She Was So Happy!

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Burke V. Waldron

In the early 1950's, I was serving with my companion James D. Packer, as a stake missionary in San Luis Obispo, California. The young women in the ward had been friendshipping a friend, Gayle Johnson, who wanted to be taught the gospel.

Over the years, I had sometimes felt that the time of the missionaries could be better spent in teaching families and adults.

Before we started teaching Gayle, we met with her parents and explained that if their daughter wanted to be taught the doctrines of the Church, they ought to learn what we would be teaching her. They agreed.

On each visit, we sat around the kitchen table. Gayle's mother sat opposite us. During the lessons she would smoke cigarettes with the smoke floating over the table.

Gayle was baptized, but I was afraid that, though consenting, her parents would not be supportive of her activity in the Church. But she wanted to be baptized, and so she was.

Then, in 1973—20 years later—I had just arrived home from sacrament meeting. The phone rang, and I answered it. The caller asked, "Is this Burke Waldron?"

"Yes," I replied. She then gave her name and said that she was calling from the East Coast.

"But you won't know me by my married name," she continued, and identified herself as the same Gayle Johnson we had taught the gospel years ago.

She said she called because she had just attended a wonderful stake conference and was reminiscing on how she became heir to such wonderful blessings. She called to thank me for helping teach her the gospel. She had married in a temple and served a stake mission. Her son was going on a mission, and her parents and others had joined the Church through their family's labors.

She was so happy! I was thrilled at the news also.

Since that phone call 22 years ago, I have never questioned the wisdom of a young girl being baptized. I know now that age has nothing to do with it.

Missionary Moments: Church News, May 2, 1998 - submitted by Burke V. Waldron, Carson City, Nev. 2nd Ward