Dear President Albright,
My wife and I have been on our senior mission for almost 18 months. Our original assignment from the mission president was to approach the bishop and ward mission leader in our area and ask them how we could be of service to them.
After a month of trying to find lost and less active members, the bishop asked us to teach the temple preparation lessons to a sister in the ward who was a fairly recent convert. She was an immigrant from West Africa. We gathered the materials we needed and prepared a written copy of each temple lesson for her to keep and use in her personal study. We also taught her one-on-one in her home.
As we became acquainted with other African converts in the ward, we soon became aware that many of them had not yet received their temple endowment. Some were new converts and others had been members for several years. We asked the bishop for a list of these new members who were ready for the temple experience. We wanted him to interview them first and let them know that we would contact them and set up appointments to teach them in their homes at a time that was convenient for them.
After we took several of these new converts to the temple, other African members began to ask the bishop if they could also receive the temple preparation lessons and go to the temple. This began a most rewarding and fulfilling experience to teach these wonderful people and take them to the temple. We then branched out our ministry to encompass other wards in the stake.
We have now had the amazing opportunity to teach the temple preparation lessons to 44 members and converts from several countries, most of them from West Africa. Of the 44 converts we have taught so far, 29 have received their endowment and 6 more will receive their endowment shortly. Ten couples have now been sealed to each other and 13 children have been sealed to their parents, with more on the way.
To watch members grow and develop in the Gospel as they prepare for and receive the temple endowment is one of the greatest joys that a missionary can have. We have tremendously enjoyed the opportunity of helping the Lord with His work. We are so grateful that we left our comfortable home in Mesquite, Nevada, to put our shoulder to the wheel here on the East Coast! There is so much work to be done by senior missionaries throughout the world.
“For behold, this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39).
Elder Alan M. and Sister Arlene W. Hepworth