“Home Teaching Made Me a Better Missionary,” Ensign, Mar. 2012, 72
I planned to serve a mission, and I knew that accepting every calling that came my way would help me prepare. When I arrived at Brigham Young University as a freshman at the age of 17, I was assigned a home teaching companion my age, Matt, and a list of individuals to home teach.
For the first time in my life, it was up to me to actually do the teaching. And despite years of attending seminary and Sunday School, I was nervous. I set up an appointment with Chantelle, a girl on our list of people to home teach. At first she was hesitant to meet with us, but she finally agreed. As we sat down with Chantelle, we weren’t sure what to talk about, so we started by introducing ourselves. Matt and I each talked about our backgrounds—where we were from and why we had come to college at Church-owned BYU. Then Chantelle looked us in the eyes and with a serious tone said, “I honestly don’t know why you’re visiting me.”
I explained that we had been assigned to visit her as part of our home teaching route. It was important for us to talk to her and do everything we could to serve her. Then Chantelle told us something that shocked us. She said, “I’m not a member of your Church. I came to BYU because my best friend came here. She drove here in a separate car, got in a car accident, and was killed. And now I’m here without her. Can you explain that to me?”
I sat in silence. Matt and I had no idea what to say. Remembering that the scriptures have answers to life’s problems, I quickly thumbed through them looking for something helpful to share. Nothing seemed to provide the right answer. I thought about all the past experiences I had, and none seemed to even come close to what Chantelle was going through. Suddenly, I felt the Spirit prompt me to testify.
So I testified to her about Heavenly Father’s love for her, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and the reality of the plan of happiness for her and her friend. Then Matt shared his testimony of the restored gospel. The Spirit bore witness that what we shared was true, and Chantelle’s eyes filled with tears.
We continued to visit Chantelle for the next several months. She attended church and ultimately decided to be baptized. Since then, she has been sealed in the temple to a righteous priesthood holder. Matt and I both later served full-time missions. While on my mission in Peru, I often testified to others in the same way that I had testified to Chantelle. And the Spirit confirmed my words again and again. I do not know how much influence Matt and I had on Chantelle’s conversion, but I know that home teaching changed my life. It made me a missionary.