I am Sister Little, a service missionary. My story of becoming a missionary is complex, but I think it was that way for a reason.
It was January 2019 when I first started applying, although I had decided the year before that I was going to. There was a slight worry in the back of my mind about my struggles with fibromyalgia, which would prevent me from serving. Having a chronic illness that causes constant pain everywhere is difficult, although that didn’t worry me when applying. All that was going through my mind was the belief that this was the path on which I needed to go.
In September of that year, I was told I couldn’t serve a proselyting mission. There being no other options for a young missionary, I was left feeling discouraged. I continued with the belief that I would serve, but I needed to start preparing for the next stages of my life. On the outside I was coping, but internally I was still trying to process those feelings of doubt, and continually praying and asking: “What do I need to do? When will I be able to serve?”
Fast forward to the end of May 2020 and many of us are still in lockdown. I got a message that gave details of the Young Service Missionary programme that was now being implemented in the UK. Having read the article, I was in a state of shock. I knew our Heavenly Father had a plan; I just didn’t think it would come into effect quite so quickly. It took me two days to decide to take another massive U-turn and go back to preparing myself to become a missionary again. At that moment I knew that our Heavenly Father is a person of great miracles. I felt pure gratitude for the increasing opportunities for missionaries to gather Israel.
So far, during my mission, I have had the chance to get involved with the FamilySearch Records Operation Centre project, where I have been able to add to the section called All About Me, researching fun facts that happened in certain years. I have also been able to do ‘match labelling’ (a simple activity where two historical records are reviewed and the decision is made as to whether they are a Match, Not A Match, or Can’t Tell). This project is making searching FamilySearch easier. It’s also been a blessing to help with the Friendship Centre in Wembley, helping to teach English! I am impressed that I have a positive experience each week. This experience has greatly helped me with my confidence, considering I haven’t been a missionary for too long, it’s amazing.
We have a service-mission purpose, which states what we do and what we strive to be as missionaries. It says, “Our purpose is to help others come unto Christ by serving them as the Saviour would.” As service missionaries, we don’t teach; we share the gospel through the service we provide; we are trying our hardest to be examples of Christlike love. This is a blessing that has made it possible for me to serve differently, a way for service to be highlighted and extended to a lot more people