Sister Jenny Spencer with a convert family in Madagascar.
What’s the one thing—or things—a Mormon missionary needs to know? That’s what we recently asked our readers online. Here’s some of your best advice for missionaries.
• “No matter what you have to do to get there, learn to love your companion. Looking back on my mission, I can see a direct correlation between success and the relationship I had with my companions.”
• “Write in your journal and wear out your camera.”
• “What should every missionary know? It is HARD! Rejection is the norm, baptisms fall through, and people generally don't react the same way you would in a similar situation. I think without exception the returned missionaries I know have a point in their mission when they think ‘I can't do this anymore. It’s too HARD.’ Everything worthwhile is hard. Missionaries need to know that so they can expect it and push through it trusting that although it is hard it is so worth it!”
• “Read John Bytheway’s What I Wish I’d Known Before My Mission.”
• “Remember that it’s the Spirit’s job to convert those you come in contact with. It’s the missionaries’ job to love those they come in contact with and to show Heavenly Father's love through example and service. Lean on the Spirit in all things.”
• “You will have the rest of your life (and eternity) to think back and either regret or feel good about your mission. Make sure you make good use of every hour.”
• “Get your own testimony of Joseph Smith before you send in your papers. Sincerely pray to know for yourself. (Keep praying if the answer doesn't come right away.) Write down your experience when the answer comes. Share your experience before you go and enjoy sharing it every time you teach.”