The greatest joys from serving as senior welfare missionaries are not the travel or exciting adventures, but rather those small moments when we know we’ve been led by the Lord to His children and we feel the Spirit touch their hearts. It’s usually the small things that add up to make a big difference. We are privileged to have dozens of these small moments.
For example, we were asked by two young missionaries to accompany them on a visit with a woman trying to overcome her addiction to tobacco. As we talked with her, the Spirit prompted us to testify that she may receive the help of a loving Heavenly Father because she is His beloved daughter. We explained how when she finishes this mortal life, she will have an opportunity to feel His loving arms around her as she is welcomed home. We watched her countenance change as the Spirit told her that what we were saying was true. We were able to help her, not because of any special gifts or talents we have, but simply because we were there where the Lord needed us, saying the words He put into our mouths and expressing the love He put into our hearts.
In a similar way, we feel the Spirit guide us as we make presentations to local Church leaders about the Addiction Recovery Program. Once during a stake leadership meeting, we watched a new ward Relief Society president be filled with inspiration as we spoke with the group. She was flooded with ideas about how she could help the sisters in her ward using the tools we were discussing. That ward will be immeasurably blessed because of the revelation she received. The Lord is anxious to teach and inspire His leaders. He just needs someone like us to be there to open the window.
The Church is in great need of senior missionary couples, particularly in the Eastern Europe Area. Senior couples do much that young elders and sisters cannot do, and their associations with the younger elders and sisters help them be far more successful. Many senior couples hesitate to serve a full-time mission because they have a fear of proselyting, learning a new language, or having to learn new skills. We have found that on our welfare mission, none of these fears are justified. We proselyte only when we want to, we were not required to learn a new language, and the skills we brought with us tend to be just what is needed. There are also fewer rules and restrictions placed on senior missionary couples than on young elders and sisters. We are able to stay in touch, almost daily, with our children and grandchildren, our time commitments are no more than we impose on ourselves, and we have exciting adventures, going sightseeing and to cultural events and activities with other senior couples.
Already our family at home has received many miraculous blessings in the short time we’ve been here. Things we have been praying about for years are coming to pass in surprising and miraculous ways. We’re convinced this is happening, at least in part, due to our serving a mission. We personally have learned and grown very much. We are happier than we’ve ever been and look forward with joy to each new day. At the end of the day we look at each other and say, “Now that was another great adventure, wasn’t it!”
We are thoroughly enjoying our mission. It’s even better than what we expected. The Spirit is guiding us at every hand, and we feel like we’ve made some major strides already in our assignment in the Addiction Recovery Program in the Eastern Europe Area. We love being with the other missionaries, young and old, and the people we visit and live among are marvelous!