In the mid 1970’s, my wife and I and two of our children moved to a little town called Eagar, Arizona, and started to build a house on property that we had bought several years earlier. During this phase of construction, we would often go to the local hardware store for supplies. It was there that we met Leila Turley.
After we had bought materials at the hardware store for several months, Sister Turley asked us the golden question: “Would you like to meet the missionaries?” Since she had been so kind to us, we didn’t have the heart to say no.
It took me about a week to finish reading the Book of Mormon that the missionaries, Elders Arnold and Payne, gave us. I gained a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and the missionaries taught us about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Soon, we were baptized and a year later we were sealed as a family for time and all eternity in the Mesa Arizona Temple. My parents and one of my sisters later joined the Church as well.
Sister Turley’s courage, the teaching from the missionaries, the friendship of the Turley family and the shepherding we received from the kind saints of the Eagar 1st Ward all led to my family joining the Church and remaining active members.
My patriarchal blessing says that many rejoiced on the other side of the veil when I entered the waters of baptism, for they knew that they would sooner receive the blessings in store for them.
Several thousand of our family’s ancestors have now received their temple blessings, and my wife Marianna and I were able to go on a mission to the family history library, where we taught others how and why we do genealogy.
The example of Sister Turley and her family sharing the gospel shows the truth of something that Elder Clayton M. Christensen and his wife Christine once taught: “The ability to share the gospel isn’t a ‘gift’ that has been given to only a few Latter-day Saints and denied to the rest. [F]inding people for the missionaries to teach can be easy and natural for all of us — if we go about it the Lord’s way” (“Seven Lessons on Sharing the Gospel,” Ensign, Feb. 2005).
—Maurice Joseph Landrin, Signal Butte 1st Ward, Mesa Arizona Flatiron Stake