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Mission Moms

23 April 2010

It doesn’t take long for any missionary to learn that the members of the church are the key to missionary work. I remember reading a pamphlet that the church put out called “Only an Elder,” which mentioned that members are not tools that missionaries use to do missionary work, but that missionaries are tools for the members to teach the gospel to their friends, neighbors, and family. I discovered that to be true.

In all of my areas, there were good strong members of the church who seemed constantly determined to help and bless the missionaries – whether by providing people for us to teach, or by feeding us a good meal. Some even seemed so determined to bless the missionaries that they would pray daily for us by name. Often it seemed that the members of the church were the closest thing to family on the mission. One such person was Sister Marj. Sister Marj was from England, and had moved many years earlier, and due to some unfortunate events, was unable to return. She was in her sixties, but she related well to the missionaries, and was quite generous. I don’t remember ever leaving her home without being given food.

Sister Marj worked in the Temple two days a week, and always put our names on the temple prayer roll. We loved to hear the wonderful experiences she would have there. When the ward would have a temple day, or we’d have time before a mission conference, we’d go and do a session, baptisms, or sealings at the temple. It seemed that she was always there, and delighted in introducing us to the other temple workers.

One time Sister Marj asked us to come to her home, and when we arrived, she asked Elder Heward to consecrate her apartment. Her own husband had long-since passed away, so the missionaries were the primary source of priesthood in her home. Neither of us knew exactly how to consecrate a home, but Elder Heward did his best. He addressed Heavenly Father, stated his priesthood authority, pronounced a blessing, and then ended in the name of Jesus Christ. I remember learning later that this was the correct procedure, and I was grateful that Elder Heward had been in tune with the Spirit to know what to say.

Once the ward had a talent show with a great big pot-luck dinner. I think I estimated a count of forty different foods available. I stood in line, waiting to get to the food. It was a bit crowded, and some of the food was hard to reach. Sister Marj hadn’t even had a chance to see my difficulty in getting to it before beginning to scoop up food for me, and beginning to pile food on, saying, “Oh, you must try this one,” or “This is a fabulous one that Sister Deon made and you must try it!”

Since there were so many foods, and she was taking some from each pot, I wondered what she would do when my plate was filled up.

When she got the last possible scoop on my plate, she grabbed another plate and said, “You can take some of this home in a doggy bag if you need to!” Then she began piling the rest of the foods onto that plate. She helped me carry my mountains of food to the chairs that she had reserved for me and Elder Heward.

Though I filled my stomach to it’s capacity, we did take quite a bit of food home.

We considered Sister Marj to be the missionary mom for Germiston. She cared for us as a mother would, and did all in her power to help us in whatever way she could. She even supplied us with a number of referrals, which included one of the only people of those I helped teach that eventually got baptized in Germiston.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 25 April 2010 7:38 pm

    When you first left your comment I thought you were one of his Snow college friends and then I investigated and wow I can’t belive I had almost sent him on of your CD’s for his birthday coming up but didn’t know if he would have a way to listen to it over there in Africa, so put it back on the shelf till I knew if he could listen to a CD. That question is still hanging in the air. Love your blogs wish I knew about it and could have learned some of this stuff before he left. H would love to have some of his pic and notes contected to your blog so feel free to pull from anything he sends us, and lets keep the Gospel going forward within this wonderful world that the Lord gave us to live on. I will be linking yours to ours so that my extended family will see info if they want from your info.

  2. 29 April 2010 12:37 pm

    Thanks, Brooke! That’s fantastic!

    I’ll definitely use some of the stuff he sends. That way we can help others understand what serving in South Africa is like now (as opposed to just 10 years ago when I was there).

    Isn’t it amazing what kinds of tools we have these days for sharing the gospel? No doubt the Lord has placed them in our paths for a reason!


    • 2 May 2010 7:42 pm

      Yes if you use the technology for good God will I am sure make it work in his hands. Just loaded lots of cool pics. that we got in the mail from him. Lions Tiger and Birds. I love being able to share his letters with all and to learn what it was like for you is now a benifit too. He is or at least I think is in Soweto, Dobsenville a very poor township now, such an extreme from a very rich area that he started out in. I am sure he has a lot of things that he has learned from that extreme change that he would have seen in just two areas of a huge city.

  3. 3 May 2010 1:55 pm

    So cool! I love his pictures! I remember going to a game park once where we got to pet the cheetahs. I’ll tell you, their purr is creepy – almost sounds like a growl. I got to visit Soweto a couple times, though I never served there. I did serve in a few other smaller townships that have the same structure as Soweto.

    It’s so cool to see pictures of South Africa today!


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