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MISSIONARY MOMENTS: IT MADE SENSE

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A young boy ran out of a fish and chip shop smack into the side of a slowly moving bus. The boy was only bruised, but the bus had to stop while the accident was reported to the police. I was a passenger on the bus, and, along with the other passengers, was directed to vacate the bus and go back to the terminal and wait for the next bus.

This took place just after World War II in a town called Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, England, near Preston. Among the passengers were two young men I had seen a few times walking the streets of our town. I was curious about them and had a very strong feeling that they had something I wanted, but I did not know what.The incident with the bus put us together as we walked back to get the next bus, and we sat together in it after it arrived. I asked them who they were and what they were doing in our town. They introduced themselves as Elder Mervin Brown and Elder Clarence Campbell. They said they were missionaries from the Church.

We arrived at the next town, where we were all going. Elder Brown invited me to see their place of worship. I agreed, and we went down an alley and came to a rusty iron staircase and climbed it to the second floor of a merchant store. We walked into what the elders called their chapel. Being used to the Church of England churches with upholstered pews and an organ, etc., I was surprised with the homemade pulpit and wooden benches and an old pump organ.

A few days later, they visited our home. After a few words of general conversation, my wife, Olive, went into the kitchen and came back a little later with a tray of cups of hot tea. The elders politely refused the tea, and my wife asked them if they preferred coffee. Looking embarrassed, they again refused. Curious, I asked them why they did not drink tea or coffee, so the very first lesson we ever received from the elders was on the Word of Wisdom. When the elders left, I asked my wife to gather all the packets of tea and coffee and to throw them away, as what the elders had taught made sense. We took the lessons over a period of time with several missionaries teaching us. As a result we became members of the Church.

We later immigrated to America and were sealed in the Arizona Temple shortly after arriving. What tremendous blessings the gospel has brought into our lives. - Walter Wallace, Mesa Arizona Maricopa Stake