Words can’t describe the joy and gratitude I feel from the gift that was my mission. I was called to serve as a sister missionary in the Alpine German-Speaking Mission. I was assigned to Switzerland. I remember opening the letter advising me of my call and being so excited for the day when I’d start.
When you’re serving voluntarily as a missionary, you learn so many things. I want to share what I learnt the most.
Early on my mission I was called to train a new missionary, which both excited and daunted me; but excitement won out. My new companion, who I refer to as Sister Green, was fantastic. She was full of life and energy and couldn’t wait to get on with the work. As we started serving together, this excitement began to dim as it battled with homesickness. Very quickly this wonderful sister missionary wanted to go home.
After trying for a few weeks, she told me her mind was made up. Her bags were packed, and she planned to call the Mission President in the morning.
At first, I panicked. I reflected on the joy I felt when we spoke to someone about the gospel. I yearned for her to have this experience. I knew in my heart she was going to make a difference, but I didn’t know how to help her. I turned to the Lord in prayer and asked for guidance. These words came soft but clear, “Just love her.”
At the time I was hoping for more than three words. But the Lord’s counsel brought me back to my purpose as a companion. It was to love her, to support her, to work with her, and to testify with her. No matter what her decision, I would be there for her. I told Sister Green that I loved her and knew she had a purpose in Switzerland. She agreed to give it one more day.
We went out street-contacting in the morning and found people who wanted to hear our message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. In the afternoon we visited friends and taught lessons. Sister Green made a big difference as the Holy Ghost worked through her.
That night my companion kept her bags unpacked, but only for one more day. We continued to serve and day by day her bags stayed empty as our hearts filled with the joy of service.
I soon realised that just as Sister Green’s heart was changing, so was mine. I was learning to give myself to the work as the Saviour did, finding qualities of selflessness, and the understanding that while I couldn’t control every situation or the attitudes of other people, I could choose how I reacted to them. Love was always the key.
The scriptures tell us, “Charity is the pure love of Christ” and “Perfect love casteth out all fear.” The more Sister Green and I worked together, the more I learned how Christ’s unending and unfathomable love changes our hearts, heals our wounds, turns fear to peace, and even transforms homesickness to belonging