I read, or at least browse, missionary blogs and missionary youtube videos. This has been an important thing in our home. We have long done family history work along with our kids as a way to introduce our children to the Holy Ghost. But I have felt like we needed more connection to missionary work in our home. We aren’t those people who know everybody, or know anybody for that matter.
So I have tried reading a post from a missionary blog or playing a returned missionary youtube video along with our family scripture study and I have felt quite pleased with the results in getting our kids thinking seriously about missionary work.
I read this quip from a sister missionary’s blog to our family along with family scripture study. It conveys something I don’t think I could have conveyed as well myself.
Sister Quinlan Hess wrote:
Friday: We had a district meeting and this one was fun. And afterwards, we went to this burger place and got Yolanda burgers. Those things are HUGE. It’s a three layer bun with hot dog, ham, two patties, cheese, lettuce, ketchup, egg, and a bunch of other stuff. The bun is maybe 6 inches across. And I finished that thing in 20 minutes 🙂 hehe yessss it was so good.:”
Now I think that is just about as perfect as you could ask it to be. Maybe I say that because my children say I could have written it. All the better then. 🙂
When I was a missionary I think we were all trying to learn to be what I might call “professional” missionaries. We had all seen a hundred videos of missionaries over the course of our lives, and the missionaries in every last one of them are exactly the same. They are each the same cardboard person with the same words, expressions, level of emotion and manner of speaking saying the same thing in a different body. Media is a powerful teacher, and so we thought that cardboard PR cutout was what it meant to be a good missionary, whether anyone actually said so or not.
But what you have in that blog excerpt that I read to my children is a real person teaching the gospel. At least, that is how it reads to me. I like the fact that Sister Hess does not just go through the expected level of professional disappointment. The note on Thursday is almost as compelling an example as the full description of Wednesday.
This is what I want for my boys, and any of my girls that serve missions. I don’t want my kids to be professional missionaries. I want them to be people teaching the gospel. I want their power in teaching to be the power of the Holy Ghost instead of the power of good salesmanship and a generic demeanor churned out of a church focus group. I want their power to be the unique power opened only by such righteousness that the Holy Ghost will be upon them in power from time to time.