Editor’s note: As I mentioned in my post about Meet the Mormons, my daughter came with me to a preview screening of the film a couple of weeks ago. A nice man was sitting in front of us and commented on my daughter’s diligence in doing math while we were waiting for the film to start.
As we were leaving the theater, he turned around and asked us what we thought of the documentary. And then he said he was the missionary who baptized Dawn Armstrong (the woman in the last story–the story that moved me to tears both times). I asked him if he would share some of his story, and he graciously agreed. We thought it only fitting to share his post on the day the film debuts! He was a little nervous to write, since English is not his first language, but I think he did a great job. Thank you, Ron!
(Photo is shared with permission. Ron is in the center, with Dawn at his left and director/producer Blair Treu on his right.)
~by Ron Jensen
I am so thankful that God gave me the opportunity to serve a mission 20 years ago. I must admit that now Dawn is teaching me a few lessons of her own about life.
I will never forget her situation 20 years ago, as a struggling young teenage single mother who lost a child. As a missionary it is hard not to worry about your investigators. They become your friends and you want them to have all the success and happiness that life can offer. They are always in your thoughts and prayers. Will she stay active in the church? Will the members continue to fellowship her? Will she find a better life for her and Anthony? These things crossed my mind many times. We knew that she would face a mountain of challenges and all we could give her as missionaries was the gospel of Jesus Christ.
But it was all she needed and she ran with it. We trusted that Heavenly Father would guide her along the way.
After serving my full time mission I never stopped thinking about Dawn and Anthony and the many wonderful people I came in contact with as a missionary. You always wonder how far they have traveled in life and where. In Dawn’s case, I never imagined the road that she would end up taking and where that road would take her. She has an amazing courage to stay the course, regardless of how dark and lonely that road may have been at times. She now has an amazing testimony of Christ and his atonement.
She gave me an opportunity to witness what our Heavenly Father can do to someone’s life if they are willing to follow Christ’s examples. I realized now how limited I really am, I can only see but a few miles and comprehend so little.
Dawn found a wonderful husband named Craig Armstrong and they got married in the temple. They are blessed with seven children. They have a beautiful family and live a good life. Anthony also served an honorable full time mission. He made his special appointments and shared the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Africa. Now Dawn Armstrong is also given the opportunity to participate in missionary work and to attend some of God’s special appointments with his children. Dawn and Anthony Armstrong not only made it to the summit, they planted seeds along the way.
I know that God loves all his children. I know that he is mindful of all of us.
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See a snippet of Dawn’s story here:
I am so proud of Ron. I have known him since he was a teenager in Los Angeles in the Wilshire Ward. He is such a good man. I am so happy Ron that you see how you have touched the lives of people. Congratulations to Dawn and her family as well. Ron you and your entire family are proud. I know your parents are proud of you. I remember serving with your mom and marking off the days until you came home. Thanks for sharing this and I am honored to be your friend.
Thank you for this one; it was inspirational and powerful. I love reading these kinds of uplifting stories. “Meet The Mormons’ is going to bless many lives.
Blessings for this one!
Thanks Shirley & LeAnn for the kind comments!