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He Puts Missionaries Where He Needs Them Most

By Sister Mariah Skinner

September 2022

sister missionaries with man ready to be baptized.


FOR 16 MONTHS I LIVED in New York City as a missionary and met the most incredible people. One of these people was Michael. How Michael met the missionaries is one of the greatest miracles of my mission, and it actually starts with his wife, Susanne.

Before I was transferred into the area, Susanne would send in requests for missionary visits through Church-sponsored ads and the Come unto Christ website. But when the sisters would call her to set up a time to meet, she wouldn’t answer. So they decided to go to her house. That’s when they met Michael. Michael would answer the door and say that Susanne was either not feeling well or was in the hospital. Usually, as missionaries, when we can’t get in contact with someone, we stop trying and focus our efforts elsewhere. But every time the sisters stopped trying to contact Susanne, she would send in a new request.

This happened several more times until one morning, after receiving another request from Susanne, the sisters decided to go to Susanne’s house and, no matter what, teach whoever was there. And they decided they would teach the plan of salvation. They headed over to Susanne’s house and knocked on the door. Michael answered again, but this time his whole family was in the front room. Michael told the sisters that just that morning — the morning they had received the request — Susanne had passed away. In walked the sisters with the greatest message in the world to help this family find peace.

I met Michael for the first time a couple of lessons later. We sat outside his house and talked about the importance of baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. Michael accepted a baptismal date.

I loved teaching Michael. When we taught him the commandments, he accepted them, even though he had some doubts. He had so much faith to trust God that there was a reason why he was being taught these things. And even though he had many questions, he did what God asked him to do. He kept the Word of Wisdom and drank his herbal tea instead. He came to church every week because he wanted to give his one hour to God. He always served others. He read everything we asked him to read. And he kept believing in God’s prophets even though he didn’t understand Church history. Michael taught me what it truly means to have faith—to “hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (Alma 32:21).

Michael was baptized by our mission president after 12 weeks of meeting with us. And I have never seen that man happier.

I loved my mission so much. Sometimes I think that we think the mission is all about us serving God, and it is, but really my mission was one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me. The people I met on my mission have changed my life because of their examples and faith in Christ’s Atonement. Thank you to everyone who has made it possible for missionaries to serve missions. It is so incredible!

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