First let me say that I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That is the actual and proper name for our church. Our church is often referred to as the LDS Church, or the Mormon Church. This series of posts was at the request of some of my friends on Facebook. You can read more about that here–on my Landing Page or introduction for the Write 31 Days Challenge.
Missionaries are asked to serve others. When I was on my mission, we didn’t have a set amount of time that we were supposed to be doing service for others. But my mission began to participate in a pilot program where we were asked to provide a few hours of community service each week. This was a challenge at first as we were in a foreign country and didn’t know exactly where we should start. Some missionaries taught English lessons. I did that in a couple of areas. It was fun. But it wasn’t my favorite one.
My favorite service that we did was in my second area, in Cadiz, Spain. We were able to volunteer at a soup kitchen that was run by the local nuns. We helped cook, serve, and clean dishes each week for those who were less fortunate, side by side with the Catholic Nuns. We became really great friends with the Nuns, and they called us the “Mormon” Nuns. Pretty funny. Anyway, we became close enough with these dear women, that around Christmas time, they showed us their very special Nativity that was kept in their special room that only the Nuns got to go into. It was really neat and I’ve never forgotten it. I loved serving there.
The service program was a big success in our mission. It was a couple of years later that this program was instituted for all missions. I’ve watched missionaries get creative in how they provide service for others over the years. This time of year you will often find missionaries raking leaves in the yards of widows, single moms, or the elderly. Snow brings out snow shovels and clearing walks. Sometimes they help people move, clean their homes, weed gardens, and other things like that. If they see a need, they should offer to help. In areas where there have been disasters, they do not proselyte, but instead help the community in disaster efforts. Missionaries serve where they are needed.
Here is a short video of LDS missionaries serving others and helping out after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.