Editor’s note: You are probably familiar with what full-time missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints look like and do. These missionaries typically proselyte and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who want to learn more about it. But did you know that Mormon missionaries can also be part-time volunteers who live at home? Mormon missionaries can be called to serve in their local congregations as a calling or assignment to help with missionary work in their area and to provide service in various ways. Mormon missionaries can also be called to help with a variety of other needs, such as health or food storage and welfare. In this post, LeAnn talks about some of these Mormon missionary opportunities and the way missionary work has blessed her life and the life of her husband. She has served in various Mormon missionary roles, from local stake missionary to a health missionary (using her nursing skills) to an inner-city missionary with her husband.
I received a testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints when I was very young. My parents had been less active in the church for a number of years. My dear father was miraculously healed through a priesthood blessing. During this blessing he was shown a vision of his life and how he was living it. After this he changed his life and both my parents became active in the Church. When I was 7 years old my two brothers and were sealed to my parents in the Manti Temple. Later my father was called as a Stake Missionary. He would practice teaching the missionary lessons to my mother and me. This was the time that I gained a beginning testimony and love of the gospel.
I met my husband in high school and later he served a Mormon mission in Northern California and I attended Brigham Young University in their nursing program. My testimony of the gospel continued to grow, and my love for missionary work was increased by reading his experiences during our two years apart.
My husband was raised in a strong missionary-oriented family. His father worked under President Gordon B. Hinckley for 30 years in the Church’s missionary department. During that time he was called as a Stake Mission President and had some wonderful experiences. In the late 50’s he was called and set apart as the Presiding Elder of Nigeria by President David O. McKay. Due to visa problems he was unable to stay in the country; but while there he taught and baptized many Nigerians. He continued to correspond with the Nigerian people for several years. He was so thrilled when the Official Declaration on September 30, 1978 was received that all worthy men that were members of the Church could receive the priesthood.
Later he was called to be the President of the Baton Rouge Louisiana Mission for 3 years and then he and his wife served an 18-month mission in Nigeria and Ghana in the late 1980’s. They also served as Inner City Service Missionaries to the Vietnamese branch in their area when they came home from their Nigerian mission. We loved to have our children sit at the knees of his parents as they shared many inspiring missionary stories.
We often had missionaries over for dinner through the years and encouraged our children to serve missions. Four of our six children served 18 months to 2-year missions in the following areas Iowa, Washington DC, Costa Rica and Venezuela. This experience will be one of the greatest highlights of their lives.
During the years that our children served as missionaries, my husband served four Stake Missions in Las Vegas and Spokane Washington and was also a Stake Mission President in Spokane. I served two Stake Missions; one in Las Vegas, Nevada and one In Spokane, Washington.
At this time instead of Stake Missionaries they are now called to serve in LDS wards as ward missionaries.
While serving the mission in Las Vegas, Nevada we met and helped teach and fellowshipped a sister who was baptized into the church. Later on her daughter was one of my Laurels when I served as the ward Young Woman’s President. It was so wonderful to see how the gospel changed their lives.
Another sweet moment was when we had a Book of Mormon drive. We had our ward members obtain a Book of Mormon and put a picture of their selves and write their testimonies in the Book of Mormon. We sent a number of Book of Mormons into mission field areas. As a family we participated in this drive and it was such a great experience for our children to write their testimonies in a Book of Mormon.
While serving a Stake Mission in Spokane Washington, I was a partner with another sister in our ward. We would meet the missionaries at an investigator’s home and help with the lessons. We were instructed to bear our testimony of different aspects of the gospel. We also were able to do the new member lessons after their baptism. We were blessed to be able to teach all of the missionary lessons to a woman who didn’t want young men to teach her. She was baptized and this was such a special moment in both of our lives.
Later I served a Church Service Mission as the nurse for the Spokane Washington Mission. This was one of the best experiences of my life. I could write a book of my time with these young missionaries. At first I was so scared because I hadn’t practiced nursing for a number of years. I studied common illness and injuries. I can testify that more than once when I was on a call with a missionary who had a problem that I wasn’t sure what to say, the answer would come to me. I know beyond doubt that the Lord watches over his missionaries. At every zone conference we would sing the following hymn “Called To Serve,” I can’t sing that hymn without shedding tears. These young men and women dedicate their lives to the call of the Savior for 18 months to two years. To watch them mature in their testimonies and see the results of their hard work is an incredible experience.
My husband and I have recently been called as Inner City Project Missionaries. There are so many members and non members in the Salt Lake Valley who have great needs; there is so much poverty. The mission has so many resources that can assist these families. We have such a love for these humble brothers and sisters who are struggling to pay their rent, put food on their table and clothes on their backs. In the economic conditions of this time jobs are hard to find; but the Church helps so much in finding work for individuals in need. In the ward we are assigned there is one other service missionary couple. We are each assigned 3-6 families to work with and assist to become more self- reliant. We need more missionaries just in our ward. At this time there are 99 wards in the Salt Lake Valley with part-time senior missionary couples assigned. There is so much to be done and many more couples needed.
After this service we are hoping to serve at least two full time missions. To those members of the Church who are interested in serving missions, there are so many opportunities to serve. You can find answers to questions on serving a Mormon mission here. There are also uplifting messages on missionary service foundon the site.
The church will now help those who desire to serve as full time Senior Missionaries with financial assistance while they serve. Learn about full-time Senior Missionary service here and throughout the world. There are many opportunities to serve part-time as Senior Church Service Missionaries. There is a great work to be done.; and we need to all remember the words to the hymn“Put Your Shoulder To The Wheel” and accomplish as much as we can to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ across the world. In our desire to be a Zion Society with no poor among us, we need to search out our brothers and sisters who are poor and needy and help them to become more self-reliant. If you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I hope you will plan to serve a mission; there is a great deal of work to do to help those in need and to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are also many Volunteer and Contribute opportunities right now in the community and from you own home. What Can we do? – Serve in Your Community – Donate Money – Welfare Mission with Humanitarian Assignments – Short Term Specialists
Watch videos about Mormon service mission opportunities.
LeAnn is a wife, mother to 6 children, 30 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. She is a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She loved the occupation of nursing but most of all being a mother and grandmother. She presently serves in the Jordan River Temple one day a week. She enjoys writing histories and pursuing her ancestors through genealogy research. She loves to enjoy the moments of her life. She blogs at Http://lgwilliams.blogspot.com/