A Special Way to Serve


Philippe and Chantal had the best grandmère (grandmother) and grandpère (grandfather) in the whole world. Why, what other grandmère and grandpère lived in a magical house—a house with a small cement pool outside where they could go wading and sail toy boats and play pirates? Who else had a house with a secret room halfway up the stairs and halfway down, with shelves full of storybooks, magazines, and old toys?

Philippe and Chantal loved to visit Grandmère and Grandpère. They loved to play in the pool and in the secret room. They helped Grandmère cook, and she took them to the library and to the park, and she taught them how to crochet. They helped Grandpère fix the car, weed the garden, and put puzzles together. Both Grandmère and Grandpère played tennis with Philippe and Chantal and read them stories. Philippe and Chantal had so much fun at their grandparents’ house that they always hated to leave.

One day when Philippe and Chantal arrived for a visit, Grandmère and Grandpère were especially excited to see them. “Guess what!” Grandmère exclaimed, taking their jackets. “Guess what Grandpère and I are going to do!”

“Are you going to travel around the world?” Philippe asked.

“No, but that’s close.”

“Are you going to take a class to learn something new?” Chantal asked.

“No, no, but that’s close too.” Grandpère’s eyes twinkled.

Philippe and Chantal frowned at each other. “We give up.”

“We’re going to be missionaries for the Church!” Grandmère exclaimed proudly.

“Oh, but that means that you’ll go away, and we won’t be able to visit you!” Philippe said sadly.

“I’m glad that you’re going on a mission, but what will happen to your house?” Chantal wiped a tear from her eye.

Grandmère put her arm around Philippe. “We’ll miss both of you very much. But we’ll think about you, and pray for you, and write you letters too. Think of all the mail that you’ll get! Won’t that be fun?”

Grandpère pulled Chantal onto his lap and held her as he rocked back and forth. “And we’ll miss this house and having you come to visit. We’ll have to rent it to someone while we’re gone. But,” he added, “we won’t tell them about the room that’s halfway up the stairs and halfway down. It will be our secret! How about that?”

Philippe and Chantal laughed.

“But, Grandmère, how can you and Grandpère go on a mission if you’ll miss us and the house so much?” Philippe asked, looking puzzled.

“A mission is a special way to serve Heavenly Father,” Grandmère replied. “Not everyone is as blessed as we are to have the gospel. We are such a happy family that we want to show other families how to be happy too.”

“We’ll teach families about Jesus and His gospel,” Grandpère added, “and we’ll share our testimonies and our love with others, just as we have with you.”

“It will be hard to leave you, but we’ve fasted and prayed, and we know that it’s right for us to be missionaries now,” Grandmère explained.

“Oh, Grandmère,” Philippe said, giving her a hug, “I love you. And I guess I can share you and Grandpère with other people who need you.”

Chantal kissed Grandpère on the cheek. “And when we grow up, we want to be missionaries just like you because you’re the best grandpère and grandmère in the whole world!”

[illustrations] Illustrated by Barbara Bailey