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September 30, 2013

Missionary Blessings

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Best @ 3:03 am
When I was a young girl nine years old, two missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came knocking on my front door in Summerville, Georgia. They began teaching us about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We lived in a very rural country home.
We lived on a farm and as a young girl I had the opportunity to work very hard, taking care of cows, chickens, goats, horses, etc. We only had three neighbors that lived close by and when I say close by, I mean over ½ a mile away. I didn’t have many friends because people did not live close to us and there wasn’t a lot of extra time to “hang out” with all the farming responsibilities that we had.

I remember at this age being excited when the missionaries came to our home. They were so friendly and excited to teach us. We fed them each week as they came to give us the discussions. I don’t remember how long it took us to commit to baptism, but I still remember the wonderful Spirit that I felt, even at this young age. I consider myself to be a convert to the church, because I was over the age of eight in which you are normally baptized. I can remember my baptismal day even all these years later. It was a special day because by our farm we had a lake that was just our own. No one hardly ever visited this lake. Because we lived so far from an LDS building, the missionaries were given special permission to let us be baptized in “our own lake”.

It was November 2, 1974 and it was very, very cold outside. A little snow was on the ground and the water was frigid!! My parents were baptized first and then my brother and me. We all wore white and I remember thinking that I didn’t want to walk down into the muddy water and get my clothing dirty. I remember one of the missionaries telling us that as we walked into the dirty water and got baptized, we were getting rid of our past sins and starting a “New” life as newly members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I remember feeling so happy, even though it was so cold outside. We had warm blankets so that when we came out of the water, we could wrap ourselves up and head back to the house to change. I have treasured this memory since that day because most people are baptized in church buildings. I remember feeling special and thankful for these wonderful missionaries that “tracked and found us” in our little remote country home. I know it was hard work for these Elders to bike to our house and it took hours of work and preparation for them to visit us when we lived so far away. It helped me to gain a testimony of this wonderful work. I have since lost contact with these wonderful Elders, but I know that my mom kept in touch with them for a long time. 
When I think of missionaries now, my thoughts instantly go to my son, Elder Taylor Seeley, serving in the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Mission. He is currently serving in Delaware and has been out a little over 6 months.I am so thankful for the opportunity my son has to serve his Heavenly Father and the people of the mission he is in. I have seen incredible growth and faith promoting experiences over these 6 months. He has faced many hardships and challenges, but has endured with patience and faith.
In a recent email home, Elder Seeley shares an experiment that he and his companion have tried. Here is what Elder Seeley said:
“It has been a super exciting week. We have been working really hard to find new people to teach the gospel too! We had a really cool idea on how we could find new people the other day. We basically made a Book of Mormon and a Bible costume made out of posters, markers and tape. We went on a street corner and danced on the side of the road with a poster. (Kind of like you see when someone is dancing around with a Little Caesar Pizza Sign) at home. We had a sign that said “Honk if you love Jesus” and wore our costumes. It turned out super good-we got 3 new investigators in 40 minutes. We have decided to use this again sometime and hopefully have continued success. I have been able to witness many miracles since I have been out on my mission and I know the Lord will continue to show me more.”
I am so thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life and especially for the Book of Mormon. I read the Book of Mormon every year and I have a strong testimony that it is true. I know that if we live the teachings in this great book our lives will be blessed and we will see the hand of the Lord in our daily lives. Seeing my son’s testimony grow on his mission helps me to know the bigger picture and what our Savior wants us to be like. The Savior wants us to “Come Unto Him” and to partake of the many blessings and opportunities that are within our reach. I know that there are specific people that Elder Seeley is meant to find and teach the gospel to while he is serving his mission. I am thankful for a son who sets such a great example for his two sisters and for his other family members, and thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ in my own life. I also know that we as members of the church need to do our part in bringing people unto Christ. There is so much happiness in the gospel and we should want everyone to have the same happiness in their lives too.

By: Syndee Seeley

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