missionary

Dear President Albright, 


I look at the four transfers I spent with Elder Gannaway as some of my fondest memories. I was stretched and tested, and in turn I grew and developed. He made it a regular practice to stop the car as we drove by someone standing outside in a neighborhood and have me literally jump out of the car to go and talk to that person.  Though at first it was uncomfortable, how can you argue with your senior companion over sharing the gospel with literally everyone we see?  Besides, it was very effective.


Over the course of our time together this practice yielded several miraculous finding moments.  I would like to describe just one of those many experiences.


We both had taught one particular investigator previously in a different area. We did not have her address (she did not have it yet during our last meeting with her), but we constantly had our eyes open looking for her because we knew she had moved into our new area.  We tracted the entire neighborhood she was moving into but we never found her.  One evening while driving across our area, Elder Gannaway saw a woman standing outside on the sidewalk who looked like our prior investigator.  He quickly turned the car around and stopped in front of a house.


I quickly jumped out of the car (which I had thankfully become accustomed to) and started to talk to her, although I soon realized it was not the lady we knew.  The woman we stopped was not interested in our message.  We turned around and started walking slowly back to our car a little disappointed.  Suddenly a man bolted out of the home our car was parked in front of yelling at us to stop.


At first we were afraid that he was mad at us for parking in front of his house! But then we saw his two young daughters run out of the house towards us laughing with excitement.  Soon we could recognize through a mix of Spanish and some English that they were very happy we had found them!


The daughters told us about how they had just been baptized a few weeks earlier by the Mormon missionaries in Guatemala but then they had abruptly moved to America when their father obtained a visa for them. They were happy to be reunited with their father but they were devastated that they had to leave their new found LDS ward family in Central America.  They told us they had been praying ever since the plane landed in America earlier that week that they would somehow be able to find the LDS Church in their new country, but they did not know where to begin.


From the sincerity in their eyes and in their voices, I knew they had been praying all week for help.  They had been sitting in front of their living-room window when they saw us come to a quick stop in front of their house and jump out of our car. They knew that we were missionaries and they felt that God had sent us to help them find their beloved church in this new land. To these little girls, it looked as though we were in a hurry to find them! This family started attending their new local LDS ward and the father started to take the missionary lessons from the Spanish-speaking sister missionaries in the area.


Serving as a missionary has helped me gain a strong testimony of our Heavenly Father’s great and perfect plan for His children. The Lord certainly sees and knows all.  He who notices the fall of a sparrow certainly led us to the doorstep of that sweet family that evening in answer to the prayers of two small children. This experience strengthened my belief that God knows each of His children individually. He cares for us deeply, and He provides for our needs when our desires are righteous and in accordance with His will. I also know that receipt of some blessings are made conditional upon our praying and asking for them, something these two little girls understood very well.


Much Love,

Kyle Gifford