“Guernsey? Where’s that”? A pretty well everyday enquiry that Elder Joseph Mahy answers whilst serving his mission in Dallas, Texas. Guernsey is a small island just nine miles long by five miles wide, roughly in the shape of a triangle. It’s the second largest of the Channel Islands and is famous for its quaintness, its beauty and the sagacity of its inhabitants. Wise or not, there were only seven active members in the Guernsey branch and three children when Joseph was growing up. He was the sole active LDS young man on the Island prior to serving his mission, which made Young Men’s meetings pretty difficult! In spite of this isolation, from an early age he served faithfully, going out with the missionaries, attending Sunday services and participating in organised activities. His mother, Fiona was an outstanding example to him as she did her Visiting Teaching, served in Primary and Relief Society and organised get-togethers and outings in spite of suffering chronic ill health.
He thoroughly enjoyed being involved with The British Pageant, held for the first time in 2013 in the grounds of the Preston, England Temple. Mostly his stage appearances were as a scene shifter and a crowd member though!
From being a small boy it was always Joseph’s intention to serve a mission as his sister Alexandra Mackenzie had done before him. Joseph’s Mother died in June 2014, but far from lessening his desire to serve, he continued with his plans, although his call was deferred for a few months. When his call came through, his entire extended family was stunned to discover that he was to serve in Dallas, Texas. They had all decided that he would probably go to the North of England where his sister had served.
Joseph has continued to be an outstanding example whilst on his mission and has said so frequently that serving his mission is the best thing that has ever happened to him. He recently wrote to his family;
‘I want you to know that I have a testimony of this restored Gospel. That God still speaks through a living Prophet, and he has restored to the earth all the ordinances of the Gospel, some of which had been hid since the beginning of the world.
Faith in Christ is the only intelligent option, and His forgiveness is so, so real. Our opportunity to forgive others is also one of the most special privileges we have been given. As we repent and forgive always, then we may be granted the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, oh what Joy and warmth that brings to our lives! I'm so thankful for all I've been blessed with. I'm thankful for you in my life, I'm ever grateful for the example of Mum, and I'm just overjoyed to give her a high five up in heaven and thank her for all the guidance and support she has offered me as I've served out here’.
It is true that you don’t have to have a mission call in order to further the work of the Lord. As Joseph says, ‘All of our life is a mission, to get back to be with Heavenly Father and to take others on that journey with us, if we can’.