Letter from a Grandma Missionary


Amanda had been watching through the window for what seemed like hours. Finally the car pulled into the driveway. “Daddy’s home!” she shouted as she ran out the door. Before Daddy was even out of the car, Amanda was showing him her letter.

“Look, Daddy, I got a letter from Grandma! It came in the mail today. Mommy read it to me already, but I want you to read it again.”

Letters from Amanda’s grandma are especially fun to get because Amanda’s grandma and grandpa are missionaries far, far away in Paraguay (pah-rah-gwi). Almost everyone in Paraguay speaks Spanish, so Grandma and Grandpa have learned to speak Spanish too. They teach the people there about the Church. They also teach them how to sew and how to plant gardens, and they help them to build chicken coops and other things. Grandpa is even helping to build a meetinghouse there.

As soon as Daddy had a chance to get in the house and sit down, Amanda crawled up onto his lap. “Here, Daddy. Read my letter,” she said.

Daddy gave Amanda a big hug, then read this letter:

Dear Amanda,

We had so many interesting visitors at church last Sunday that I thought you would like to hear about them. Grandpa and I went to church in a little town called Itakyrú (ee-tahk-ee-roo). We are building a nice new meetinghouse there, but for now the members come to the home of the Ugarte (oo-gar-teh) family for church. There are two rooms in the house: a bedroom, where the whole family sleeps, and a kitchen, where Sister Ugarte cooks over an open fire. Between the two rooms is a covered area for the animals. There is a big box of corn there, and the dogs and pigs and chickens and ducks go in and out whenever they wish. The Ugarte family also has a little brown burro, a calf, and a pretty gray cat.

On Sunday, however, all the animals have to go out into the yard, and Brother Ugarte sets up benches for our meetings in the area between the two rooms. It is a very cool and pretty place to have a meeting.

Sacrament meeting last Sunday started out as usual. Then, after the announcements and opening song, we heard a strange munching noise. It was the little black calf. He had come in to listen and to eat some of his corn!

A little later, during the first talk, Grandpa leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Grandma, there is a little pig between my feet!”

“I know,” I whispered back, “and there is a little spotted dog under me.”

Just at that moment the little dog under me playfully nipped the little pig under Grandpa.

“Ooee! Ooee! Ooee!” squealed the pig, and it ran into the yard.

“Woof! Woof! Woof!” barked the dog, following the pig into the yard.

“Amen,” said the speaker as he finished his talk.

Everyone stood up to sing a rest song. The little brown burro, which had been very reverent in the yard the whole time, decided he would like to sing. Have you ever heard a burro sing? They don’t stay with the music very well, and they always forget the words!

The second half of the meeting was much quieter. The pretty gray cat fell asleep outside near the burro, and the only new visitors to church were some ducks and a mother hen that came to eat the corn that the calf had spilled on the floor.

Soon the new meetinghouse in Itakyru will be finished. Then the animals won’t be able to come to church anymore, which is really too bad, because they seemed to enjoy being there with us.

Grandpa and I are very glad that we can be missionaries in Paraguay. Maybe someday you can be a missionary too. Don’t forget to be a good girl for your mommy and daddy.

Love,
Grandma

[illustrations] Illustrated by Dale Kilbourn