When I first joined the church, I loved going on splits with the sister missionaries. Now that I have three small children – and one on the way – getting out is a bit more challenging. At the same time, my circle of contacts at present is mostly limited to other LDS sisters, which gives me few close friends to introduce the missionaries to. I would like to share a few ‘think outside the box’ ways that you can help the missionaries if you find yourself facing similar challenges.
- Be a people greeter. When you see the missionaries bringing investigators to church, take a few minutes to say ‘hello’. Introduce yourself and give them a warm welcome. This can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you have young ones to get off to nursery, but even a quick, “I just wanted to say ‘hello’!” and a smile can work wonders. At the same time, keep your eyes open for visitors. We were in the lobby last week as the sacrament was being passed, and a woman walked in. When the water came to her, she asked the deacon what it was. After the sacrament meeting was over, I sought her out to welcome her to the branch. Obviously, this is easier in a smaller or more established ward, but keep your eyes open. If you ask the Lord to help you, the task will surely be easier.
- Feed the investigators. Most wards have calendars to pass around where you can feed the missionaries. Why not invite them to bring an investigator with them for dinner one night? This works even better when you know the person invited (perhaps you met them in the foyer and chatted with them?). Again, this welcomes those seeking the gospel into your home and into your life, making them feel more loved.
- Do your home or visiting teaching. You knew I’d tell you this one. If you have an inactive sister or family on your home or visiting teaching list, don’t procrastinate calling them until the end of the month because they are so hard to get ahold of. Put them at the top of the list. If you sincerely can’t teach them – perhaps they are hiding from you, or perhaps they are just busy – send a letter or card with a brief message, perhaps even more than one a month. Though the missionaries may not have contact with them now, your visits and the love you show may help bring them back to the point where they return to church. One of the sisters I visit taught for three and a half years rarely came to church, but she had a testimony of the gospel and loved having the missionaries over.
The missionaries have been called of God to serve their missions, but they can do this best with the help of the members in their branch or ward. By helping them bring souls to Christ, you are doing the work that God would most likely have you perform. And along the way, you may well make a new friend or two!