Example Mattered

    “Example Mattered,” New Era, June 2012, 46–47

    Example Mattered

    Name withheld

    Whenever I heard the words “missionary work,” I used to think of giving away a Book of Mormon. While I had previously given away copies of the Book of Mormon, none of the people I gave them to seemed interested. But I didn’t know that for the past year and a half, I have been a missionary just by being who I am and sticking to my standards.

    It began on the first day of school one year. I had arrived at my first class early, and so I sat down at a desk in the middle of the classroom. A girl named Alicia* came in and sat in the far back. Since I was alone, I invited her to sit with me. She had just moved from Mexico over the summer, so she didn’t have any friends yet. I was glad we had most of our classes together. That’s how we became friends.

    But our lives were very different. Alicia wore outfits that differed from my standards and used bad language. In her old school, she talked back to her teachers, and grades weren’t important to her. She had a bad family life and would sneak out and go to parties.

    As we have become good friends, I have noticed a good change in her. She no longer wears inappropriate clothing. She is careful to not use bad language. She has improved her grades, even competing for the highest scores. Her family life is getting a lot better too. She never sneaks out anymore or goes to bad parties.

    We talk about her changes and improvements. Alicia told me that one night her boyfriend came over and wanted her to break the law of chastity. She was about to give in when she saw in her mind a flashback of all the improvements she’s made and how proud she is of herself. She wasn’t willing to throw it all away. So she said no and broke up with him. That was the greatest thing for me to hear from her, and I am so proud of her.

    Missionary work truly can occur by example as we live the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    • Name has been changed