I Stand All Amazed - A Missionary Memoir
(Hard Cover) by Robert D. Boyce
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Read an excerpt from the book below:
THAT HE MIGHT HAVE JOY
Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
2 Nephi 2:25, emphasis added
I HAD BEEN IN THE MISSION FIELD ABOUT THREE MONTHS. The strangeness of it all?the weather, the sights, sounds, smells, the food, the schedule, the language, being with the same person 24/7?was diminishing but still a challenge. It was the afternoon of a mercilessly hot summer day. We had tracted all morning, all week in fact, with no discernible results whatsoever, and the afternoon was not starting out any better. Elder Stevenson, my new senior, announced, ?Your turn.?
That surprised me?I had just done the last house. ?Isn?t this one yours?? I responded.
?It?s ok, you need the practice,? was the reply.
I was soaked with perspiration. I was hotter than I ever remembered being?tired, thirsty, and thoroughly frustrated. Assault and battery flashed through my mind, but alas, my companion had played college football; I played the piano. Defeated, I muttered, ?All right...?
Knock- knock. A pleasant, middle-aged woman answered. ?Good afternoon, ma?am. We?re missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ, and we have a message for you. May we come in?? (About all I could do at that point in time was recite what I had memorized.)
?I?m busy right now,? she replied, ?please come again some other time.?
We had heard that very response at least fifty times that day. Word for word. Do the natives get together and decide what exact response they?re going to give Mormon missionaries?
What happened next was what the scriptures call a tender mercy. Out of my mouth came something spontaneous and at the same time comprehensible, something I had not yet been aware that I was capable of doing. Instead of the normal ?I see. Well, have a nice day,? out came ?You are a Christian, aren?t you??
?Yes, of course I am.?
?Well, ma?am, our message is about Christ. Don?t you have 10 minutes for a message about our Lord??
My companion?s eyes widened in surprise. The lady looked startled. I was astounded. The silence was long enough to be uncomfortable.
?Well . . . yes. Yes of course I have time for the Lord. Come on in. In fact, I?m quite concerned about our eldest. He?s 17 and beginning to make some bad choices. Maybe you can help us with him.?
Hey, did I just understand her? I thought to myself. I did!
Elder Stevenson took over from there: he gave the tracting message, arranged a time to come back when her husband and family would be there, and did all the teaching from then on. Greetings, farewells, a prayer here and there, a memorized testimony from time to time, but no discussions were given by the junior companion?I wasn?t yet capable.
The family was baptized before summer ended. For the first time I felt like I had made a contribution, small maybe, but significant.
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