In the summer of 1947, a young 20-year-old missionary had served nearly two years of what he felt was a somewhat unproductive mission. He had yet to baptize anyone when he and his companion received a phone call from the district president, who requested they accompany him to Trenton, Tenn., and baptize two brothers, ages 9 and 11.
A few months later the missionary returned home to Salt Lake City, happy he had been able to baptize at least two young boys.Nearly 47 years later the former missionary was surprised to receive a phone call. The 11-year-old boy, now grown, had recently moved to Orem, Utah, and wanted to visit with him.
After his mission, the elder had written the young boy, encouraging him to stay active and resist the temptations of Satan. The boy took the elder's words seriously, and his family supported him. The elders helped the family organize a Sunday School in their home.
Soon, they had sacrament meetings going in their home, and when neighbors and others joined the Church, they started a Relief Society and MIA. Today, there is a ward in the area.
The two brothers continued to serve the Lord in many capacities. The younger brother is now serving as a stake president. The older brother has served as bishop twice, on four high councils, and as a temple worker. He and his wife are the parents of four children. The oldest was married in the temple, and his son just completed a mission. Their third child, a daughter, will graduate from high school this spring, having received no grade other than an A.
We sometimes underestimate our impact. As that young missionary, I, John M. Simonsen, felt mine was a relatively unproductive mission, but found it rewarding to discover it was significantly influential in the lives of those two boys, and highly effective when measured by the total effects.