We live behind the home of a young family with four children. The father, who is serving on the high council, was talking to us about the value of senior missionaries and had some very wise counsel. Because some of the people reading this blog are thinking about serving missions and worry about being qualified, I decided to pass his thoughts along. You'll see that in his opinion, the qualifications are pretty basic.
“You have no idea how much difference senior couples make in a growing area of the church like South Africa. Right now, if I stood before a congregation and asked all of those who were born into the church to stand up, there might be ten. We just don’t have people who have lived a lifetime in the church like the senior couples have. Just by attending meetings in the wards and branches, you can add strength. To our young people, you can be the grandparents, the aunts and uncles that they don’t have. Even for those with families in the Church, you can add another layer of influence to reinforcing what parents are trying to teach.
Senior couples don’t even have to do much to make a big difference--80% of the good you do is accomplished just by being alive and breathing. Whatever assignment you might be given is only a small part of your effectiveness. Most of the change you will make comes from just being an example. If everything doesn’t run the way you are used to, or the work doesn’t always go well, it doesn’t really matter. You have done your most important work by living your life in the gospel and then by coming here. The training you receive at the MTC is just a couple of weeks, but in reality your whole existence has been your MTC. Senior missionaries are a living testimony, an indication of a life lived well and a life well organized.”