There’s a funny scene in the movie Singles’ Ward where one of the characters gets his mission call. He finally opens it and learns he is goiing to Idaho. His buddies are all disappointed for him–but he is actually excited for the prospect. The humor derives from the likelihood that probably no prospective missionary dreams of going to Idaho for his mission.
One of our speakers at church today told a story that made me think of that scene. His son recently received a letter from an elder serving in Africa.
The elder had been a listless young 18-year old in Idaho when the speaker’s son was serving there as a missionary. The young man had gone on a split-off with the Idaho missionary. They went tracting together, and didn’t get in a single door. Hardly a memorable experience.
But there was something about the experience that moved that young man. All they were doing was their basic duty, with no great glamorous or glorious results discernible from their effort. But that young man was inspired by that experience, and he determined that he wanted to go and serve a mission himself. (The Idaho elder is a great guy and an engaging young man, and I imagine that some of his influence may have been the strength of his personalilty. Just guessing about that part.)
So this young man goes on a mission and gets called to Africa. And he is enjoying tremendous success there. And he took the time to write a letter to that elder who had taken him tracting, because he wanted that elder to understand that his seemingly modest effort on the streets of Idaho was now having a dramatic impact in Africa, half a world away.
I thought it was very nice of that young man to reach out to the Idaho missionary and tell him of the impact his efforts have made. And the whole story put that scene from Singles’ Ward in an entirely different light for me.