When Grandma and Grandpa Johns left to serve a mission to the Bern Switzerland Temple, their family members resolved to follow their example. In their own way, they would be missionaries, too.
Kyle was in the fourth grade and took the challenge very seriously. When he asked his mother what he could do to be a missionary, she answered, “You have to find someone, be a good friend to him, and then wait and see what happens.”
When the new school year began, Kyle looked around at the members of his class. Pedro, a boy from Mexico, looked like he needed a special friend. Soon Kyle and Pedro were talking and playing together. Kyle invited Pedro to his home to play, and he often went to Pedro’s home.
Because Sunday was a special day for Kyle and his family, he and his brothers did not play in their neighborhood or have friends over to their home on that day. Instead, their family went to church and enjoyed family activities together afterward.
Pedro didn’t understand. His family didn’t have rules like Kyle’s family, and he could do whatever he wanted to on Sunday. Kyle’s mother suggested that he invite Pedro to Primary. Maybe then he would understand why Kyle’s family chose to do what they did on Sunday. Kyle told Pedro, “Come with me to Primary, and we can be together on Sunday mornings. You can ride with us, and we’ll take you home afterward.”
Pedro was interested. He asked Kyle to come with him to ask his father for permission.
When Kyle asked Pedro’s father, he answered, “If Pedro wants to go, then it is all right with me.”
The next Sunday found Kyle and Pedro together in Primary. The teacher was very kind and welcoming. When the class was ending, he gave an assignment to the class from the scriptures for the following Sunday. Kyle had his own copies of the scriptures and took them to Primary each Sunday. He was eager to do the assignment the teacher made. So was Pedro, but he didn’t have any scriptures of his own. He went to his father and asked if he could have a set. Even though Pedro and his family were not members of the Church, his father saw how much it meant to him to have his own set of scriptures. He decided that they were all good books and bought them for Pedro.
The boys continued to attend Primary together. One Sunday, the teacher gave the boys a list of scriptures to study and asked them to have their parents explain the meanings to them. He made new scripture assignments each week for several weeks.
As they studied, Pedro and Kyle became more and more interested in the gospel. They had a lesson on baptism and learned that the Lord requires it of everyone. They also learned how it is administered and by whom. As they helped Pedro with his reading assignments in preparation for his Primary class each week, Pedro’s family found this information new and interesting.
One day, Pedro asked Kyle, “Do you think my dad would let me be baptized?”
They decided that they would go ask Pedro’s father together. Imagine how surprised Pedro’s father was when they walked up to him and Kyle asked, “Can Pedro be baptized into my church?”
Pedro’s father said, “I’ll have to think about it before I give you an answer. I know a member of your church. I’d like to talk with him before I give my answer.”
Pedro’s father talked with his friend, who happened to be serving in Kyle’s ward as the mission leader. Soon an appointment was made for the missionaries to begin teaching Pedro’s family the gospel. The family studied and worked with the missionaries to gain testimonies. Pedro and his brother were ready to be baptized first. As their father and mother watched them enter the waters of baptism, the Spirit whispered to them that what was taking place was true and correct. They decided to prepare themselves for baptism.
As Kyle rode home with his family after the baptism of his friend, he told his mother, “Tomorrow Pedro and I will look around our class and find another person who needs a friend. Then we will invite him to Primary!”
Kyle was very happy to write to his grandma and grandpa in Switzerland and tell them of his experience as a missionary. He ended his letter by saying, “Everyone can be a missionary. You just have to be a good friend and then wait and see what happens!”
“I know that when we offer ourselves in friendship, we make a most significant contribution to God’s work and to the happiness and progress of His children.”
Elder Marlin K. Jensen
Of the Seventy
(Ensign, May 1999, page 65.)