Some time ago I sent some toothbrushes to a lady missionary serving in an area of the world where oral hygiene is almost unknown. A portion of the letter she sent back to me follows.
“Thank you for the package of toothbrushes; almost no one here owns one. We were walking in our sector this morning, and we saw a little boy about five years old who was missing half of his teeth because of tooth decay. We showed him a toothbrush and asked if he would like one. When he said yes, we asked to talk to his mother.
“We showed the mother how to use the toothbrush properly, then told her who we were. She expressed an interest in listening to the discussions.
“As we were demonstrating how to use the toothbrush, more children gathered around. We followed the same procedure with them as with the first child. Within two hours we gave out all of the toothbrushes you sent, and in all but two cases made appointments with the parents to teach them the gospel.”
This missionary’s letter confirmed for me once more how small deeds can help bring great things to pass.
Victoria, British Colombia
I read with interest your brief article in the February 1986 issue titled “Stamp Sampler” (p. 60). Italy, too, has honored the Church with a cancellation celebrating the dedication of the first LDS chapel built in the country. The event took place at Pisa (famous for the Leaning Tower) on 22 June 1980.
Elena Moro Iribarren lives in northern Spain. Since joining the Church a few years ago, she has faced tremendous opposition from many of those closest to her. Some may have buckled under the pressure, but Elena found that the adversity served to increase her testimony.
One of the key sources of strength for her was the Ensign. She is quite proficient in English, and she was able to get old copies of the Ensign from the missionaries and read them. For many months, the magazine represented the main contact she had with the Church.
Elena’s situation has now greatly improved. She is currently serving in responsible positions in the Church, and my wife and I have recently done the temple work for a number of Elena’s ancestors after she had completed the necessary research.
The magazine has clearly been a great source of inspiration for her. “Everything that I find within it resonates as truth and makes me feel good,” she wrote recently. “Reading each article, I feel the Spirit of the Lord as a warm peace streaming into my soul. I can sense how my heart is touched. I often can’t help a profound sigh, as if by doing so I could somehow get closer to the Lord and our heavenly home.”
Kurt W. Sandholtz
I am not a member of your church, but plan to be baptized soon. Yesterday I sat down at 4:30 P.M. and started reading the Book of Mormon. I read steadily until 3:15 A.M., when I finished the last verse. It took me about eleven hours to read the book completely. A couple of months ago I read a paperback edition of the Book of Mormon in about the same length of time, but last night the teachings of the prophets and of Jesus Christ came alive. It was a spiritual adventure I shall not soon forget.
Carol Elizabeth Brand Gwynn White
Los Angeles, California
I compliment you upon the timely, informative, and encouraging articles contained in recent issues of the Ensign in relation to single adults. Particularly, I refer to young single adults, as my nonmember niece has been encouraged by the reflection of concern for singles in the articles she’s read recently. She feels supported and no longer alone in making the difficult decisions that the young have to make.
Inasmuch as the single population is growing at a tremendous rate, thank you for the realistic and varied articles that address the needs of singles.
Jane S. Johnson
Once a month when I receive the Ensign I immediately read the personal experiences in it. I sometimes weep to read about the sacrifices some people make to gain their testimonies. My heart goes out to those I read of who have had personal tragedies and have struggled to regain control of their lives. Stories like these encourage me to try a little harder to live as I know I should.
Please continue to publish personal experiences like the ones you have. I am sure there are many others who appreciate them as much as I do.
Yesterday my oldest son, Joel, was baptized by his father. In these special moments, my thoughts and gratitude go to all the missionaries who served here in Italy, and to their families.
I am grateful for the elders who taught me the gospel fifteen years ago especially Elder Brent G. Williams, who cared enough to do even more than what was required and who continued to do so even after his mission. His friendship has been a great testimony for me of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We also appreciate the patience and love the elders showed in teaching our son.
Many years have passed, but I get a warm feeling thinking of the beautiful experiences I had with the many elders that helped me during the years, as well as “my” mission president, Dan C. Jorgensen. I don’t know what they are doing now, but I hope they are all felici e contenti (happy). They will always be a part of our ramo (branch). When we speak of them, it is with reverence for all the good they have done for us in influencing our lives.
The Church has grown a lot here in Italy. Now we are part of the Venice stake. Our two boys are already saving money for their missions, so that other people can find a better way of life with an eternal purpose. This “chain” will continue, thanks to the missionaries who passed through Padua and made my life happier.
Fernanda Segato Cole
Page 102 of the May 1986 issue incorrectly lists two of Elder George I. Cannon’s great-grandfathers as George Q. Cannon and Heber I. Grant. His great-grandfather Grant was actually Jedediah M. Grant—like George Q. Cannon, at one time a counselor in the First Presidency. President Heber J. Grant was his grandfather. His other grandfather was Abraham H. Cannon, a member of the Council of the Twelve from 1889 to 1896.