Missionary moments: Unexpected calls

Late in 1969 in Fort Worth, Texas, my wife and I became converts to the Church. That summer we had visited the then-new visitors center on Temple Square and were impressed with the history presentation. We stayed for four hours the first day and several more the next. I signed the guest book twice. My wife pulled on my arm not to do that as "they will send missionaries."

Three months later, two elders from Utah came to our small traveler trailer. Cramped into the narrow dinette booth they taught the discussions on a felt board. We became a mission legend when we were baptized, as up to that time the missionaries had little success with referrals from Temple Square.

Sometimes things come out of the clear blue sky, like unexpected phone calls. Two years after our baptisms, I received a phone call from the missionary teaching the lessons to my mother and father. They wanted me to travel out of state to baptize them on my birthday. We had not discussed the Church with my non-church attending parents but, apparently, the change in our lives was noticed.

Four years later, another phone call was from my parents' branch president to inform us that my elderly parents were going to the newly dedicated Washington D.C. Temple. Prior to the opening of the Washington temple, the nearest LDS temples were all west of the Mississippi River. My parents, now in their late 70s, would not have been able to travel that far.

Another call was from a Church member who, had just returned from England and wanted to know if I wanted the genealogy of my family line. He just happened to see my name in the Salt Lake Genealogical Society records. He sent me a three-page computer print out that had all of my missing family names from a three-generation gap in the 1800s.

Be prepared for unexpected calls. — Robert D. Doran, Queen City Ward, Shreveport Louisiana Stake

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