Mark Albright is the president of the Washington DC South mission and shares these missionary stories with Meridian Magazine. This letter comes from Bishop O. William Ferris.
If you want to share a missionary story, send it to President Albright by clicking on the “email author button” by the title of the article. Please note the names of new converts and investigators may be changed to maintain privacy.
Dear President Albright,
While my family was stationed in Key West, Florida with the Navy, I had one extremely difficult home teaching assignment. The family was very inactive, semi-retired, and never home. To be honest, in the two years I was there, no matter how often or persistent I was, I never could do more than speak with them for a few minutes on the phone.
One day, while driving past their home on the way home from church, I noticed they were in their front yard. My home was only a minute away, so I dashed home, told my eldest son, to put his church clothes back on; we were going home teaching. Within five minutes, we were knocking on their door. NO ANSWER.
After the feeling of frustration passed something prompted me to walk across the shared carport to their neighbor’s door and knock. I intended to see if perhaps they could give me an idea of when would be the best time visit or make contact. A young woman answered the door. I introduced myself and my son and explained that their next door neighbor was a member of our church, and that we were trying to contact them.
The woman said that the family was hardly ever home, that they spent most of the week out on their boat enjoying the fishing in the area. Then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, “Are you a Mormon?”
I of course answered in the affirmative, expecting to be chastised for my beliefs. “Oh good” she said, “I want to be baptized!”
I admit I was speechless, a rather rare occurrence. After a few moments I regained my abilities and asked where she had heard about the church? She explained that her family had been stationed in Spain a few years earlier, and she had been taught by the missionaries. Due to some problems in her life at that time, she had not been baptized, but that now she was ready. After visiting with her for a few more minutes, I asked for her phone number and promised that the missionaries would be contacting her shortly. A quick trip home and a rather frantic call to the missionaries ensued.
She and her two children were baptized a couple of weeks later, and her husband a month or so after that.
Shortly after their baptisms, both she and her husband were issued callings, and when I transferred just over a year later, they were planning their first temple trip.
I can testify that as long as we are doing, to the best of our ability, what the Lord has asked of us, He will use us as instruments in His hands.
Bishop O. William Ferris
Crowfield Ward, Charleston South Carolina Stake