|Sister Burrows, Jason Boyce, Sam King, Sister Casasola|
On the evening before Sister Casasola and Sister Burrows were released to return home, they enjoyed an experience few missionaries get. Two young men they had taught at the Visitors' Centre, who were baptized independent of each other last Spring -- Jason Boyce and Sam King -- stopped by to say goodbye. These sisters had been serving as regular proselyting missionaries for several months and had not seen Jason and Sam for some time. Jason and Sam arranged to stop by the Visitors' Centre and told the sisters they had some special news to share. Unbeknownst to the sisters, both young men had recently been ordained Elders and both were submitting papers to serve full-time missions. They arranged to give the sisters the first discussion, and it was a sweet experience. We have known these young men from the time we arrived last January. They are wonderful young men, full of faith and enthusiasm. (For Sam's conversion story, see "Friendship and the Book of Mormon" - Oct. 6th blog.) The gospel has changed their lives forever, and now they want to share their new faith with the world.
How many missionaries have prepared someone to take their place, even before they leave their missions? These baptisms were wonderful for our sister missionaries when they occurred, but this surprise parting gift of seeing them ready to serve missions was "frosting on the cake."
Two more of our sister missionaries received a special surprise in December when the Britannia YSA Ward Choir from Hyde Park came to perform a Christmas concert at the Visitors' Centre. Playing the guitar for the group was a young convert, Harley Miller, who was introduced as a new member of the Church, baptized only the week before. Harley had completed a self-referral guest card with his name and email address, and Sisters Cardona and Howard (at our Visitors' Centre) had taught him several discussions on-line before transitioning him to Elders in the nearby London Mission, where he was taught further and baptized. Through their email chat lines, our sisters knew he was going to be baptized, but they had no idea that they would be able to meet him. Teaching on-line through email or Mormon.org chat lines, our sisters have given lessons to people all over the world, then transitioned them to missionaries in their own localities so that they can be taught in person. Our sisters have learned that several of their contacts have been baptized and have even received pictures of converts via email, but to them, this unexpected personal meeting with Harley at our Visitors' Centre was also special "frosting on the cake."
|Sister Howard, Harley Miller, Sister Cardona|
I should tell you that while these three new converts whose stories I've shared are all young men, all of our sister missionaries have been involved in some wonderful teaching and conversion experiences with both men and women at various stages of life. It is exciting to see the joy and purpose that come to each of these people as they gain an understanding of the purpose of life and their personal relationship with God. ~Don~