Some 25 years ago when I was about 19 years old, I was playing basketball in a park called Robb Field in the San Diego, Calif., suburb of Ocean Beach. My friend and I were playing against two missionaries on their preparation day. At first, I was not sure they were missionaries, but when I saw how clean-cut they were and how fairly they played, I knew something was different. This was confirmed when each explained why his first name was "Elder."
During the course of the game, an automobile ran off the road near us and got stuck in the sand. Robb Field was next to the beach and was very sandy in places. My friend and I went to help, but the missionaries were even quicker to help. Together, we four pushed the car back onto the road.Strangely, though, I noticed there were several young men inside the car, yet none got out to help. Furthermore, they didn't even say thank-you. I was annoyed - to help someone and not even get a thanks!
But as I looked at the missionaries, I noticed they were smiling. What did they have that I did not? Thus began a a 16-year investigation of the Church. I was finally baptized in 1985.
Those missionaries planted a seed in me. The secret? They served without expectation of thanks. I have since learned this and especially appreciate it as I serve in my present calling as a stake missionary in the Santa Margarita California Stake.
When I sit in the home of a less-active member who has never before allowed a member of our ward into his home, it is I who am thankful. When I think of my sweet wife, who serves as Relief Society president, it is I who am thankful. And when my family prays as we sit together at the dinner table, it is I who am thankful.
I am so thankful for the Church and the two missionaries who brought the gospel into my life, though they taught not a single discussion, nor ever knew my name. I would urge all of my brethren and sisters in the Church to rejoice in the planting of seeds, though they may not be the ones to reap the harvest. The planting of seeds will yield an abundant field ready to harvest.
It is my sincere prayer that each of us would rejoice in sowing the seeds and be thankful for having the opportunity to bring to others the blessings of happiness and peace of mind.