Monday, August 30, 2010

Have you ever gone back to visit your mission?

I served in Hong Kong, and many times I have thought about returning to visit. So much has happened since I left. The temple that was announced while I was there has been built. The British returned control to China. I have lost contact with some friends. One I kept in contact with has passed away.

In February of 1887, the missionary who first formed the branch at Cane Creek, returned to visit many of the members he had baptized. It 1887, however few if any of the members that had left for Colorado had begun to return. So he spent his time visiting friends in neighboring Maury and Hickman counties. When he returned to Utah, he wrote a letter to the Deseret News.

Woods Cross, Davis County
March 14th, 1887
Editor Deseret News:
     I have performed two missions to middle Tennessee, and since that time having kept up a correspondence with some of my brethren whom I baptized and others, and finding out through them that there had not been any of the Elders to visit them since the massacre on Cane Creek, and sending me word that they felt like sheep without a shepherd, I thought I would pay them a visit, and left here on February 2, 1887. I have visited the saints in Hickman and Maury counties and found them feeling well; I can say that it was a time of joy and I feel amply paid for my visit. They received me very kindly and we had a good time together. I held three meetings, which were well attended.
     I performed two baptisms and blesses three children at Shady Grove. There are twenty-five members in the Shady Grove branch and ten in the Love’s branch.
     I wish to say to the brethren and sisters whom I visited that I got home safe and found the saints in Utah feeling well, never better; the persecution which is being brought to bear upon them is strengthening their faith, and they are becoming more united in the Gospel. Our enemies are doing a good work, but they don’t know it; though the day is not far distant when they will.
Joseph Argyle

7 comments:

michelle said...

I had the opportunity to go back to my mission in So. America twice...once alone and once with hubby, who served in a nearby country.

BruceCrow said...

That sounds like a great trip. Did you get to meet people you mety on your mission or just see the areas?

michelle said...

I got to see some of the people. My favorite part of the two trips was when the current bishop of the ward in my second area drove me and my husband around all afternoon to visit people. I got to bear my testimony in that ward that day, too. And, of course, was fed well. ;)

David Sealey said...

I married a girl from my mission (it was all above board I promise), so now I have the strange pleasure of living in my mission.

What has been interesting is watching the change of presidents and how they influence their missionaries. We had one who came from a sales background and incentivised the missionaries who baptised regularly with CD players for their cars...

David

BruceCrow said...

David,
There were many former missionaries living in Hong Kong when I was there. They had the advantage you do; a long term picture of how the church was changing.

Anonymous said...

It has been my biggest wish and my biggest fear to return to my mission field. I served on Okinawa in the mid '90s. I feel I need to go back to finally come to terms with it. On the other hand, I fear actually going would only worsen the bittersweet pain I have lived with ever since.

BruceCrow said...

You are not alone.

Imagine the bitterweet pain of Elder Argyle. The branch he formed at Cane Creek was disbanded and its members were shot, killed, and driven from their homes. He didn't even think it was safe to visit the few who were left.