Missionary Moment: ‘I’m one of you now’

My wife, Darlene, and I served at the Joseph Smith Memorial Birth Place in Sharon, Vt.

One fall day in 1998, a young man came in an old dilapidated car. He had seen the sign on the highway telling of the birthplace of the Prophet Joseph Smith. With nothing else to do, he decided to see what was here. He was not the neatest dressed person I had ever seen.

I greeted him and asked, "Where are you from?" His answer was, "Nowhere in particular." I then asked him, "Where are you going?" His answer, "I wish I knew."

After taking him on a tour of the visitors center and showing him the huge granite monument, we sat on a small bench. I shared with him my testimony about the life and mission of Joseph Smith. I told him of the Book of Mormon and promised him that if he would read it, he would know where he needed to go and what he needed to do with his life. He filled out a referral card and went on his way.

He lived just 35 miles from the visitors center, so I not only sent in the referral, I also called the missionaries in his area and asked them to make a contact very soon. It is very seldom we would ever hear what happens to our referrals, but this was an exception that helped make our mission even more worthwhile.

It was a snowy winter day in late November. I was out shoveling the walk from the directors quarters to the visitors center. All at once I heard this rattle trap of a car roar into the parking lot. A young man jumped out of the car and came running toward me. While waving a copy of the Book of Mormon overhead, he said, "Elder! Elder! I am one of you now!"

He had to come and tell me he had joined the Church. He wanted to thank me for taking the time to visit with him.

Sometime later, I met with the missionaries serving in the area where this young man lived. I was anxious to learn of his standing in the Church. They informed me that he had completely turned his life around.

Since joining the Church, he has introduced his friends to the missionaries, has since found a job and has completely changed his life. — Kenneth J. Braegger, Providence 2nd Ward, Providence Utah South Stake

Another in the series of "Missionary Moments."