles are wrought."

We are eagerly awaiting this Christmas when one son and his wife will spend the holidays with us. — Sally Shoemaker, Sontag, Miss., as told to Helen Rae Ridge, Soda Springs, Idaho

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